Linda Lovelace Special On Luke Ford Live
On May 8, 2001, Internet porn gossip Luke Ford and co-host Jim DiGiorgio interviewed Eric Danville about his book The Complete Linda Lovelace.
(the following slightly truncated transcript courtesy of Luke Ford)
Luke: "Next we interview Eric Danville, author of The Complete Linda Lovelace. Never has somebody assembled so much material on the Deep Throat star."
Eric: "It took three years of my life and thousands and thousands of dollars putting it all together and collecting this stuff."
Luke: "What did you think of the True Hollywood Story on Linda Lovelace?"
Eric: "It was ok. I knew what it was going to be like going into it... It was the first time I'd done a show like that. They give you a pre-interview and let you know where they want the story to go. They tell you what the questions are going to be. It was the typical Linda as victim, the same story everyone's been hearing for 20 years."
Jim: "She didn't age too well."
Eric: "She looks ok. She looks like a 52-year old Linda Lovelace. She's suffered miserably. With the liver transplant... She can't really afford to take her medication all the time. She's supposed to take two or three pills every day for life and she's lucky if she takes 15 a month."
Jim: "And they don't have an old porn star fund. It's not a business that likes to give back to its own. Some people would say that it is because there are a lot of Jews in it, but there are a lot of Jews in regular Hollywood and they give back."
Luke: "Eric, do you buy Linda's claim that she was a victim and an unwilling participant in Deep Throat and her other pornographic adventures?"
Eric: "As far as her getting beaten up and domestically abused, yeah [I believe her claims]. As far as her enjoying the sex on film, I can't possibly know that. And no one other than her and Chuck could possibly know that. It wasn't really my intentions to prove or disprove anything. I was definitely skeptical [of Linda's claims]...until I read the Screw interviews with [Gerard] Damiano and Chuck Traynor [where they talk about Chuck beating Linda]."
Luke: "But do you buy her claim that she was a victim of the pornography industry?"
Eric: "Not necessarily. I buy her claim that she was a victim of Chuck Traynor. I think she was only a victim of the pornography industry in as much as she really didn't want to do pornography and the straight media really didn't know what to do with her. As mainstream America saw her with the taint of pornography on her face. She never said that Harry Reems [Linda's Deep Throat costar] laid a hand on her, or that Damiano laid a hand on her."
Luke: "She claims that when people watch Deep Throat, they are watching her being raped. That seems ludicrous."
Eric: "That's definitely her perspective. But it makes sense. She did it unwillingly, she says. Sex against someone's will is rape so whenever they watch that movie, they're watching her being raped. It depends on whether or not you believe that she did not enjoy having the sex, which I think a lot of people in porn have a hard time believing."
Luke: "I believe she was in an abusive relationship with Chuck Traynor."
Jim: "Half the girls in porno today are in abusive relationships. Big deal. Ok, the only difference is that this movie happens to be the big crossover movie. This movie became the biggest grossing independently financed feature. If it didn't make all that money, nobody would give a shit. Because this happens all the time. I shoot porn for a living. I've had girls come on my sets with black eyes. Where do you think they got 'em? They didn't fall off their stationary bicycle while they were exercising."
Eric: "Who's come on your set with a black eye?"
Jim: "I don't want to name names. I've seen it. I've seen these suitcase pimps. Some of them are kind of abusive. I've seen their reaction when they [the girls] did a shitty scene and didn't really put themselves into it. And I can only imagine what went on after they got home. I've seen that plenty."
Eric: "It sounds like you are more on Linda's side than Luke thinks I am. In my ten years of interviewing chicks, I've never seen one with a black eye."
Jim: "You've got this suitcase pimp who's a drug addict and she's financing his drug addiction."
Eric: "There are firemen who go home and beat up their wives."
Jim: "It's a fact of life in society."
Eric: "I knew a guy who was a battered boyfriend. He was routinely beaten up by his girl."
Jim: "Luke could easily become a battered boyfriend. Because he's wimpy. If Luke got a girlfriend who started beating on him, Luke would not only take it, he would stay in the relationship. He'd just go talk about it to his therapist. He'd convince himself that he deserved it."
Luke: "I am in an abusive relationship. I have you as a co-host every week."
Jim: "I can empathize with Linda Lovelace for being in an abusive relationship but she's trying to make a career out of it."
Eric: "She was led down the wrong path a couple of times in life. You'd have to really spend some time with her..."
Jim interrupts again: "She probably sits there and goes, 'They made a movie about Ike and Tina Turner, why don't they make a movie about me and Chuck Traynor?' "
Eric: "People have been trying for 20 years. She definitely wants vindication with whatever movie gets made. A few years ago, Ron Howard was going to do a movie. I got a copy of the script and gave Linda a copy. She made it through about ten pages and she couldn't handle the dramatic license they were taking... It's the classic story of good triumphing over evil."
Jim: "But did good really triumph? Tina Turner went on to become a superstar without Ike. She didn't become anything."
Eric: "I don't think that was necessarily her fault though. Linda's been playing it [victimhood] lately only because that is the only thing that people ask her about. If anything, that would be my only true complaint about the E! True Hollywood Story thing. Whenever anyone sits her down and interviews her... And I've been doing a lot of interviews with her for this book. And I have to sit people down beforehand and say, 'If all you're looking for is to bag an interview with Linda Lovelace the victim,' that's not going to happen. What I'm into and what I spoke to her about in the back of the book is where she's at now. She's really pretty much over it. It's only when people keep bringing it up, 'Oh, wasn't it horrible what happened to you with Deep Throat,' that she gets all morbid and depressed about it. That's the only thing people really give a shit about. But if they ask her, 'What is it that gives you joy in life?' First words out of her mouth are going to be 'Oh, my grandson is the light of my life.' She has a lot more going for her than the victim mentality that people commonly see her for. Any movie that's made about her has got to show that she was victimized, but she's gotten over it."
Luke: "Do you think she was victimized? You seem to keep using this as though you believe she was?"
Jim: "I'll tell you how she was victimized. Because the movie made $300 million dollars. It continues to produce revenues today and she ain't seeing a fucking dime of it. And she's got to think about that every fricking day."
Eric: "That's part of why I'm going to heaven. In doing this book, I knew I was going to make some money off of this. When I called her up and asked her for an interview, I wanted to tell her that the book was on its way so she wouldn't be surprised. And I wanted to help her get some money. And she wanted some money to do the interview. And I told her that I don't pay for interviews. I won't do that. But I will show you ways to make money using your name. And I told her, 'I don't think there's a reason in the world that you should be ashamed of having been Linda Lovelace. Other people are making money off of the name. Still do. I'm going to. You should too.' So I've been teaching her about marketing, about personal appearances with movie memorabilia. She's done well at those events. And people come up to her absolutely loving it because they're meeting somebody famous. Not because they're meeting a porno star who's going to suck their dick. But they're meeting a legitimate pop culture icon. "And she is so gracious with everyone. Granted, most of the people come up to her and say, 'Deep Throat was the first movie I saw. And I saw it with my girlfriend. And it opened up our sex lives...' She's very happy for people. If they ask, 'Oh, is it really true? What you say.' She says, 'Yeah. I was forced to make that movie.' And she signs her autograph and they go on their way. "A large percentage of people come up to her with copies of Ordeal for her to sign. 'Oh my God, my girlfriend lived in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend and I gave her a copy of your book and she had the strength to get away from him.' So she sees people from both sides of the spectrum."
Luke: "How did you get her to talk to you?"
Eric: "It wasn't easy. I had to charm her. I sent her flowers for her birthday. When I heard that Ron Howard was going to be doing a movie, I called her up and I had gotten her number from a guy who'd worked at Arrow Video. And I introduced myself to her. I recognized her voice right away. She told me that she was her [Linda's] secretary. And I told her what I wanted. That I worked at Screw magazine. She said, 'Oh, Goldstein, huh?' I said, 'Yes, I'm being honest with you.' She gave me about ten minutes of her time. I told her what I wanted and she said that she would give Linda the message and to never call again. So I didn't call her for another year and a half until I was actually working on the book and getting to the end of it. And I realized that to complete my book, I wanted to have an exclusive interview with her. And when I told her that, she realized that I wasn't just out to trash her. And that I knew Catherine McKinnon's books, and I knew Andrea Dworkin's books. She said that I'd caught her on a good night. She said that she wanted to meet me in person and see what I was about. I flew out to her a couple of months later. I met her. I told her what I wanted to do with the book, the marketing and all that. About a month after that, she gave me about two-and-a-half hours of her time and I got the interview."
Jim: "Didn't she go on a religious trip for a while?"
Eric: "No, no, not really. There are a lot of things that people think that they know about Linda like she's a born again. She wasn't born again. She's always been pretty religious. She didn't have a double masectomy. She had a liver transplant. But she didn't go on a holler roller trip."
Jim: "I think she should make a comeback movie."
Eric: "That's probably not going to happen any time soon. She's been offered a lot of money to do that."
Jim: "Nobody's doing anything with the domain name LindaLovelace.com."
Eric: "But it takes a lot of money and a time investment. She would definitely win a case like that."
Luke: "Eric, why didn't you do a conventional journalistic evaluation of the truth of her claims [of victimhood]?"
Eric: "It's more like a pop culture book and the beginning part looks at the way the media looks at her. And I am much more into the pop culture aspect of things, like collecting... The chapters on songs about her. But as far as [conventional journalism], I would have to talk to a lot of people to make it credible. And Al Goldstein wouldn't talk to me. [Gerard] Damiano wouldn't talk to me. And when I couldn't get the two of them, I decided I didn't need to talk to anyone other than Linda. There are only about ten people who really really know the story anyway."
Luke: "Do you leave [Screw magazine] on good terms with Al Goldstein?"
Jim: "Did you get tired of all the Jew jokes while you were there?"
Eric: "No. I was writing some of the best of them."
Jim: "Are you Jewish?"
Eric: "No. I was the token goy with all my friends in high school and college."
Jim: "Then you worked for Penthouse. Is it better working for guineas or for Jews?"
Eric: "It's better working for guineas."
Jim: "Eric, do you read Luke's web site?"
Eric: "Daily. I think it's interesting cross between almost daily serious journalism and performance art. Sometimes when I cannot take it seriously. And there are other times when he brings up legitimate issues. I'm interested that he's got such a hardon for the Mafia and the guys at Crescent. The online billing issues - I don't have an interest in. I don't like a lot of what he [Luke] stands for... What he's doing is actually very smart. He's subverting something from the inside. And that I have a lot of respect for. I don't agree with a lot of his attitudes."
Jim: "Would it surprise you to find out that he's not taken seriously enough to subvert anything? Because in the four years of Luke Ford in the porn business, basically nothing's changed. And he has impacted nothing. When he started out, he pissed a few people off. But then people stopped taking him serious. He hasn't had a good scoop in two years. The only thing he ever scooped was the Marc Wallice thing. That's his one claim to fame. When he dies, they're going to write his obituary and just put two words down - Marc Wallice. We had a professor on earlier who wrote on erotica in literature in the 1920s and '30s, which Luke thought would be a fascinating subject for the group that listens to this show. Luke is really a pathetic human being. He has twelve different diseases though no army of doctors can convince him that he doesn't have. His hovel is a converted garage. He doesn't go anywhere. He doesn't date."
Eric: "He won't go down on chicks."
Jim: "No, he won't. He's got vagina-phobia. Everytime he meets a new porn girl and there's talk that maybe they will go on a date. I ask them up front if it is going to be a problem that Luke is afraid of her vagina. He ain't gonna get his face anywhere down there. And the girl always at first says no, but upon further investigation, she knows there's a problem. Luke and Linda Lovelace would make a great couple. They're both martyrs."
Eric: "One thing that Linda has in common with the mainstream porno community now is that she is not too big on Luke Ford."
Jim: "So there's not too big of a chance that we will get Linda on the phone?"
Eric: "Doubtful. I didn't even tell her that I am doing it. Linda was real pissed off when she found out that Chuck Traynor was going to be on E! True Hollywood Story. Way pissed. Because the producer had allegedly told Linda that he wasn't going to try to get Traynor for the show. They finished up their interview [E!'s interview with Linda] and then, 'Oh, by the way. We're flying to go see Chuck.' I understood why he had to have Chuck on the show. But Linda didn't. She's not a writer. She wouldn't understand."
Luke asks Eric Danville: "Do you believe that Linda Lovelace was coerced to do that doggie video or do you think she did it voluntarily?"
Eric: "I had a conversation with her one night when we were talking about what was going to be in the book... When I first told her about the book, the only thing... She never asked to see it before I finished it. She never asked for any sort of approval. The only thing she ever asked for me to do was to not print the picture of her and the dog. "I had no intention of putting that picture in anyway. I also told her that I would not mention her maiden last name in the book. And her maiden last name is nowhere in this book and neither is the name of her kid."
Luke says: Linda's maiden name is Boreman and I did find it in the book, in the testimony section.
Eric says: I straightened that out with her beforehand and my mistake was mentioning it on the show.
Luke: "Eric, do you believe that Linda did the dog voluntarily or was she coerced?"
Eric: "We got into a big conversation one night about what was going to be in the book. I told her it was going to be everything, all her 8mm films. She said, 'All of them?' And I knew what she meant. And I said, 'I have to mention that. One, because I'm a journalist. Two, working in this industry where everyone knows about it. It's the one thing that everyone knows about you.' So we started talking about it. And she broke down into tears. I have not seen a person cry like that. It was amazing. If that is any indication of whether she did it voluntarily, I would have to say no. But I can't know that. But it affected her very deeply and it affected her very deeply and very badly."
Luke: "Her tears are no indication of anything."
Eric: "There were two of them. One was called "Dog One," and "Dog Fucker.""
Luke: "Eric, how many of your punches did you have to pull to get Linda's cooperation with this book?"
Eric: "None. She never asked to see any of it beforehand."
Jim: "Eric expressly said that she [Linda Lovelace] don't like you."
Eric: "She saw you on E! True Hollywood Story. And that's what I meant in my email."
Luke reads an e-mail Eric wrote toLuke: "dude, let's see if you know the meaning of these three words: NOT FOR PUBLICATION! you show up on E! knowing full well that you know nothing about linda. you acknowledge everyone else on the show but me. and you swipe my interview for your site to make it seem like you DO know something about linda. would it KILL you to put a link to my site, or am i too much competition for you? eric davnille, author, The Complete Linda Lovelace."
Eric: "He [Luke] was totally magnanimous. By the time I got home, there was a link to my site."
Luke: "I was upset. He dissed me. And I've been nice to him. What did Linda say about my appearance on E!?"
Eric: "You were talking about her spiral of drug abuse and this that and the other. And what she was like in high school. And you've never met her. And you come across on this show like you've done all this heavy duty research. And I know exactly where you got every quote in your profile on her. You got the phrase "haggard hound" from Jim Holliday's bok Only The Best where he's is wrong about what year they came out and how they're not available on videotape. All those movies are available on videotape. That's how I got them. The dog movie is the most circulated one of them all."
Luke: "I interviewed Jim Holliday on this. He talked to all five people on that dog movie. I've also interviewed Eric Edwards and people who worked with her in New York in the early '70s."
Eric: "She only did eight [8mm] movies. The only two guys she fucked on film in those 8mm movies were Eric Edwards and Chuck Traynor. And the three chicks were Eric Edwards' wife, Joyce, and Cricket, some chick they picked up."
Jim: "Eric tried to come back as a director recently and it didn't go too well for him."
Luke: "Nobody can back up this woman's claims that guns were put to head to make her do pornography."
Eric: "Gloria Leonard ought to listen to this part of the archives. I've known a couple of chicks who've been in relationships like that. I went out with a girl in high school who went out with a guy who did a lot of the same things that Traynor did to Linda. It doesn't happen in front of people. It happens when they're alone. He's not going to beat the shit out of her in front of a whole bunch of people and literally putting a gun up to her head. That takes place when they're alone and he can instill that fear into her and yeah, I believe that's what he did."
Eric says: (Click here for my response to Gloria Leonards post that appeared on lukeford.com shortly after the E! True Hollywood Story aired.)
Luke: "Yeah, I believe he knocked her around. Everyone believes she was knocked around. The main point is, was she coerced, with a gun put to her head, to make Deep Throat and these pornographic movies."
Eric: "People take the phrase, 'Gun to the head,' a little too literally."
Luke: "She chose to be in a sado-masochistic relationship like many girls."
Eric: "When it comes to a point that a woman doesn't want to be in that relationship, it's not always very easy to get out of it. Nicole Simpson is a very good example of that. The girl I went out with in college was a very good example of that. She was scared of getting away from the guy because she knew that he would just follow her whereever she went. He followed her down to our college one time and he was sitting in the lobby waiting for her. It can take two-and-a-half years to get away from someone like that."
Luke: "It doesn't take two-and-a-half years. It takes a little self drive and discipline to make a phone call."
Eric: "By the time you realize that you're into a relationship like that, and that you're not really into it, every bit of self esteem and courage that you have has been beaten out of you. My girlfriend told me that she was walking down the street with this guy. And she's standing on curb side. A truck is coming along. He pushes her in front of the truck but holds on to her jacket and pulls her back. And she was like, 'Why don't you just get it over with? Just fucking do it.' And that affected me. She was also the chick I was with when I saw Deep Throat for the first time. "It was very odd. Then when I started reading more of Linda's interviews and interviews with people around her, I started thinking more about that. Maybe there is something to this. I think that a lot of people in the adult business have a problem with her because she implicates everybody in the business, even 30 years down the line, with what happened to her. Which is not the case at all."
Jim: "That's just a bitter woman."
Luke: "Eric, you know this woman Linda Lovelace better than any other adult journalist. How much credibility do you give her?"
Eric: "I give her a lot of credence. She could've kept on making movies. She was the biggest thing in porn at that time. She could've been like Annie Sprinkle and kept on going for 20 years. She did the second version of Deep Throat and got out of it. There was no amount of money that would keep her in the business."
Jim: "Eric, did you get to know Linda in a Biblical sense?"
Eric: "No. I don't have sex anymore. I'm married."
Jim: "Is she sexy?"
Eric: "That's the weird thing. She is really sexy in person. She smells really nice."
Jim: "Luke believes that to be a true journalist, you have to know your subjects from the inside out. Eric, does she own a dog?"
Eric: "No. When I finally found her in the airport, and she took me back to her apartment. I was sitting next to and she's 51 years old. And I'm thinking, 'This is Linda Lovelace. This is really bizarre.' And the thing I was thinking most of the time was, 'This chick can suck a really big dick and get them all the way down.' The whole time I've been dealing with her, I've been dealing with Linda, and not Linda Lovelace. "The first time I saw Linda Lovelace come out was when she did the shoot for Leg Show magazine. She's posing and all done up in really nice evening gowns and corsets and crap like that. And there was a point where the photographer tells her to do something with her hands and she just starts voguing. And I go, 'Oh my God, turn a camera on the chick and she becomes Linda Lovelace.'"
Jim: "They don't forget how to do that. It's like riding a bicycle. A couple of years ago, a friend asked me to supervise an ADR session (Dialogue Replacement) for Highlander. And the actress was Traci Lords. And part of the ADR session was that she had to breathe heavy into the microphone. I almost had to excuse myself and leave the room. She got into that breathing and it was almost like it was a porn set."
Eric: "Traci just did an autographing session out here at the end of March and I hear that she was just a real cunt."
Jim: "She was great with me. I talked to her for about 20 minutes. I didn't tell her about what I really do for a living. But I did hear from other people that she could not be so sweet."
Eric: "I heard that she was really rude to the fans."
Jim: "Do you think that Linda is a lonely person?"
Eric: "Yeah. She has very few friends who are genuine friends. It's sad to see. I've spoken to several of her friends. When she moved into her apartment complex, she didn't go up to people and say, 'I used to be Linda Lovelace.' She didn't tell anyone that. When people eventually found out, they would pull her aside... And they'd be incredulous. Because she's a very sweet lady. She's not what you'd think - a bitter grizzled ex-porn chick, especially with the reputation she's got."
Luke: "Eric, how many porn stars have you had sex with?"
Luke: "Did they shoot Deep Throat 2 as hardcore?"
Eric: "Yes, they [Bryanston Films and Damiano Films] shot it as hardcore and then they edited it down to R. And most of the footage disappeared and somebody told me that the guy who allegedly stole it was dealt with [killed]."