SAN DIEGO — A lawsuit being defended by the operators of amateur porn site GirlsDoPorn.com has all the trappings of a made-for-TV movie.
The suit, waged by 14 female models who allege they were exploited after they answered Craigslist ads and shot porn, comes off the heels of Netflix’s “Hot Girls Wanted,” where young women are documented drawn into the world of adult entertainment; brings in the controversial and revealing PornWikiLeaks.com website; and arrives just in time as moralists renew their scrutiny against adult content producers.
In light of the allegations, the suit poignantly offers cautionary warning to all adult filmmakers using amateur talent to seriously review protocols, forms and all other dealings.
Each of the women claim in a lawsuit filed at San Diego Superior Court that they answered ads posted on Craigslist.org in cities like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego and Dallas, as well as in Alberta, Canada, and in populous counties in North Carolina, Louisiana, Florida and Tennessee.
In answering the ads, the women proceeded to modeling agencies run by GirlsDoPorn — BeginEModeling.com, ExploreTalent.com and Bubblegum Casting — and later entered into financial agreements with three men — GirlsDoPorn.com operators Michael Pratt, Andre Garcia and Matthew Wolfe — for assignments relative to “adult film work,” according to the suit.
One of the caveats each of the women claimed was that GirlsDoPorn’s operators stated that the shoots only would be distributed to private individuals in Australia or South America.
The women, ranging from age 18-22, mostly flew to San Diego from their hometowns in the U.S. and Canada for assignments that averaged about $2,000 to $5,000 for each shoot, often filmed at local four-star hotels, such as the Hilton, Hard Rock or Marriott.
The suit said that the shoots had the same method of operation: Pratt, Garcia and Wolfe would sneak video equipment into hotels, hiding the equipment in large suitcases. Once filming begins, the suit said, the “young women are told what to do. If they refuse or say they are uncomfortable or in pain, the defendants often yell at them, saying it is too late to change their minds and they cannot leave the hotel room.”
After the shoot, according to the suit, each of the performers found their videos posted on the six-year-old GirlsDoPorn.com website despite promises that the DVDs would only be distributed overseas and for private use.
To agitate matters further, the performers said their real identities and contact information were leaked on the internet to sites like PornWikiLeaks.com for families and friends to see.
In June, four of the performers filed a lawsuit against GirlsDoPorn.com and its operators, making claims seeking $500,000 a piece in damages, along with punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.
But by December, an amended complaint was filed and 10 more performers joined the suit also seeking $500,000 each in damages, plus punitives.
The amended complaint makes serious accusations against GirlsDoPorn.com and its operators that include allegations of intentional misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, false promise, negligent misrepresentation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, misappropriation of name and likeness, negligence and breach of contract, among other allegations.
The new complaint, however, pares other serious charges that were listed on the first complaint, including those of false imprisonment, sexual battery and gender violence.
The plaintiffs in the case, all unidentified Jane Does, are described in the suit as those who “come from good families, have never appeared in pornography before, are often paying their way through school and are just beginning their careers and adulthood.”
“So, this is the only way the defendants can convince these women to have sex on film or produce other adult video material — the defendants lie to them,” said the suit filed by their San Diego-based attorneys, Robert Hamparyan, John O’Brien and Brian Holm.
However, GirlsDoPorn.com attorney Aaron Sadock said the case appears to be one of “simple regret on the part of a few models out of the hundreds who have worked with our clients.”
“This small group of actresses are claiming their videos would not be released,” Sadock told XBIZ. “However, each one signed an agreement before filming that gave our clients the right to release the content worldwide.
“These agreements were signed on video,” said Sadock, whose law practice is located in San Diego. “The actresses even read statements aloud on video to record that they understood the terms of the agreement and agreed to release their rights to the content. The actresses were paid at or above industry norms for their work. Despite this, a few of the models changed their minds and regretted their decision.
“We do not believe that a single one returned their earnings or moved to have the agreements rescinded.”
Sadock, whose co-counsel in the case is San Diego attorney Daniel Kaplan, said that while the case has raised interest because it concerns the adult film business and female models, from a legal standpoint the case is “quite ordinary.”
“We believe it is a garden-variety dispute over breach of contract and alleged misrepresentations,” Sadock said. “We are confident that the law and evidence favors our clients and that this case will either be dismissed by the court or our clients will win at trial.”
Attorneys for the plaintiffs did not respond to XBIZ for comments regarding the case despite numerous queries.
A trial date has not yet been set in the case.