Industry Attorney Hints More LA Direct Models Claims Could Be Coming

Industry Attorney Hints More LA Direct Models Claims Could Be Coming

UPDATE (Saturday, 6 p.m. PDT) — Industry attorney Allan Gelbard told XBIZ this evening that LA Direct Models owner Derek Hay was personally served today with court papers involving claims made by four adult performers. He was served at Exxxotica Miami at the Miami Airport Convention Center.

OAKLAND, Calif. — In the weeks since it was revealed that LA Direct Models owner Derek Hay was accused by four adult performers of bilking them, among other charges, a new case has been revealed, along with a damning Rolling Stone article that has drawn global attention to one of the top agents in the adult entertainment biz.

While the case involving four Jane Doe plaintiffs is just getting started, another action involving an additional porn star already has its legal wheels in motion.

In that case, adult performer Nadya Nabakova said that she was defrauded of at least $1,955 by LA Direct and that she was sent to jobs where her health and safety were compromised.

In the complaint, which seeks termination of the performer’s agreement with Hay and LA Direct along with legal costs, the performer is seeking a determination that the agency violated the state Talent Agencies Act.

Nabakova also alleged that, additionally, LA Direct illegally charged her a 15 percent commission plus booking fees for pictures and videos she had taken by a friend.

She further alleged in her claim — in a so-called “petition-to-determine controversy” action — that Hay “is closely associated with an escorting agency,” which is a direct violation of the Talent Agencies Act.

The performer's claim, filed in January, is moving forward through the legal process with California’s Labor Commissioner, her attorney, Courtney Puritsky, told XBIZ.

A spokeswoman at the California Department of Industrial Relations, headquartered in Oakland, confirmed to XBIZ today that the cumulative two claims brought by the five adult performers were the only labor-related actions in the state filed against LA Direct.

But the Rolling Stone piece, which quoted XBIZ and a competing media organization about the Jane Does suit, has become a catalyst for many who work in the business — including A-list performers — to unleash their own accusations on social media about the Las Vegas-based talent agency and Hay in the past few weeks.

Attorney Allan Gelbard told XBIZ today said that since the industry has become aware about the legal moves against the agency, more performers are sharing stories about their experiences at LA Direct.

“It is still very early in the process,” Gelbard said. “But there have been significant number of performers who have contacted me about the case.”

In their claim filed June 19, the Jane Does said they signed deals with Hay and LA Direct for representation, and all said that they were led down a pathway of fraud.

They claim Hay and LA Direct failed to account for all fees earned, coerced them into improper business arrangements — including those involving sex acts — and threatened to destroy their careers if they didn’t comply with his wishes.

In the action with California’s Labor Commissioner, the performers seek a disgorgement of revenues and fees, along with revocation of Hays’ agency license, as well as attorneys’ fees.

Gelbard said that the agency, LA Direct, has been served with the petition-to-determine controversy claim; however, Hay personally has not been personally served.

In a petition-to-determine controversy claim before the Labor Commissioner, proof of service must take place for the case to go forward. The petitioner has one year to serve the respondent.  

Once the Labor Commissioner’s Office receives proof of service, the case is referred to the legal unit for assignment to a hearing officer who will set a hearing date. Once the hearing is concluded, the hearing officer writes a determination which is submitted to the Labor Commissioner for her review.

If she adopts the determination, it is then served on the parties who have 10 days to appeal to the superior court where the matter is heard de novo, or from the beginning.

(Check out California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Sections 12022-12033 for more information on California Department of Industrial Relations claim procedures.)

XBIZ was unable to reach Hay for comment about charges made in the two claims; an LA Direct employee said he was currently out of the country.