CHATSWORTH, Calif. — Ultima DVD owner Eric Jover did not immediately watch the May 28 season-two premiere of Investigation Discovery’s true-crime series “Fatal Encounters.” He didn’t have too; he was all too familiar with the episode’s subject.
For the past two years, the events that left his friend and business partner Tom Dong dead at the hands of Steve Driver — an adult performer he had employed and housed at his studio — have played in his head like a bad rerun.
“It was difficult to watch the show and live through the painful memories of that night when Steve Driver killed Tom and tried to kill me and my staff,” Jover told XBIZ. “Losing Tom was the most devastating thing that ever happened to me and my organization, and even to this day I am unable to find a business partner with the same skill set and enthusiasm for the adult industry.”
“Fatal Encounters,“ a program that documents the unfortunate twists and turns that lead victim and assailant to meet, examined the relationship between friends Driver and Dong, two aspiring porn performers working day jobs at Jover’s movie studio, in an episode titled “Living on the Edge.”
Having now seen the show, Jover feels it “took an objective approach and portrayed us with as much accuracy as they could, considering the censorship and limitations of mainstream television. They were fair to Tom, Steve and the industry as a whole.”
That’s not to say he wouldn’t have liked to see a little more positivity in the piece, especially in regards to Dong. “It would've been nice to see more praise for Tom since he sacrificed his life to give us enough time to get away from Steve,” he said. “There should've been some mention of his bravery that night — not just his death.”
Driver in June of 2010, angered over being evicted from Jover’s studio, attacked Ultima manager Christopher Rachal with a sharpened prop sword, cutting into his shoulder and hand. Dong, Jover and neighboring business man Yuri Drell attempted to subdue Driver, but were forced to flee when he came after them with sword in hand.
Dong did not escape and was fatally cut open at the waist.
“I wish they added more thoughts from people in the industry who worked with Tom," Jover noted. "He was a truly talented and mild-mannered guy. Everyone Tom worked with had nice things to say about him. Tom will always be missed, but he will always be remembered with fondness.”
Driver was found three days after the murder at a hillside bluff near the Chatsworth Nature Preserve in the San Fernando Valley. He kept police at bay for eight hours before jumping off the cliff to his death some fifty feet below.