Michael Lucas: Drugs And Partying Didn’t Lead Roman Ragazzi To Commit Suicide

Many commenters took Dror’s death as an occasion for assumptions and moralizing. Dror, they guessed, was a meth addict and/or a prostitute and/or a failure. “It’s unfortunate but typical of many porn/ex-porn stars who get into drugs and escorting to keep up their lifestyle,” wrote one. “He recently retired and started up an online fitness site. The business presumably did not do well?” wrote another. A third veered into wild speculation: “I don’t know if he used his good looks to assist drug dealers in whatever games they dream up to humiliate their victims.”

[One] comment… summed up this wing of opinion succinctly: “Nice people don’t do porn.”

But nice guys do do porn, and Dror was one of them. “He had such a gentle soul,” recalls Sam, his last boyfriend. “He was the most affectionate person I’ve ever dated. He loved really hard.” Dror was devoted to animals (he dreamed of leaving the city and starting a rescue service for Labrador Retrievers) and intensely protective of the people in his life. “He always wanted to create a world for us inside this Chelsea gay world,” his boyfriend says. “He wanted us to be sheltered and safe: our own thing, inside a bubble.”

That bubble was important because Dror was far from the drug-addled party stud that his posthumous attackers imagine.”

—Porn director Michael Lucas, about the February suicide of Dror Barak, a.k.a. adult-film star Roman Ragazzi, in the Huffington Post.

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  • Gigi

    It’s sad the way many of us love to love our porn but we’re so quick to condemn the men who perform in the porn films that we love to love. I’ve always thought that porn was a lot like waitering (I worked in the service industry for many years); you do it as a way to make some quick money and then you stay longer than you’d expected to because you build a community. I’ve known waiters and I’ve known porn actors and all were amazing people with stories of and compassion and pain and heartache but most of all, love.

  • TheMarc

    Right on Gigi!! I am constantly annoyed by the love/hate relationship that the gay community has with its porn stars. No, not every porn star is a shining example of a noble human being; but neither is every one of them not. Everyone likes to point to drugs when suicide is the end result; when in fact, in many instances the drugs where just a symptom of a larger problem.

  • Kamikapse

    People are exaggerating on both sides.

    No people in porn and all horrible human beings or vapid sluts.
    But it does take a dysfunctional background to end up in porn.

  • Gigi

    @Kamikapse: That’s the kind of sweeping generalization that I expected. There are dysfunctional people in all walks of life. My dad is a lawyer and my mom is a psychiatrist – you wanna talk about dysfunction? Yikes! Maybe I take it personally because I actually had the opportunity to meet a lot of porn performers when I lived and worked in New York. I had a perceived notion of what they’d be like as well. And, like any diverse group, they were all very different. Some did come from dysfunctional backgrounds but surprisingly, the ones who were most severely damaged were the ones who had the best coping skills.

  • Nick

    For once, I agree with him. From all accounts, this was a stand-up guy who succumbed to a moment of despair. So hopefully in the future, Michael Lucas will think twice about defaming people he doesn’t know. Palestinians and liberals come to mind.

  • Curtis

    It really is sad that people can be so judgmental of one man, who wasn’t hurting anyone, simply trying to make his way in the world, using what he was born with.

  • micha

    No matter what or how that background may be, I for one am grateful to people who do porn – especially gay porn. Maintaining a physique and appearance worthy of the fantasies of a particularly nitpicking and demanding market segment, baring it all and performing sex acts IN CLOSE UP for viewers to see? That shit ain’t easy. So people can assume and moralise as much as they want. Just don’t forget when you’re reaching over for that box of tissues who you owe that last orgasm to.

    It’s interesting if the ‘assumptions and moralising’ do come from the gay community. I don’t know what it is, do we as a group get judged so much that we relish any opportunity to judge and feel superior to others? It’s like most of us didn’t quite pass the bitchy-highschool-mean-girl phase.

  • Hyhybt

    It sounds like simple depression, which is a medical problem.

  • Delius

    Sure, he loved animals so much thats why he left his behind.

  • Gigi

    @Delius: Seriously? Obviously you’ve never dealt with depression. Count yourself lucky.

  • Jasun MArk

    @Kamikapse: Sorry but not true. At all.

    I don’t come from a dysfunctional background at all. My parents are university professors, classical musicians and have always encouraged me to express myself in the most cut-to-the-bone ways I can. For a guy like me who grew up in a more oppressive town than most (a remote farming village in Canada), porn was the most honest and natural way that I could express myself. But I’d hardly call my family dysfunctional.

  • stevoj

    @Kamikapse: that’s not true and if you think about it carefully for a second you’ll understand why

    our society (American society that is) glorifies sex. fact. so if you are a young and attractive man or woman looking to make a quick buck or just exploit yourself for the hell of it then why not

    just because “you would never do it” doesn’t mean it takes a broken home, chronic drug use, or daddy issues to get into porn. some of these guys and girls enjoy what they do and they don’t give us the pro-athlete/politician/celebrity sex addict bull shit

    they just like sex… duh

  • Red Assault

    I should point out that many people from very good families make porn. Many just don’t have the baggage that others may have and see porn as a great way to pay for college or raise capital for a business. One of my friends in the industry works as an architectural engineer and he said that he does porn because twice a year he gets flown to exotic locations, gets to have sex with hot men from all over the world and have fun and make friends… Then goes home with a few thousand extra dollars in his pocket.

    Nice work if you can get it.

  • J

    WHy does ML always pose like that in his pictures? Sheesh!!

  • the other Greg

    @J: “WHy does ML always pose like that in his pictures? Sheesh!!”

    The meaning of Rodin’s “The Thinker” has been debated for over a century. Apparently Michael Lucas, who used to live in Paris, interprets The Thinker as representing a porn star because the statue is naked. (Duh.) And of course, since Islam traditionally forbids art that depicts the human body, I’m guessing ML intends the pose as some kind of ironic, anti-Muslim statement.

    No doubt, ML is a fabulous art critic in addition to all his many other talents, so we can look forward to an explanation from him!

  • David Aventura

    @No. 13 Red Assault: I really want to buy-in to this story, but I have a few problems with it. You point out that your friend works as an “architectural engineer.” Does he work as an independent contractor, or perhaps for the most liberal employeer in the country? Even then, at the risk of losing clients due to his porn activities, this is a big risk to take. If he is educated, why do porn for the few extra thousand dollars? Learn to invest! If he is hot enough to do porn, he is hot enough to make lots of friends on his own. I could go on, but I won’t. Basically, there is something flawed with your friend (most likely mentally).

  • micha

    @David Aventura:
    So unless someone does porn as an absolute last resort, he/she is mentally flawed?

  • Red Assault

    @David Aventura: I actually got that wrong. He’s a mechanical engineer. Works on biomechanics like prosthetic arms and stuff. And yes, his employer knows and told him that so long as it doesn’t affect his work, it’s his own private business. And it is.

    It sounds more like you’re the mentally flawed one, thinking that being attractive means you can make friends with guys from all over the world. Or that because he makes a good side-income in a way you wouldn’t that he should “learn to invest.” News Flash… “investing” is just legalized gambling and most of the time, the banks will fuck you over. Oh.. he still gets fucked, it’s just by hot men in Madrid and London and Palm Springs.

    Your idea that your moral code should apply to everyone. And it doesn’t. I’m very glad I’m not a judgmental twat such as yourself. you sound like an extremely boring, uptight person and I’m very glad that I’m not you.

  • Clueless

    I am sure porn actors can be decent human beings but just imagine taking one home to meet your parents ?

    @no.13 not sure what you mean by “very good families”… do you really think that “many people” from good families end up acting in porn? Seems like a bit of an exaggeration.

  • Red Assault

    @Clueless: I’d much rather take a nice smart, polite and standup guy like Jesse Jackman or Dirk Caber to meet my parents than someone who works for a mortgage broker, Walmart or Chick Fil A.

  • micha

    I imagine it would make holidays much more lively. “Merry Christmas, Aunt Betty. And here’s a limited edition dildo in the exact likeness of my boyfriend’s dong wrapped in a pretty bow. It’s signed!!”

  • nikko

    @David Aventura: Agree. pathetic how so many here think doing porn is just a casual venture with no consequences later in life. And morality? Well, you know many are empty upstairs.

  • john

    Gays are judging porn actors??? ROFL.Straights are judging homosexuals.

  • David Aventura

    @Nikko: You are so right!

  • stevoj

    @nikko: porn may not be a respectable 9 to 5 but it’s a reality and people do it to make a living or for what ever reason necessary. whether you choose to view it is up to you but you should be careful with your words especially since you’re using the same sexual immorality argument that religious zealots and conservatives use against us

  • Nikko

    Being gay and being a porn star are two very different things, stevoj.Of course i view some porn, but that doesn’t mean i agree or approve of everything they do. many male porn stars live very deliquent lives. That is something I condemn.

  • Red Assault

    @Nikko: Tell us, Nikko… what do you do for a living?

  • Daez


    Being straight and being gay are two very different things. Of course, I have some gay friends, but that doesn’t mean I agree or approve of everything they do. Many gay people live very delinquent lives. That is something I condemn.

    See what I did there? There are SO MANY conservatives that make EXACTLY that same argument. You are not in a position to judge ANYONE, so DO NOT JUDGE.

  • Nikko

    @Red Assault: I’m a postal worker, why?

  • Nikko

    @Nikko: And no, porn is not a legitimate, respectable, job, guys. Spare me the don’t judge crap. Use your mind, discern, judge.

  • Red Assault

    @Nikko: Uh huh. OK.

    And you have the balls to slag of porn stars.

    How about you get a real job before you start taking shots at anyone else?

  • Nikko

    Idiot. Postal work is legit, porn ain’t,nuthead.

  • Nikko

    @Nikko: What’s not “real” about postal work, whacko? Too normal for you?

  • porn addict

    You’re a postal worker? OMIGOD that is AMAZING! Did you go to a ‘special’ school for that? I’m sure you were the best in your class, huh, judging from your brilliantly extensive vocabulary and dazzling repartee. Imagine, a lifetime of sorting and delivering mail. The world would surely fall apart without people like you. Such excitement. Such FUN! Much love, baby. Kisses! XOXO

  • Nikko

    @porn addict: Are you proud of your porn addict accomplishment, loser?

  • Red Assault

    @Nikko: I suppose it’s a “legit job.” As in it pays money. Hardly a career and aside from a 2nd grader’s grasp of alphabetization, doesn’t require much in the way of “skills.”

    But I can see why you’re so bitter at people who do things that aren’t… well… what you do.

  • porn addict

    Aww another exhibit of that rapier wit we’ve come to know and love. ‘Idiot’, ‘nuthead’, ‘whacko’, and now ‘loser’! Wow!! Well since you ask, yes I am indeed proud. Although I’d hardly call ‘porn addiction’ an accomplishment, it’s more of a hobby. And it surely is NOTHING compared to the absolute honor of being a postal worker. Anyway, I’m signing off now. I hear stupidity’s contagious and you seem to hoard enormous quantities of the stuff. Again, best of luck in your miserably boring, pathetically judgmental, low little life. Cheers, darling!

  • Nikko

    @porn addict: Ha, deluded fool. You’re one arrogant fag I’d bitch slap to the ground. There is nothing dishonourable about postal work, but you some of you have the gall to ascribe more honor to porn stars than to my work…. pathetic. You and Red Assault should get married.

  • Nikko

    @porn addict: Stupidity you say? My “stupidity” is wisdom compared to your replies. How “sophisticated” and arrogant. Enjoy your hobby.

  • QueerDaddy

    I love porn. I’ve dated several porn stars and spent wonderful evenings totally clothed with several porn stars discussing politics, art and music. I have even tried some amateur filming back when I was “pretty.” Roman was unique and fascinating to me the first time I watched him in “The Fourth Floor.” He was special not only because of his physical beauty, but by the way he was able to communicate his evident beautiful personality. Unfortunately he was outed which destroyed his “day job.” I, too have lost my stellar job by being outed by a colleague and ended up attempting suicide several times. Somehow, 20 years later, I am not only still alive, but doing exceptionally well, thank you!

    My, my such a flood of confusion. I was partnered with a male escort/trainer and local Dallas icon for several years. He was the sweetest man I’ve ever known and still after being broken up for 12 years, I still miss him everyday. He was a Christian and I was a teacher and a member of a local Dallas church whose pastor and 50% of the congregation was gay. I used to be homophobic and judgmental when I was still in the closet. I tried so hard to conform to the rules of my parents world, but eventually in ended in a total mental breakdown. Coming to grips with my own sexuality and allowing myself to enjoy sex and passion basically saved my life. I know it’s difficult for some to understand this, as well as find many good reasons in their Holy books to curse it. Somehow I know that if God is as big as I believe “Him/Her” to be, it will be judged with a wiser mind than any of you.

    Love, Peace and Happiness.

  • QueerDaddy

    p.s. I took my male escort lover home to meet my parents and they loved him, even though they pretty much were in denial about what he did. (I think my dad was little jealous!)

  • oilburner

    I don’t feel bad. He. Had. It. Better. Than . A lot . Of .other people. Like kids in Africa and fat people and black people lol or maybe he had AIDS and wanted to end his misery do people would remember him as a hot porn star and not just another homosexual with aids or maybe he was just a Tweaker a lil PNP never hurts anyone infactit may even enhance a few lives lol

  • Tombear

    Gay porn does not pay well that is why so many porn performers escort. The postal worker probably has a greater annual income than most porn performers. It is what it is!

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