ALate actress Aria Lee has decided to act as her own lawyer in a $ 10 million lawsuit filed against her by porn director Craven Moorehead. In a December 18 court file first reported by Page Six, Lee, 20, wrote that she would represent “en pro par” – the legal term meaning “for oneself.”
Lee’s filing came in response to a libel lawsuit filed against her in September by Moorehead. In her complaint, the manager described a video Lee shared on Twitter over the summer in which she alleged he sexually assaulted her twice.
In the video, Lee read a letter she said was sent to the pornographic publication Adult Video News by an “anonymous person” unknown to her. (Lee does not say she wrote the letter, but claims that she “did not tell anyone except AVN.”) The letter alleged, and Lee appeared to be claiming, that in October 2019, Moorehead l was forced to perform oral sex on him in the bathroom on a film set, and a similar “attack” occurred on another film set two months later.
Lee alleged in an interview with AVN that she asked Moorehead where the bathroom was during a lunch break when things went south. “He was like, ‘Sure I’ll go with you up there, this place is confusing.’ He was nice. I thought he was a good director, ”Lee told the adult publication. “And he takes me to the bathroom, as I close the door, he rushes in, pushes the door closed, pushes me on my knees, pulls out his cock then makes me suck his cock … And he just came out and said acted like nothing had happened. The allegations were then reported by Vice motherboard and XBIZ.
“There is a cover-up in Gamma,” the letter read, according to a transcript provided in the original complaint, “porn artist Aria Lee accused Craven Moorehead of raping her on set on October 11, 2019 … when she intervened. eager to tell Gamma his story, they did nothing … there were two other incidents where Craven was charged with assault or rape and the company did nothing [sic]. “
Moorehead denies the allegations, which the complaint describes as “false and defamatory”. The director claimed to have been fired from the group Gamma Films, with which he had signed a contract, and “exposed to public contempt, ridicule, shame, shame and humiliation”. The case sought general and compensatory damages “in an amount of at least $ 10,000,000”.
After the video was released in June, Gamma released a statement claiming that it had been made aware of the allegations in January 2020 and had conducted an independent investigation. “The conclusion of this investigation,” the company wrote, cited in the file, “was that it had been impossible to validate the veracity of the allegations in question.” Three days later, the company amended its statement in a comment to Motherboard, to note that it had received “additional information” about the allegations and decided to “sever ties” with Moorehead.
“The initial video came amid a string of allegations of sexual abuse in the adult industry.“
In her self-written response to Moorehead’s lawsuit, Lee wrote that she “denies broadly and specifically, singularly and conjunctively, every allegation in the complaint and every cause of action contained therein.” She claimed that Moorehead and her production company, Black Wings Media, Inc., “failed to present sufficient facts to constitute a cause of action against her” and that because the content of the video was truthfully, that did not constitute defamation. As a result of Moorehead’s conduct, she wrote in her response, the director and her company had “waived any claims they might have” against her.
Moorehead, a prolific adult director who was inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame in 2015, has made some 377 adult films. He runs porn production company Black Wing, Inc. Lee was named AVN’s “Best New Starlet” in 2015.
The initial video came amid a string of allegations of sexual abuse in the adult industry. Ten women came to the Daily Beast detailing a slew of sexual misconduct and abuse accusations against director and porn artist Ryan Madison (he denies the allegations), while a Motherboard article revealed allegations of abuse of Motley Models chairman Dave Rock (he released a statement alleging it was “consensual sex”) and Moorehead. Porn legend Ron Jeremy, meanwhile, is currently accused of assaulting 23 women between 1996 and 2020.
Lee also pointed out that Moorehead’s attorney did not refer to either party by their legal names in his initial filing, but did use their stage names. Failure to identify the appropriate plaintiff and defendant, she argued, disqualified them.
“We hope to prove what she said was wrong,” said Robert Hantman, Moorehead’s New York attorney. “I have no reason to respect her less as a person, except that we believe what she alleged was wrong.”
Lee did not respond to multiple requests for comment. “We should not be exploited on the set we work for,” she said in the video. “We should not.”
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