A Democratic donor you probably haven’t heard of was arrested Tuesday night after yet another man overdosed in his LA apartment, boosting allegations that the wealthy 65-year-old is a sexual predator potentially engaged in a dangerous chemsex scene.
Ed Buck, who’s also a prominent LGBT activist, has recently been the subject of conspiracies and outrage since two men overdosed and died at his home in the past two years. He’s been accused of engaging in a much-fetishized chemsex scene from at least July 2017 to January 2019 where he injected partners — primarily black men, drug users, or homeless individuals he picked up around LA — with large doses of drugs.
“From his home, in a position of power, Buck manipulates his victims into participating in his sexual fetishes,” prosecutors wrote in court documents seen by the Los Angeles Times. “These fetishes include supplying and personally administering dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims.”
That came to an apparent end Tuesday, when Buck was charged with battery, maintaining a drug house, and administering methamphetamines, according to the Washington Post. The charges stem from the 37-year-old man Buck allegedly gave meth to last week, causing a non-fatal overdose.
Investigators are still probing the two deaths in his West Hollywood home.
His bond has been set at $4 million, and he’s set to be arraigned Wednesday morning. If found guilty of the charges against him, Buck could face up to nearly six years in prison.
“I remain deeply concerned for the safety of people whose life circumstances may make them more vulnerable to criminal predators,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a news release Tuesday.
Here’s what you need to know:
Who is Ed Buck?
Buck is a well-known activist and donor to Democrats, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He’s donated about $116,000 to various candidates in the past decade, according to the New York Times.
He also previously served on the Stonewall Democratic Club’s steering committee, but his influence began to fade amid outrage over the black men who mysteriously perished in his home. He’s also a former model, animal rights activist, actor, and businessman.
Who else died in his home, and why wasn’t he charged earlier?
Two black men, Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean, died of methamphetamine overdoses at Buck’s home, but prosecutors had previously said there wasn’t enough evidence to file charges against him, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Moore, 26, died in July 2017 and was found naked on a mattress in Buck’s home. The death was ruled an accident, although Moore was in a living room littered with syringes and sex toys. Moore once wrote in his journal, seen by the Times, that he had “become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that. Ed Buck is the one to thank. He gave me my first injection of chrystal meth.”
Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Buck in February.
“There's a larger story there that people aren't looking at,” Ashlee Marie Preston, a transgender activist and former board member of the Stonewall Democratic Club, told NBC News of Buck in February. “It’s really about money, power, chemsex culture, and raceplay, and it’s this underground thing that many people aren’t talking about, and essentially it’s murder rebranded.”
Meanwhile, Dean, 55, died in January of this year. He was also found partially naked and surrounded by syringes and sex toys. Buck was also not charged in that death, and his attorney argued Buck had nothing to do with it, according to the Times.
Still, activists have repeatedly called for Buck’s take-down, alleging he was preying on black men — particularly homeless black men — who were attracted to promises of shelter and care.
Cover: In this Sept. 22, 2010 file photo, Ed Buck makes a campaign appearance for Meg Whitman, not shown, then a Republican candidate for governor of California, in Los Angeles. The prominent California Democratic donor was charged Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, with running a drug house where two men died of overdoses. Prosecutors allege Buck provided the meth that killed two men who were found in his apartment in 2017 and this January. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)