Porn History 101: What the Darren Roberts Book Probably Doesn’t Include

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When Darren Roberts was at AVN he was known as “the weasel”. Others called him “Dagwood” because of his resemblance to Dagwood Bumstead the cartoon character.

The weasel nickname was pretty obvious once you got a sense that something was going on behind your back whenever Roberts was looking you in the face.

Roberts who’s no longer with AVN is getting a lot of press right now because he’s written a book about porn. I’m damaged enough after trundling through Penny Lane’s account of her life in XXX’s fast lane and was hoping that good sense would put an end to all this tomfoolery about memoirs. But everybody thinks they’ve got a book in them.

Roberts’ is titled The Unsexpected Story, a tongue-twister if there ever was one. Roberts whose supposed to be writing a series of these, claims in this book to be “tracing the economic and technological lifespan of the vast adult entertainment industry through the personal experiences of the individuals who have made a lasting impression on this forever green, multi-billion dollar empire.”

Wow. Sounds pretty exciting. But I can tell you some stories that’ll never show up in his slant on the industry.

While the BabeNet fiasco was one of porn’s darkest hours, I sincerely doubt whether Roberts will even address his role in that debacle. And that’s what brought Roberts over to AVN, essentially. The word on the street was that Russ Hamsphire was trying to unload Roberts and Paul Fishbein supposedly owed Russ a favor.

In any event, Roberts, who was married to a former porn chick but was fooling around with Fishbein’s secretary [which gave Luke Ford plenty to report on], began seeping the tea of chaos the moment he arrived.

The dispositions of the editorial staff went from collectively sunny to dour the first week he was there and there were long standing rumors that he was spying on employees’ emails. In fact I caught him one morning going through my computer and he gave me some half-assed excuse as to why that was.

The best one was when Bryn Pryor, aka Eli Cross, who was the managing editor at the time, came into my office and told me that Roberts wanted me to do a hatchet job on attorney Ron Miller. Hatchet, by the way, was the exact word used.

Miller, who also goes under the porn aka Don Hollywood, owned Exotica LA, and Fishbein decided that he wanted that summer show for himself. But I’m sure that Roberts in his book will talk about all the skullduggery employed behind the scenes to get that piece of the action.

In the end, I elected not to write the article on Miller, because by this time I had had it with Roberts and AVN.

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