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Ford Felt He Was Left Twisting in the Wind

Porn Valley- No sooner did Luke Ford take a hike from the adultbeat.com website that two prospective employers dangled job offers.

Ford, who’s mulling those prospects, basically didn’t relish the fact that he was left, as I heard him say, “twisting in the wind” by his boss and “humiliated” by a competing site, AVN. Ford consequently left because his story quoting Scott Ross as saying that AVN was a trade magazine that didn’t pursue investigative journalism was taken down from the adultbeat.com site without even a chance of him discussing the issue with his employers.

AVN and its attorney Paul Cambria claimed that Ford was guilty of a felony with Ford’s employer, Lensman, quoted as saying in an AVN article he basically agreed with them perhaps to avoid a potential legal hassle. Among other things, Lensman, who owns adult.com, gofuckyourself.com and playboycash.com, is considered to be one of the five top players on the adult internet. Up till now, Ford had enjoyed a pretty good relationship with him until the word felony reared its ugly head.

Supposedly it’s a felony to tape a telephone conversation without the consent of the other part in California if the other party has a reasonable expectation of privacy. But Ford’s a reporter and one would expect that any conversation with him is up for grabs unless its established beforehand what’s on and off record. Ford might contest the issue being argued here doesn’t apply since Ross’ conversation was on speaker phone with it being quite obvious to Ross that it was. From what I’m told Ford holds to the belief that he didn’t commit a crime and that he wouldn’t have stayed under the circumstances, thereby setting an ugly precedent of offended parties, on whim, knowing that they could threaten his employer with attorneys.

As you may recall, Ford and Cambria have fought tooth and nail in the past and one night debated on mainstream radio when Ed Powers hosted a midnight show on L.A.’s KLSX several years ago. Ford will admit to this day that he got his ass handed to him that night but respects Cambria as one of America’s greatest lawyers. But from the rumblings I hear, Ford’s also of the belief that Cambria wasn’t handed all the facts when AVN began making its overtures this time around.

Knowing Ford, his chief concern is whether his new boss would cut and run at the first sign of a skirmish. Before making a decision in that regard, Ford, I know, is working on finishing one book about Hollywood producers and directors in which he interviewed 100 movers and shakers in Tinseltown. Many of those interviews appeared in raw form on www.lukeford.net. And then Ford has a 240-page memoir due out about the life and times of lukeford.com when he started it in 1995 to the time he sold it. From what I gather, it’s going to be titled, XXX-Communicated: A Rebel Without a Shul.

No stranger to controversy in his lukeford.com days, Ford has been in and out of courtrooms. During the height of his run, Ford averaged at least one ceast and desist per week. He was eventually sued on three occasions. He won two of those suits, and, in the third, involving Christi Lake, Ford was forced to settle. Basically he was sanctioned by the court for refusing to reveal a source in the Lake case. Ford had said that either Lake or a woman who bore striking resemblance to Lake was in a video having sex with a member of the canine species. Ford had the video. The video was taken to video tape experts by Ford’s attorneys. The experts couldn’t determine one way or another if it was for real. But in a libel case, a reporter is almost always forced to reveal his source- a fact Ford was ignorant of at the time.

However Ford refused to reveal who the person was that supplied him with the tape in the first place. Rather than rat out on his source, Ford’s defense was struck by the judge and he was sanctioned. But rather opt for a private settlement, Ford was quite open about his losing the case.

On the other hand, Ford won his one suit against Laurie Holmes. Ford quoted from the Wadd Documentary in which it’s contended that Holmes was a hooker. Holmes sued and the case was subsequently thrown out of court with prejudice. The judge ruled that Holmes’ case had absolutely no merit. [I also understand that a similar suit against VCA’s Russ Hampshire and director Cass Paley is still very active.]

The second suit was withdrawn by Steven Michael Cohen whose claim to sex.com was eventually seen as the sham that it was. Ford had written a piece linking Cohen to international money laundering based on a European newspaper report and other sources. Cohen dropped that suit soon after he had lost his sex.com suit.

Hardly what you’d describe as a conventional or beat reporter, Ford’s biggest disappointment now is the fact that he thought he was hitting his stride in recent weeks on adultbeat, doing good work but forced to relinquish reins, at least for the moment, on the adult industry’s biggest story of the year so far.

Ford, working with a good budget, had also recruited some good writers to work on the site including a freelancer for the L.A. Times. Another writer is a best-selling author whose appeared on the L.A. Times and New York Times book lists.

Ford’s also concerned with his circumstances serving notice to the other writers on the beat to either toe party lines or risk similar fate.

It’s also quite unlikely that Ford will make an appearance on KSEX this Wednesday to mix it up with other porn site journalists. The prevailing suspicion being that he doesn’t seek the limelight quite like he used to and would opt for privacy.
 

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