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The Next Amber Lynn in the making? Nikki Benz finds adult film success

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from www.torontosun.com – A cross-border clampdown on U.S. strippers will prompt men to line up next month to see Toronto porn star Nikki Benz who has risen to the top of the North American adult film circuit.

With more than 170 movies to her name, she’s due to perform at the Penthouse Club on March 2-3 in Thorold.

Benz, 29, who grew up in Etobicoke, used to be stripper at Toronto’s Whiskey A Go Go and Brass Rail, before moving to Los Angeles to perform and direct porn flicks. She is the reigning Penthouse Pet of the Year 2011, former Pet of the Month in 2010 and a cover girl for Penthouse magazine. Only one other Canadian girl is known to have been a Penthouse Pet.

Sarnia-native Sunny Leone, 30, whose parents were born in India, was named Penthouse Pet of the Month for March 2001. Leone moved with her parents to California in her teens and has performed in 39 hard-core flicks.

Benz has racked up a long list of credits during nine years of having sex in front of cameras.

She knows the GTA well having settled in Toronto after coming from the Ukraine as a young girl and taking out Canadian citizenship.

“I am super-excited to be returning home to perform,” she said recently from Los Angeles. “I look forward to seeing all my fans who can expect a real treat.”

Benz was 21 and working as a stripper in Toronto when she entered the porn industry with the help of a U.S. adult film director.

Her career took off after she was named Pet of the Year. It led to her making more appearances at clubs across North America to represent the magazine.

“I managed to break through into some of the more mainstream work porn stars are doing these days,” she says. “Fans will be entertained and surprised when they come to my show.”’

Benz is also a large attraction among social media subscribers with an impressive 160,000 followers on Twitter.

Penthouse Club owner Simo Rudan says Benz’s career is on the rise as a “next major up-and-coming porn queen.”

“Nikki is one of the top adult stars in the world right now,” says Rudan, who is also president of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada (AEAC). “She is the next Amber Lynn (1980-90s porn icon) in the making.”

Rudan predicts his club will be packed with fans from the GTA and New York area when Benz takes the stage.

“We expect there will be thousands of people coming to catch the shows,” he says. “Look at all the business and money that these people are bringing to the Niagara Region.”

He is hoping to take Benz on a tour of GTA strip clubs as a “feature attraction.”

“It’s really hard to get major U.S. exotic dancers or adult film stars to come up here now,” Rudan says. “They are not being allowed into the country by border officials.”

He says many top U.S. sex stars are refused entry at Canadian borders due to a visa ban on foreign dancers. Most Canadian strippers are also refused entry into the U.S. because of concerns they will remain there.

The federal government shut an Exotic Dancer Visa program in 2005 that allowed dancers from other countries to work in Canada for a specified period of time. The program was stopped after former Liberal immigration minister Judy Sgro came under fire in 2004 for allowing a Romanian stripper to remain in Canada providing the woman worked on her re-election campaign.

But, Rudan says Benz is a popular and high-profile crowd favourite who won’t have issues crossing the border because she is a Canuck. He says fans want more major U.S. sex headliners to tour Canadian strip clubs.

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