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Talk about profiling. Rob Black in one of his rants last week went on about former Digital Playground owner Ali Joone suggesting there might be terrorist connections.
No sooner did Black get done with his spiel, I was contacted by someone who was familiar with the Joone situation. I’ll call this guy Abu Akbar.
Abu Akbar tells me that Joone, who sold his company to Manwin, [a fact which led Black to speculate] is as clean as the proverbial whistle.
I wasn’t aware of this, for a fact, but I’m told that Joone had been married to Samantha Lewis. There had always been rumors they were but the matter was absolutely down played.
“They started the company together and Ali really always ran the company but Samantha was the front person because she was this attractive woman. Ali was behind the scenes. Then they got divorced and Samantha married a guy who died in a plane crash.”
[I know Lewis was married to KTLA’s Mark Kriski www.adultfyi.com/read.php?ID=26341 but I’m not familiar with the other man.]
Joone, a UCLA film school graduate, in an interview with Las Vegas Weekly commented, when asked if he ever saw himself in the adult industry:
“I never thought about it but of course I loved beautiful women and I was attracted to them. I always wanted to make movies and I think that after I started Digital, it kind of was clear to me that the adult genre is the last place you can make independent film.”
According to Abu Akbar, Joone always wanted to be in mainstream movie making. They started Digital Playground to generate the revenue to get into mainstream. As Digital started taking off, mainstream appeared to be more difficult because as all know once you’re stuck in the quicksand of porn, it’s beyond impossible to clean yourself up.
That’s when Joone looked into deals like the Tequila company.
Lewis and Joone got divorced. Ali wound up marrying a mainstream actress and lives in Hawaii for the most part.
“Ali is a great guy and has always been very quiet. Like this Jesse Jane Tequila. Ali owns the company.”
In fact it was reported on the Internet that Joone and his wife Brandy are partners with Jesse Jane in Diosa Spirits out of Las Vegas.
“It’s a new company and Ali started it when he was getting ready to get out of porn.”
“They licensed a deal with Jesse Joone to be the front person for this Tequila. It was always assumed it’s her company, but it’s not Boutique tequila companies are popping up everywhere.”
From my own experience having been there, Digital Playground’s second floor was a think-tank devoted to the creation of mainstream video games.
The original deal with Manwin called for Lewis and Joone to run Digital Playground for another year but Manwin quickly got rid of Lewis as well as Farley Cahen, DP’s chief operating officer.