Inside Ron Jeremy Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Last June, a woman named Ginger Banks posted a YouTube video that circulated widely among those in the adult entertainment industry. In it, Banks, dressed down in a topknot and spectacles, calmly addresses the camera as her dog sleeps in the background: "There have been allegations of rape and sexual assault against Ron Jeremy," she says, her hands folded on her lap.
In the 10-minute clip – which amassed more than 50,000 views – Banks compiles allegations against Jeremy from all corners of the adult-industry Internet, including stories of everything from indecent exposure, nonconsensual digital penetration and rape. "He tried to forcefully kiss me on the lips and he grabbed my ass," one woman wrote on Twitter. "He slipped his fingers into my panties under my panties and into my vagina #notokay," another tweeted.
A 40-year porn veteran, Jeremy, 64, did not achieve fame due to his good looks; with his hirsute, fleshy physique, stringy hair and unkempt mustache, he easily earned his nickname, the Hedgehog. He immediately achieved notoriety for his stamina, his ability to perform on command, and not least of all his prodigious, nine and three-quarter-inch member. Since then, he has made cameos in countless mainstream shows and movies like Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and Detroit Rock City, as well as any number of late-night B-movies. He has also appeared in dozens of music videos – donning a gold chain and orange tan in LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" – and has been name-dropped in everything from the Netflix series Big Mouth to Sublime's paean to hand jobs, "Caress Me Down."
"He's an avatar of a regular guy," says Nina Hartley, a porn performer and director who has known Jeremy for more than 30 years. "The average porn viewer looks at him and thinks, 'If a guy like Ron Jeremy can get laid, there's hope for me.'"
For this reason, Jeremy has a reputation as an elder statesman of porn – a goofy, almost family-friendly totem of an industry that is often dismissed. Yet many women inside the industry claim his presence is far more sinister than that. Rolling Stone spoke with more than a dozen women both on and off the record who made such claims against Jeremy, alleging that the famous porn star violated their boundaries, taking advantage of both his status as an industry legend and their status as sex workers as grounds to flout the basic rules of consent.
"People expect this from him. If I went and got mad on Twitter, people would say, 'That's Ron,'" says adult performer Kendra Sunderland. She alleges that Jeremy sucked her breast without her consent at a Dallas expo in 2015. "But if I said a fan did it, they'd say 'That's not OK, that's crossing a line.'"
"He doesn't hear no," says former performer Jennifer Steele. She alleges that Jeremy raped her twice, once at a photoshoot and once at his apartment, in December 1997. "He just kinda keeps going and pretends like you didn't say anything."