Michael Lucas Addresses Critics of Roman Ragazzi Suicide

NEW YORK — Lucas Entertainment CEO Michael Lucas is calling out the “cowardly, ugly-souled bullies” that mocked and dismissed the suicide death of former gay adult star Roman Ragazzi — real name Dror Barak — on popular blogs such as Queerty.com and Out.com.

Lucas, a contributing columnist on HuffingtonPost.com, writes in a piece titled “A Candle for Roman” that Ragazzi’s “hot body was barely cold when the online vultures came to pick at him,” referring to the cruel comments and assumptions made on gay blogs suggesting Ragazzi was involved with drugs, worked as an escort and/or was a bad person mixed up in the porn scene.

Ragazzi was an Israeli consulate employee when he first broke into the adult industry in 2007, signing as an exclusive with Raging Stallion. He went on to make national headlines when the New York Post exposed his double life on Page Six. He quit in 2008 to launch a personal training and fitness company named Freedom Fitness.  

Ragazzi committed suicide at the age of 38 in February of this year. His partner Sam, at the time, cited “depression issues” as the most probable cause, and now explains to Lucas that trauma suffered from childhood sexual abuse haunted Ragazzi to the very end, noting that, “He [Ragazzi] woke up every morning remembering what he went through.”

In the Huffpost column, Lucas writes, “It doesn't even matter that these creeps are so wrong about Dror as a person. Even if Dror had been an escort; even if he had been addicted to drugs; even if he had been stupid, or sick, or unsuccessful, he would have been a human being who deserved our consideration and respect.”

Lucas, who met Ragazzi four years ago, just as the former star was kick starting his career as a personal fitness trainer, said he had only seen him socially from time to time thereafter, but was at first sadden to learn about his death and then infuriated by the harsh words and criticisms posted online by people who never knew Ragazzi at all.

He writes, “Those who look down on porn say that it objectifies the men who perform in it. But those very critics are often the ones who refuse to think of porn stars as real people — with feelings, hopes, personalities, histories, and complicated motives — in the first place.