ROME — A judge has ordered an Italian university to pay 4,000 euros ($4,290) to a prestigious academic after dismissing him, an action he alleged was prompted by his former career as an adult performer.
Professor Ruggero Freddi performed in gay porn in the U.S. as Carlo Masi between 2004 and 2013 for Colt Studios, and later went on to receive advanced degrees in engineering and mathematics. He was awarded 2,500 euros for unpaid hours and 1,500 euros for “unjustified dismissal” by a civil court in Rome.
In 2019, after two years teaching in the Faculty of Engineering of Sapienza University in Rome, Freddi was dismissed without a reason. The university also withheld the pay he was due at the time.
“I was forced to sue,” he told Vanity Fair. “And I won. I hope my case will give courage to all doctoral students who are exploited, after years of studies and specializations.”
Freddi, who is currently working as a data analyst, told the publication that while he does not have concrete proof, he has “a very clear and increasingly strong feeling” that his gay porn past played a crucial role in the dismissal.
“It's just my opinion,” he noted. “But I felt like there was prejudice around me, which was beyond my ability as a teacher.”
The extra fine attached to the judgment appears to indicate that the judge agreed with Freddi that an act of unjustified discrimination had taken place.
Freddi, who also made the news in 2018 when he married a fellow adult performer whom he met on set, has been outspoken about his porn past. As Pink News reported, he told Times Higher Education in 2018 that he left a successful career in adult because he wanted to grow.
“And since I couldn’t grow any more in the porn industry I decided that it was time to do something completely new,” he explained. “The truth is that I became too rich and famous to stay interested in that job.
“From the porn industry, I have learned the importance of self-promotion,” Freddi added. “You have to let the world know what an amazing person you are because nobody will come looking to find out for themselves.”
Award-winning Italian performer Valentina Nappi told XBIZ, “The case of Ruggero Freddi highlights the inherent limits of the ‘liberal’ idea that constructive, fruitful coexistence is possible between rational viewpoints and those that instead leave room for irrationality. This is but an illusion. If we want a world in which expressions of rationality — such as being able to teach calculus after a career in porn — are free, every position of power must be vacated by those who, even if only out of social pressure and/or opportunism, are followers of the Catholic faith or other religious creeds.”