James Deen Pounds MMA for Exposing Fighters to Same STD Risks as Porn Stars

Porn mogul, who’s accused of violating labor safety laws by failing to use condoms on set, claims mixed martial arts company Bellator is breaking the same rules

Last Updated: May 18, 2016 @ 5:14 PM

Porn star and producer James Deen has gotten into a bizarre dispute with California state regulators for unfairly targeting the adult entertainment industry, filing a complaint against mixed martial arts company Bellator MMA in order to prove his point.

Deen, who was recently accused of neglecting to use condoms on the sets of his adult films, is essentially arguing that the martial arts giant, and its parent company Viacom, should be subject to the same unfair scrutiny his company is facing. According to the complaint, the MMA company failed to comply with state policies aimed at preventing exposure to blood-borne pathogens.

“You can’t pick and choose how to enforce the law,” Deen said in the statement obtained by TheWrap. “Sex workers should not be held to different standards under the same regulations as their mainstream counterparts.”

Deen faces stiff fines of up to $77,875 for violating workplace safety regulations, including the failure to use condoms on set brought on by investigators at Cal/OSHA (California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health). Deen has “vigorously” denied the accusations, claiming that his performers were tested for STDs and have voluntarily chosen not to wear condoms.

“Only the adult industry is being fined and reprimanded,” Deen said in his statement. “The adult industry is being wrongfully persecuted solely because they have chosen to work in an industry that is still considered taboo.”

Investigators began looking into the condom practices of Deen’s company following a complaint by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit organization that has been a vocal critic of the porn industry.

In legal documents obtained by TheWrap, investigators found that Third Rock Enterprises, also known as James Deen Productions, “failed to make the hepatitis B vaccine and vaccination series [available] to all employees who have had occupational exposure and to make available a post-exposure evaluation and follow-up for bloodborne pathogens exposure to all employees who have had an exposure incident.”

Failure to uphold the bloodborne pathogens standard resulted in an $18,000 fine for Third Rock Enterprises.

Other serious violations included the failure to “maintain an effective injury and Illness Prevention Program,” which sparked a $21,600 fine for the company. In total, there are four violations classified as “serious,” one of which also states that the “employer failed to require the use of engineering controls [condoms] and work practice controls [condoms] … to eliminate or minimize employee exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials during the production activities associated with adult content videos or media.”

A spokesperson for the California Dept. of Industrial Relations told TheWrap in an email that “Cal/OSHA has received a complaint regarding Bellator MMA. Open investigations and the identity of complainants are confidential. Cal/OSHA will evaluate the complaint and make a determination of jurisdiction based on the facts presented.”

Neither representatives for Viacom or Deen immediately responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

This isn’t the only problem plaguing Deen in recent months. Last year, the adult film star and producer was accused of assault by nine women. Three of those accusers said the alleged assaults took place on the set of a porn film: Tori Lux, who claimed that Deen attacked her on a shoot in 2011; Amber Rayne, who claimed Deen punched her twice in the face and “brutally” sodomized her during a 2006 shoot; and Kora Peters, who said Deen ignored her refusal to perform anal sex and did so forcibly, after which the crew “all high-fived him.”

Deen has denied all allegations.