In this episode of The Scarlet Letter Reports, I sit down with adult film star Brett Rossi who, in 2015, filed a domestic violence lawsuit against her former fiancé, celebrity actor Charlie Sheen.
At the time, Brett’s allegations weren’t taken seriously by the media or the public. Instead, it became a battle of he said, she said. Although Sheen already had already been accused of abusing women in the past, it was Brett’s credibility that was called into question. Why? Because she works in the sex industry.
Tabloids labeled her the “porn star girlfriend” and treated her as little more than a gaff of the ever-lovable Charlie Sheen. “I am once again an invisible entity,” she said, remembering how she was cast by the media at the time, and how that impacted how she saw herself. “I am a ‘porn star,’ a ‘sex symbol,’ I’m ‘disgusting,’ I’m ‘pathetic.’ When you hear people tell you what you are every single day, you just start to believe it.”
While I was on trial for a crime I did not commit, just being a normally sexually active female was enough for prosecutors and the tabloids to strip me of credibility and value. So I have an inkling of what Brett has faced, trying to maintain her credibility while working in the legal sex industry. We live in a world where as many as one in three women in the US experience domestic violence in their lifetime—a world where women are more likely to be killed by the men they sleep with than by all other types of assailants combined. Why is it so hard for society to believe that a porn star could be one of these victims?
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