I just learned – when AP called me for comment, that Extreme and Rob Zecari have been indicted for obscenity in the Western District of Pennsylvania. AP faxed me a copy of the Indictment which includes conspiracy to mail and ship obscene matter in interstate commerce, the shipping or mailing of several tapes in interstate commerce, and the interstate distribution, via the Extreme site, several clips. Ten criminal counts plus a foreiture of assets count. I thought, given your dealings with these folks, that it’s something you’d want to know about.
Indeed and boy do I want to hear your thoughts on it all.
Jacklyn Lick Comments:
I just noticed that Rob Black and Lizzie Borden have been indicted for obscenity charges. Even though I don’t think someone should go to jail for something like this, I think that these two will go.
Did you see the thing on Rob Black on America’s Most Wanted? They suspected him of cutting that guys thumb off, and attempting to cut his penis off. They suspected that Rob Black hired the guys to do it over jealousy of his girlfriend Lizzie Borden. One thing I’ve learned in life, you don’t fuck with the FBI. They will get you for what ever charges they can get you with. If they can’t get you with their original suspicion, they will haul you in until they can prove it. The article I wrote on RockConfidential about the guy that was my friend taken in for murder, the same thing happened to him. They suspected him, but, they couldn’t prove it. So, they sent him to jail for tax evasion until they could prove it. I think the same thing will happen to Rob Black.
Anyways, just had to get that off my chest. hehe. It was fun hanging out with you. Have a safe flight back. I’m off to go film ‘Extreme Dating’. Should be fun!
Ya Rob asked for this…hell Ray Charles coulda seen this one coming. I admit I expected more charges related to money laundering and such but that hasn’t happened….
And Finally, Bob Writes:
Reading about the indictment of Rob and Lizzy, I had one thought: Be careful what you ask for, you just may get it.
The other thought was: the full weight and force of the federal government coming down on you is a fiercesome thing to observe. Rob Black wasn’t even a big deal in the world of professional wrestling. It’s one thing to talk tough to a camera from PBS. It’s another to be raked over the coals on the witness stand with a prison sentence hanging over your head and the head of the mother of your children.
I think this is going to be an incredibly interesting case to follow because at the end of the day the most important question it will answer is: When it comes to adult entertainment, are there any limits to speech short of child pornography and snuff films. If not, is everything else fair game? I don’t think there are any obvious answers to those questions, and for that reason, I think it’s a high risk case for the government.
If the government wins, it opens the door for some regulation. But I also think that with failure of the Deep Throat prosecutions in the late 60’s or early 70’s and the proliferation of X-rated adult material available in your average Mariott or Hilton today, full frontal nudity combined with oral, vaginal, and even anal sex is accepted once you agree that adult entertainment is protected speech. So, the regulation is around the fringes of what companies like Extreme were doing. And I must say that I, for one, detested the kind of material that Rob and Lizzy were putting out there. I know this prosecution puts the fear of God into other production companies, but I personally wouldn’t shed a tear if they get put away. Free speach is not without limits, especially commercial speech.
At the same time, if you can’t crack down on Rob and Lizzy — if the government loses — than there are almost no limits to what can be distributed. My understanding is that Max has been tried and prevailed in Virginia, and that’s the Bible belt, although I don’t know if the material he’s producing now is more extreme than what he was tried on. I was turned off by Max part-way through the first viewing of one of his tapes, and I’ve never looked at another. The government was nervous enough about the case against Seymour to settle. It’s just difficult to predict how something like this will go.
That Tom Byron wasn’t indicted may not say anything one way or the other about whether he will be indicted later. It’s not uncommon for defendants — John Does to be discovered — to get added to cases as they go on. [That I understand but remember Tom always claimed he was part owner of Extreme…he isn’t nor was he ever. This is proof that he never did.]
And it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the government is going after the Internet as a point of distribution like the U.S. mail. From our previous e-mails, you know that I’m a magazine writer. I did a story about child pornography on the Net back in ’96, and the Postal Inspectors were involved in those investigations. The feds have already gone after all sorts of folks for distributing and downloading child pornography over the Net. This whole notion that the Net is something special or unique and therefore the same rules that govern the real world shouldn’t apply to the virtual world was kind of absurd anyway. Under that theory, it would be fine to defraud people using the Internet and rob their bank accounts blind, just don’t do it using the mail or the phone. If the product is otherwise illegal, buyer beware going online. If anything, I think that it was inevitable. And heck, if the government is successful on this, they get a two-fer — they bring some rationality to the porn world and to the Internet at the same time.
I think the larger threat ultimately isn’t to the world of X-rated material, but to the small producers who have thrived by producing around the edges. If the government begins to prosecute, those guys simply won’t be able to afford the costs of defending themselves and they’ll fold. That will concentrate the industry, I predict, into the hands of those companies that are best financed and best understand the rules, whatever they turn out to be.
I think you’re seeing some of that already with the buyouts going on in the industry now, just as it’s happening in other industries.
Last, what has happened to Veronica Caine and Tom Byron since the blow up of Extreme?
Bob makes excellent points, as for Veronica, she has changed her name and is currently shooting Gonzo around porn Valley, and Rob, in a last ditch effort to make good off of what is left of Tom Byron’s once good name has set Tommy up in a company called Evolution.
It’s Been a fun and Interesting Trip out here:
I will return tomorrow to Atlanta with lots of interesting updates, photos and what not coming over the weekend.
But the big news out here is the Federal Indictment of Rob Black and Lizzie Borden. Nobody is sure at what level the Attorney General is going to “hit” the adult industry, The L.A. Times says that this is “The first in a wave of indictments” and that Ashecroft has vowed to make obscenity prosecutions a top priority now.
The sad thing is that this happened at all.
We, as an industry should work to protect ourselves and the titles and material in question should never have been advertised, picked up by distributors etc, duplicators should potentially even refuse to duplicate it.
The problem is that the feds will probably have an easy time of this one with the question of whos next looming over everyones mind. Indeed were I max Hardcore or Brandon Iron I’d be sweating right now.
Yet had we put ourselves in more of a position that in order to really attack us, the feds would have to target us as a bit more strategically instead of working from the outside of the herd towards the inside we may have had a better chance to nip the thing before it got started.
You will hear pornographers and others blaming this on the “Republican Administration” the simple truth is that the beloved Democrats have sold us out before and certainly wll again. I don’t trust any of them.
In the final analysis, as distatseful as it may be to me, I will have to support Rob and Lizard on this one. I certainly wish that they were going down on charges of criminal assualt or similar but those aren’t federal crimes unless they are against a government employee.
Had I stayed Married:
today would have been my 18th anniversary of my marraige to my first wife.
Mary Carey to debate Arianna Huffington Today:
Yep you read that right…how funny will that be. I wish I could be there.
Mark Kulkis , I want a transcript..ASAP!
LFP Buys Wicked, NOT!:
There’s heavy rumors that LFP has finalized a deal and purchased Wicked Pictures, but Wickewd PR dude Daniel Metcalf says flatly “No”. Says that LFP has not bought Wicked and that those rumors are “So 5 minutes ago”
My Ex Writes:
“You Fucking Prick, we would have been married 23 years today, we have been divorced for 18 years.
Kiss my Ass and die.”