When people asked me about Ms. Dakota Skye, around the time of her passing in early summer of 2021, I honestly didn’t know who the hell she was. Unfortunately, when people reach out to me for a response to something, it usually involves a porn scandal and/or death. In this case, sadly, it was both. After a little google research, I learned that Dakota (born Lauren Scott) began her porn career in 2013 (one year after my departure from Evil Angel). She had recently become the target of a social media backlash after posing topless in front of a mural honoring George Floyd. An outraged mob went after her for being “disrespectful” to Mr. Floyd’s memory and, by extension, to BLM as well. I personally wouldn’t necessarily agree this constitutes a scandal; the only scandalous aspect is that a young woman is dead. It wasn’t even clear whether her death was suicide or an accident. Just your classic sad story.
Obviously, there are tons of tributes for George Floyd, and hopefully for Dakota Skye as well. I didn’t know either one personally, but no doubt they are dearly missed by their friends and family.
Before I end this tidbit, there’s one other person who deserves tribute, as a reminder that working in the adult business does not make you less of a human being. Marland Anderson aka Sledge Hammer wasn’t a household name, but he was a delightful person, a large and athletic African-American male talent with many credits. He really was a gentle giant, loved by many people in the industry.
I still don’t know the exact details, but I have heard he suffered from some undiagnosed mental illness made worse by lack of sleep. Marland had mentioned suicide several times, and his fiancé, Alexa Cruz, was very concerned. She called paramedics who attempted to transport him to a local hospital, but apparently the police on duty struggled with Marland in the back of the ambulance after he became agitated and broke a handcuff attached to a rail of the gurney. I have to admit due to Marland’s huge physical stature and strength, the LAPD officers probably panicked. They tasered him way too many times, which probably led to his death. What irony; they showed up to prevent a suicide, and ended up killing him. It’s been nine years and I’m still trying to make sense out of it.
Although I didn’t know Marland very well, whenever I saw him, he had a big smile and we always had a good time talking together. I believe he was also from Seattle. We usually discussed non-porn topics, basically nerd shit: you know, Star Wars, comic books, Dungeons and Dragons. (Porn and nerd shit, they’re all the same to me: a fantasy!)
My conclusion is that adult performers are like anyone else, mostly nice and harmless, with their share of personal issues to overcome. So before jumping to conclusions, try to be patient and keep the moralizing to a minimum.
On the day Kobe Bryant died, I traveled from Vegas to L.A. to see Traci Lords perform in “Women Behind Bars” at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre. Later I instagrammed how much I enjoyed Traci’s performance, but had a hard time concentrating and enjoying the show because I was so preoccupied by Kobe’s passing (not to mention the other victims). Surprisingly, Traci messaged me back to say that it had been painfully difficult to perform that night. But out of professionalism, she did it. (She even offered me two sets of tickets for the following weekend, but I was booked to leave town and couldn’t accept her generous offer.)
Old adages are so true: The show must go on, just like life must go on. So next time you see a porn star performing sex acts for your pleasure, or a Tracy Lords acting and singing her heart out with a big smile, please be kind — you just never know how much they are hurting inside. Thanks for reading this and take care of yourselves!