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The other side of Porn...


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Post-porn plans

Lara Roxx hopes to raise AIDS awareness and start a charitable foundation. But first, she has to find a place to stay

by KRISTIAN GRAVENOR

Perching on the edge of a bed in her ex-boyfriend's apartment above a used appliance shop on Papineau, native Montrealer Lara Roxx contemplates the possibility that the moment she became infected with HIV could become part of an upcoming porn movie.

"It's pretty creepy. I mean, are you going to sell the sex scene where Lara Roxx caught HIV? It's like you're only thinking about money. It's disgusting. Don't use it, I don't care if I signed the release, don't use it."

Throughout the interview, Roxx's cell phone rings a ludicrously loud funky tone. Her first call prompts her to grab a fat marker, which she uses to write down a list of homeless shelters welcoming the HIV-positive. Just weeks ago the 21-year-old Montrealer was spending the ample earnings of 15 locally-shot sex scenes. But on March 24, Roxx - a stage name that combines reference to Lara Croft and a taste for jewellery - was infected with HIV in Los Angeles by Darren James in a condom-free double anal scene in which she was simultaneously sodomized by James and Marc Anthony. Now she's homeless, broke and HIV-positive.

Roxx says she feels fine so far except for her nerves. "I have anxiety crises, I go through headaches and stomach pains when people argue with me," she says.

She says she has focused her life on starting a home for HIV-positive people. "Emotionally I've been doing my own therapy by planning a foundation. Talking about it helps me feel really good."

The Lara Roxx Foundation would welcome "people under 25 who are broke financially and emotionally, who are mentally stable and HIV-positive. If your family is rejecting you, it will be like the Ronald McDonald mansion, but for people who have HIV." Roxx also provides a wish list for her camp, which includes boating and horseback riding. She'd also live there.

Lured by lucre

Roxx started in the world of adult entertainment as a dancer in clubs like SuperSexe, where she'd earn "$400 or $500 a day." But the lure of more money beckoned. "I thought that the money I was making with 10 customers, I could make that with one guy." Her first film experience, on January 10, was with local producer Bruno B. "I was managing myself back then, and at first it went well. He was really nice, and we spoke for 45 minutes before he told me stuff like exactly how big his penis was. He had the condom but he came on my face, which was really disgusting. But I felt I had to get used to that if I was going to be in porn for two or three years."

Roxx found herself pulling in $2,000 for a few hours' work a week, and spending much of the loot on consumer goods. "I decorated my room and bought a lot of nice clothes, I bought CDs, a CD player - no, actually that was my father's gift - and these super Koss speakers. It's a real nice room now but I'm not allowed on that property because my mom kind of kicked me out with the assistance of the cops. If I go back there I could get arrested."

Initially Roxx says she had her mother's blessings to have hardcore sex on camera. "My mom doesn't approve of me being HIV-positive. But at the time, she thought that if you feel comfortable with what you're doing, it's okay. I wasn't comfortable but I thought I was, and I was convincing myself that I was. But I wasn't on drugs to have to do it. It was me talking to myself, like, ‘Come on, you can do it.'

"I felt that it was safe. I have a friend doing it and she has a baby and is still with her man and everything is going well for them. I thought everything would go well for me too."

Condom problems

Roxx hooked up with professional management when her ex-boyfriend, photographer Denis Lefebvre, introduced her to manager Daniel Perreault. "Perreault really convinced me that it wasn't worth it for him to represent me or for me to waste my time waiting on contracts if I insisted on doing condoms only."

At Perreault's home studio at Belanger and 26th Avenue in Rosemount, Roxx filmed her first-ever anal scene with Darren James on February 10. Roxx says she and producer Marc Anthony got along well. "He was being all friendly but James really didn't like me. I thought he was really ugly and I didn't want to do it with him. I'm attracted to black men but not Darren James, he's just not cute and he has an ugly face. We did the scene and it just got worse. I was trying to take my time to relax and feel safe about it and he was just trying to get it done, in and out."

Although Roxx filmed 15 scenes in 10 weeks, she felt she could earn more in Los Angeles, so after making her way down there she found that Marc Anthony wanted her for another film starring James. "I was like, ‘Oh my God, we worked together and [James] hated me and now we're going to have to work with each other again.' And then I was actually happy because I thought they were never going to hire me again."

Upon arriving on the set she was told that she'd have to do a double anal or else not get the scene. Her resistance was worn down fast. "I felt like I was doing something wrong, that they were the professionals and I was the rookie and I'm not supposed to be asking all these questions before the shoot. Maybe I'm just supposed to open my legs and that's all they want in this industry. That's one of the things I intend to change. I want to change it so the girl gets more respect than that."

Says her lawyer, Daniel Lighter: "She went to L.A. because it is supposedly the most professional and sophisticated place in the world for people to do this type of work. She left as a perfectly healthy girl and came back with a death sentence."

Lighter says there is no doubt that she got the infection from James, and that recent viral load tests have shown James has had the infection longer than her. He adds that he is considering legal action in California against "the actors, agents and corporations who shot or oversaw the shooting of the scene."

Domain name disputed

Several funds have been set up to help her and two other actresses - Jessica Dee and Miss Arroyo - who contracted HIV via James, but Roxx says she has not yet received a cent. She also complains that purportedly sympathetic porn industry managers have snatched up the rights to her Web site, www.lararoxx.com, which she wants to use to as a tool to start her foundation. She says that in the days following the breaking of her story, millions went to the site only to be redirected to porn sites. The site now redirects - as she has requested - to an AIDS awareness site.

Later during the afternoon of our interview Roxx starts on a flurry of calls inquiring about any funds that may have been raised. She leaves messages. She's also hoping for some progress on incorporating a charitable foundation and begs generous souls to send cheques for The Lara Roxx Foundation to her lawyer at: Daniel Lighter In Trust, 500 Place d'Armes, Suite 2350, Montreal, H2Y 2W2.

At the end of a series of dead ends, Roxx finally gets a bit of bright news: her lawyer informs her that Entertainment Tonight will fly her to New York and pay her $3,500 (U.S.) to tape an interview. She's happy for the publicity. "I don't want to do what my mom would want, which is to hide and be sad and think bad ideas. I'd rather act. I want people to still talk about me because I want them to see that I'm doing something good in society."

Along with dreams of starting an HIV camp, Roxx - who says her physical intimacy since the moment she was infected entails a single hug - also wants to direct "horror-type films" and has a career in rap in view.

"I'd love to work with Dr. Dre and Timberlake," she says before opening up a notebook to rap an autobiographical number: "Do you think you are better than me?/I bet you are scared of my disease/You are stuck on HIV I see/You probably say Lara Roxx on TV, Lara Roxx on the rocks, you see/Only one person to be judging me, it's not you, you see, you've got problems just like me."

If we're honest, we've all watched porn at some point in our lives. This is the other side of the camera.

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I am sorry for her of course, but she took the risk to work without using condoms to make more money, she took it and lost. It is her own fault in the end since she agreed to it. I remember reading about this a few years ago which is when it happened, it's not actually that frequent that HIV is spread through the porn industry since the stars are usually frequently tested for it, it hadn't happened for a number of years before this.

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I am sorry for her of course, but she took the risk to work without using condoms to make more money, she took it and lost. It is her own fault in the end since she agreed to it. I remember reading about this a few years ago which is when it happened, it's not actually that frequent that HIV is spread through the porn industry since the stars are usually frequently tested for it, it hadn't happened for a number of years before this.

I thought there were safe guards in place to stop this from happening...

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Yeah. I read somewhere that basically once you test positive, you're put on a gray list or something. From that point on you have a month to come up with another test that says you're negative, or you're on the black list and will never work in porn again.

BUT they have to be tested once a month (or more specifically, they need to show up at a shoot with test results of no more than a month old) which is still quite a window within one can contract the disease and continue working.

This article does make her look like a really shallow cunt though. It basically says she had no business sense, then it turns out she had no common sense either, and now she wants to make the world a better place for other dumb broads like herself. Gimme a break.

It's sad that her mom doesn't want her around anymore. But 'the industry' is simply doing what it must: make a buck. She chose to sign off on the release of the film probably because otherwise she wouldn't get paid, but when the guys that shot the film want to recoup their investment it's a disgusting, creepy thing by a bunch of assholes who are only in it for the money?

Update:

According to WikiPedia her scene wasn't included in the released film.

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