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from www.dailymail.co.uk – The daughter of one of America’s most notorious pornographers has opened up about her unconventional upbringing.
Liberty Bradford Mitchell, 42, grew up in San Francisco where her father and uncle founded the Mitchell Brothers O’Farrell Theatre, which doubled up as an x-rated movie theater and strip club.
A ‘sensitive, dreamy, nervous child’, she said she knew what sex entailed aged three or four and was given her first safe-sex talk by her father’s porn star girlfriend as an adolescent.
Ms Mitchell, who is now based in Los Angeles with her two children, explained in a YouTube video: ‘In fact I knew – without knowing I knew – what sex entailed by age three or four when one afternoon I followed by dad into the screening room at the O’Farrell.
‘My Uncle Jim and their cronies were reviewing the prior day’s filming… I sidled up into a chair next to my daddy crossed my arms and just like him starred analytically at the projection on the wall.
‘One of the guys whispered to my dad ”Are you sure she should be watching this?”
‘He shrugged ”She don’t know what she’s looking at.” But I took the picture in mighty quick. It was a tight close-up of a penis and vagina thrusting away in full-on coitus.’
Ms Mitchell is currently developing The Pornographer’s Daughter, a one-woman show detailing her story, which is set to premiere in March at a theater in Venice, Los Angeles.
In the opening of the show, previewed by the San Francisco Chronicle, Ms Mitchell says, ‘I was born a Leo in the summer of 1970. My parents were hippies who dropped way too much acid before naming their children.
‘They emerged as pioneers of the porn industry, became millionaires, and poured a lot of money into Mercedes, marijuana and cocaine, lap dances, poker games and high jinks.’
Ms Mitchell’s father Artie and his brother Jim opened the O’Farrell Theatre on July 4, 1969.
‘They poured a lot of money into Mercedes, marijuana and cocaine, lap dances, poker games and high jinks’
By the Eighties the nightspot had helped to popularize lap dancing, and it remains one of America’s oldest and most notorious adult-entertainment establishments.
The late journalist Hunter S.Thompson, who worked as night manager at the strip club, declared it as ‘the Carnegie Hall of public sex in America’ while Playboy magazine said it was ‘the place to go in San Francisco.’
Ms Mitchell said that her family’s antics made school difficult and when her friends talked about what their parents did for a living she would reply: ‘My dad makes movies with naked people.’
Her mother, Meredith Bradford, an East Coast WASP, later told her to tell people that her father was a fisherman.
‘My mom said that people wouldn’t understand, and that it was OK to say he was a fisherman, which was partly true,’ Ms Mitchell explained.
However when she went to college she said that the other students thought it was ‘awesome’ that her dad owned a strip club and she would take groups on ‘field trips’.
During the Seventies Jim and Artie Mitchell produced a string of adult-film hits, including Resurrection of Eve and Sodom and Gomorrah: The Last 7 Days.
But their most successful title was Behind the Green Door, starring model and actress Marilyn Chambers.
The movie, which cost around $60,000 to make, reportedly earned $25 million and both brothers were invited to the Cannes Film Festival as a result.
But over the years their partnership became increasingly strained and on Febuary 27, 1991, it reached breaking-point.
‘My mom said that people wouldn’t understand, and that it was OK to say dad was a fisherman’
Triggered by a dispute over the future of their business Jim shot Artie to death at his home in Corte Madera, California.
Ms Mitchell, the eldest of three, was 20 years old when her father died.
Recalling the incident she told the San Francisco Chronicle: ‘My mom called and told me my dad was murdered – and by my uncle.
‘Jim had grabbed a rifle and a pistol, drove from his house at Ocean Beach to Corte Madera, where my dad was renting a house. He slashed my dad’s tires and went in and just started shooting.’
Jim claimed that the shooting was an accident that happened when he was trying to persuade Artie – whose nickname was Party Artie – to seek help for drug and alcohol addiction.
However prosecutors said the killing was a cold-blooded act and Jim was sentenced to six years in prison for voluntary manslaughter.
He was released from San Quentin in 1997, having served three years, and died on July 12, 2007 at his ranch near Petaluma, California aged 63.
Stirring emotions: Ms Mitchell as a toddler pictured with her mother, Meredith Bradford, and porn king father Artie – the couple divorced when she was six years old.
Talking about her father before he met his death Ms Mitchell added: ‘My dad was tired of the business, and at that point, it kind of ran itself.
‘He’d go and play golf and fish. But he was having a hard time with the drugs.’
Rated X, a film based on the Mitchell Brothers lives, appeared on Showtime in 2000. Directed by Emilio Estevez, it starred Estevez as Jim and Estevez’s brother, Charlie Sheen, as Artie.
The O’Farrell Theatre is now managed by Jim Mitchell’s oldest daughter, Meta Jane Johnson, and her brother, Justin Mitchell.
Another brother, James Raphael Mitchell, served as the theater’s director of film operations until 2011 when he was sentenced to 35 years in prison for murdering the mother of his one-year-old daughter with a baseball bat.
Hotspot: Hunter S.Thompson, who worked as night manager at the O’Farrell Theatre, declared it as ‘the Carnegie Hall of public sex in America’ while Playboy said it was ‘the place to go in San Francisco’
After leaving the family nest Ms Mitchell went on to study at the University of Southern California and the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, where she met her future husband.
After college she focused on marriage and children, and later got a job under California’s first lady, Maria Shriver, producing her women’s conferences.
Reflecting on her upbringing Ms Mitchell, who is currently going through a divorce, said: ‘People say to me, ”How are you so normal?” I got married. I have kids. A job. I have a sense of humor. Not everyone comes out of stuff like this.’
She explained that writing and talking about her life has helped her to come to terms with her situation and she has finally forgiven her parents, who divorced when she was six years old.
‘My parents were not out to harm us. They were counterculture. The theater was opened on July 4, 1969, in this era of free love.
‘They thought we didn’t understand what we were being exposed to, and that nudity can be considered art. Now, of course, that sounds ridiculous.’