Lara Roxx Interview
She calls me from Montreal Wednesday, February 23, 2005.
Last April, Lara (lararoxx at yahoo dot com) caught HIV from Darren James on a T.T. Boy set. T.T. was subsequently fined by CAL-OHSA for unsafe health practices. Darren refused to talk about what happened. Lara returned home to Montreal. For a few weeks, she was a media celebrity, featured in newspapers and newscasts around the world.
Lara, speaking with a French Canadian accent: "I hear that you are a journalist who specializes in covering scandals in the porn industry?"
Lara: "Did you cover my story when it happened?"
Luke: "Yeah. Did they release the scene where you caught the deadly disease?"
Lara: "I don't know."
Luke: "What did you think about the questions Kristian Gravenor was asking you?"
Lara: "He was asking me about rumors me trying to escort? First, I was insulted by him asking him that question. I heard this one rumor about a girl who bought a picture of me to advertise herself. Apparently that started the rumors."
Luke: "You are saying that there is absolutely no truth to those rumors?"
Lara assents. "I went to this organization that works with sex workers. They say that in India, ten years ago, that out of 60,000 sex workers, 70% of them have AIDS. People here went over there and started an organization for the prostitutes and everything and now in ten years, it went down in ten years from 70% to 7%.
"There are a lot of sex workers that have HIV, like all over the world."
Lara: "Not really good. I think it would be kind of perverted. If people knew about it and were still buying it, it would be kinda creepy."
Luke: "But as you well know, many of the people who work in this industry, and buy the products of this industry, are creepy."
Lara: "Yeah. For sure."
Luke: "It would be no surprise that they would do something creepy?"
Lara: "Right. If I were to be in court for any reason, and the judge finds out that they released that movie, I don't think he's going to sympathize with them."
Luke: "Did you file suit against T.T. Boy yet?"
Lara: "Not yet."
Luke: "Have you filed any lawsuit as yet?"
Lara: "Not yet."
Luke: "But you have a lawyer?"
Lara: "Right. Right now I'm concentrating on finding out what I can do about cybersquatting."
Luke: "People taking your name?"
Lara: "And image on the internet to make money. My lawyer is going to call me when she feels that she has enough information to do something."
Luke: "Do you own lararoxx.com?"
Lara: "No. I own lararoxxx.com. It's not online.
"[According to Dugmor, lararoxx.com] is owned by the Porn Mafia Familia. And they want to silence me for $5,000. I could bring them to court for profit, but when I asked them to redirect my name to a website that would answer questions about HIV and AIDS, they did, so I can't really do anything about it."
Dugmor writes: "As her request months ago her site [lararoxx.com] is directed to: www.aids.org."
Lara: "Dugmore bought lauraroxx.com. There's a picture of me saying, thanks for supporting me."
"It's a picture of me with no make-up. I look like s---. I'm waiting for my results. That picture sucks too, eh?"
Luke: "Yeah. It's really sad."
Lara: "I don't even get 50%. I get zero percent."
"He's using it like he's hosting all these girls..."
Luke: "I thought he was raising money for you?"
Lara: "I thought so too. He called me and asked me if I wanted to go 50/50 with him on the website. When I said, ok, sure, but I don't want to do anything nude anymore. He said, uh, let me call you back. And he never did.
"A couple of weeks later, I go on the Internet and find out that he did it without me."
Luke: "What about all these times on there to chat with you?"
Lara: "I don't know what they do about that. Is it him telling people that he's me?
"I found a site that says, 'Give $20 for Lara Roxx.'"
Luke: "Who legitimately has raised money to help you?"
Lara: "No one."
Luke: "So anyone out there who says they're helping is lying?"
Lara: "Exactly. The only way you can give me money is if you write me an email.
"Last year, I tried to start a foundation and found out it was way more complicated... Those people [with a sex worker foundation] say there are foundations that are already existed...that are looking for a fresh image and they would be willing to associate themselves with me. I would get a salary for being the image of the company."
Luke: "Did anyone in the industry help you?"
Lara: "This porn star Savannah sent me $500. And this guy who is not in the porn industry sent me $20."
Luke: "What about T.T. Boy?"
Lara: "T.T. Boy didn't give me s---."
Luke: "Darren James?"
Lara: "No. I went through a lot of phases with Darren James. I was really pissed at him. Then I gave him the benefit of the doubt and said, maybe he didn't know. So I kinda feel sorry for him. He's in the same situation as me. Hopefully T.T. Boy helped him out.
"I left [Darren] a bunch of messages. The first message was like, I'm going to kill you. The second message was ok, I won't kill you, but I really need to talk to you. The next message was like, I'm really sorry for saying I was going to kill you. Don't worry. Nothing's going to happen. I know we weren't really friends, but if there's a time when we should become friends it's now.
"He never called me back.
"I called two days ago and his line is disconnected.
"I think that when he disappeared, he was in a sanitarium."
Lara doesn't stay in touch with anyone from the LA porn industry. "I spoke to Tim [Connelly], the guy who runs AVN, a couple of times.
"I used to speak with Rayvenness but she said to me, are you going to bring T.T. Boy to justice? I said, I might. She said, well, call me back when it's over. Like, I don't want to have anything to do with less because I might get less jobs.
"I'm like, yes, sure, I'm going to call you back when it's over. Expect my call."
Luke: "What do you think of the job AIM (Adult Industry Medicine) did for you?"
Lara: "I don't think they are trained to deal with a person who just had the news that they are HIV-positive. She [Sharon Mitchell] was trying to rush me to medication without me knowing anything about it. She promising me all kinds of stuff that she found out she couldn't get me."
Luke: "Was that the first time you had done double anal?"
Lara: "Yeah. First and last."
Luke: "You were in a financially desperate position at the time?"
Lara: "I wasn't really financially desperate. My computer just got stolen [in Montreal] and so did my camcorder. I was living in my mom's place and I really wanted to move out.I was trying to get the cash down on a condo and cash down on a car. I was looking to make $50,000 in three months as opposed to $10,000 in three months in Quebec [the province containing Montreal]."
Luke: "That's why you came to Los Angeles?"
Lara: "Yeah. I wasn't desperate."
Luke: "Didn't you catch some STD prior to your scene with Darren James?"
Lara: "No. One time when I was 16 and I had just started having sex, I had chlamydia.
"I had all kinds of symptoms for HIV the day after Darren. That rash. Then a couple of days later, I woke up and I had a rash in my face. After that, I was feverish. I had sweats. I wasn't hungry. After reading pamphlets, I found out they were all symptoms. I thought I had mono[nucleosis].
"Most people when they catch HIV and they have symptoms, they all think they catched mono.
"I trusted the testing so much I thought it had to be mono."
Luke: "How did you handle all the media attention?"
Lara: "At first, I didn't want to have anything to do with the media. Then I figured that if I weren't going to say anything, they were just going to say the information they had. It might not be the right information. Then I started recording interviews. I wasn't prepared. I should've read a media survival guide."
Luke: "So you are back living with your mother?"
Lara: "Yes, unfortunately. She was telling me that in two years she's kicking me out. I'll have enough time in two years to get cash down on a condo for a job that's $11 an hour. Customer service over the telephone. In French and English."
Luke: "I read that you were writing rap music?"
Lara: "I was writing a lot of rap music at the time. I let it go. I had a lot of rage. I had to put it all down on paper to take it out of my brain. This music manager wanted to produce my CD. I was interested. Then she started talking about percentages. She wanted 60%. I said, forget it.
"Most of my songs were in English. She wanted to translate them all to French and put only two English songs on the CD. I wanted it twelve English songs and two French songs.
"I don't want to do that anymore.
"One person who owns the clothes company Karves does a fashion show every year for HIV organizations. He asked me last year if I wanted to be part of the fashion show. I wasn't ready then but if they ask me again, I would do it.
"I think I'll advertise myself on the Internet as a model. I'm willing to do nude pictures now. Nothing sexual. There are ladies over 50 who pose nude for this calendar every year for cancer."
Luke: "How's your health?"
Luke: "Do you feel as good as you did a year ago?"
Lara: "Better. I'm going to start medication soon. You have to check all the pros and cons because there are a lot of side-effects. Someone who is external to the situation can know you have AIDS from the side-effects."
Luke: "What are dating and relationships like?"
Lara: "For a year, I didn't have any libido.
"I grabbed a one-night stand in a club two months after it happened just to prove myself that it wasn't on my forehead. That I was still attractive and that I could still get any guy I want.
"Now it's going back to normal. This weekend I met three guys. Before it happened, I used to meet three different guys a week."
Luke: "When you had the one-night stand, did the guy use a condom?"
Lara: "For sure. I wouldn't have let him have sex with me if he didn't want to wear a condom."
I can tell Lara's smoking while we talk.
Lara: "This other guy I met after. I told him I wasn't ready to have sex with him. I told him I was HIV-positive. He said I don't care. When you're ready, I don't want to wear a condom with you. I'm like, you're crazy man. If you want to kill yourself, it's not my problem. I'm not going to help you kill yourself.
"In the States, different states have different laws. But in Canada, you don't have to tell people you are HIV-positive, but you've got to make sure they're protected."
Luke: "The guy you slept with in the one night stand, did you tell him you were HIV-positive before you had sex?"
Lara: "I don't want to answer that. But no, I didn't. This guy who has been working with people who are HIV-positive since 1989 told me that I didn't have to tell people I was HIV-positive. I just had to make sure that they were protected, whether it was high risk or low. Even if I do a blowjob, I should put a condom on the guy. If he knows, then I don't really have to.
"I tried to have sex with my ex-boyfriend. I did a blowjob, whatever. The next day he called this info for sexually transmitted diseases, and he said what happened, and he said, should I go to the hospital and get therapy? And the lady was like, shut up. OK, I'm not going to laugh at you but I feel like it.
"It's better for me too to put a condom on the guy because if he has herpes or anything and I catch it, it's going to accelerate the processes of the disease in my body."
Luke: "How do you decide when you are going to tell a guy?"
Lara: "If I meet a guy that I really like, I won't sleep with him for a while. When I am sure that he likes me too for who I am, then I'll tell him and it will be his choice whether to continue the relationship with me or not."
Luke: "Do you get recognized much from your media appearances?"
Lara: "No. People that saw me on TV or in the newspapers say, I know I saw you somewhere. I don't know where. I know I've never met those people but I'm like, yeah, I remember you from somewhere too."
Luke: "You weren't able to use all the fame you received to make money?"
Lara: "No, but people are approaching me now... These guys are starting a [porn] website and they want me to be the host. 'Hey, this is Jenna and she'll be having sex with Lem. I met them at a library. They said they'd be willing to do it in front of a camera.'"
Luke: "Are you staying in good shape? Are you exercising?"
Lara: "I was never really exercising. I'm lucky. I'm in normal shape. I have a bigger stomach. I got fatter."
Lara Roxx Update