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A gay porn star is being sued for £60,000 in libel damages after accusing an adult industry media mogul of being a ‘rapist’ on Twitter.
Adult actor turned pop singer Mickey Taylor, whose real name is Marcus Stones, was sued by industry boss Dominic Ford, whose real name is Jack Aaronson, after he posted a series of tweets in June 2020 that he says Aaronson, accused him of having “raped models”.
One of the tweets read: “Using your power as a figurehead in the industry to extort money from models and blackmail them into having **** is UNACCEPTABLE!”
American businessman Aaronson denies any wrongdoing and accused Stones of making “toxic” and “deliberately false to harm him” accusations on Twitter and in a video interview on YouTube.
He is seeking an injunction barring further charges from being made, as well as damages of up to £60,000.
Manchester-based Stones agreed the tweets accused Aaronson of being a rapist, but told a London High Court judge that he stands behind his online posts, saying he felt he had to speak out because the claims of abuse by sex workers are often laughed at. turned off’ when reported to the authorities.
He told Judge Johnson that he will present “truth” and “public interest” defenses to support his tweets at trail.
Aaronson also worked in the porn industry before launching the Just For Fans website, which connects porn stars directly with viewers, in 2018.
The success of the move led to him being nominated for XBiz Entrepreneur of the Year in 2022.
Under the pseudonym Dominic Ford, Mr. Aaronson forged a career as one of the most successful gay porn stars, as well as running his own porn studio for almost a decade.
In 2018, he launched his website, which allows users to follow and chat with their favorite pornstars and access exclusive videos and photos for a monthly fee, with the platform taking a cut of the profits.
The businessman issued his defamation lawsuit in April last year following comments made by Stones on the Twitter account that had 17,000 followers, and in a video on a YouTube channel with 192,000 subscribers.
Stones had insisted that the stories of alleged victims “should be heard,” that the people he had spoken to were not “the only victims” and said that he “will not back down,” the attorney added.
At a pre-trial hearing, Stones, of Belle Vue, Manchester, agreed that the tweets, which have since been deleted and the account closed, accused Aaronson of “being a rapist”.
He told the judge, Judge Johnson: ‘From information provided to me by outside sources, I believe that these individuals were *** assaulted.
‘In the sex worker industry, we have to stand up for ourselves and make our voices heard publicly.
“In many cases, when sex workers report attacks to the police, they often laugh because we cannot be *** assaulted because we are *** workers.
Isn’t this a case of public interest? We have to publicly take care of each other.’
The judge told him: ‘You accept that you wrote the tweets. The claimant says that they mean that he is a rapist. He agrees with the meaning of the claimant. The meaning of the tweets is not discussed.
“There is really only one defense and that is the truth: that the meaning of the tweets that the whistleblower is a rapist is true.
“If he claims that someone is a rapist, he has a right to know the details so that he can respond to the accusation.”
In court documents, Aaronson’s attorney, Gervase De Wilde, says the allegations in the tweets and video are “toxic and very damaging to reputation.”
Mr De Wilde said one of the tweets “meant and would be understood to mean that the plaintiff had abused his position in the adult entertainment industry for the purpose of raping models,” while another “meant and would be understood to mean that the plaintiff was a serial rapist’.
He said: ‘The defendant has publicly admitted on the defendant’s Twitter account that he cannot substantiate the allegations on the tweets, but he has nonetheless refused reasonable requests to withdraw and apologize for them.
“Because of Defendant’s posting of the tweets and YouTube video, Plaintiff has suffered severe discomfort, humiliation, pain, and anguish.
“In response to correspondence from plaintiff’s attorneys and in reference to plaintiff’s threatened lawsuit, (defendant) posted more tweets … in which he reiterated his refusal to apologize and said he did not I would back down.”
Mr De Wilde told the judge that Mr Aaronson “wants vindication in relation to the false rape allegations”, adding that “all remedies sought go to him to restore his good name”.
“The defendant deliberately made false accusations to harm him after the parties fell out over access to a website,” he said.
‘The defendant says in his defense that he is sharing the story of a victim and that his posts are a matter of opinion. But the underlying accusation is fact, not comments.
‘It seems obvious that the defamatory meaning is that the paintiff is a rapist.
‘The defense of making the statement in the public interest would only work if the defendant could show that he had taken steps in line with responsible journalism, including approaching the plaintiff and giving him the opportunity to present his side of the story in the interest of the balance .
The value of the claim for damages set out in the claim form is currently limited to £60,000.
The case will return to court at a later date after the judge granted 28 days for it to amend and present a defense, plus another 28 days for a response from the plaintiff.
- Mickey Taylor, real name Marcus Stones, has been sued by Dominic Ford, whose real name is Jack Aaronson, for a series of tweets he posted in June 2020
- Mr Aaronson, seeking damages of £60,000, said the tweets accused him of rape
- But Manchester-based Mr Stones told High Court he stands by his online posts
- Mr Aaronson also worked in the adult industry before launching website in 2018