Michael Lucas Publishing Scandal Revealed!

Have you guys seen this week’s New York Magazine? No? Well, you should really run out and get a copy. Why? Well, there’s a fascinating little piece on porn empresario, Michael Lucas.

Yeah, we know, Lucas gets way more press than he deserves, but we really can’t resist. First of all, we think we’re in love with the writer of said piece, William Van Meter, and his sardonic ways. At one point he writes, “…Though thoroughly bronzed, [Lucas] has a vampiric aversion to the sun to match his Count Chocula voice.” Anyone who compares Michael Lucas to an oft-ignored cereal mascot gets a thumbs up in our book.

What really caught our eye, however, is Van Meter’s examination of the Owen Hawk-Michael Lucas feud. Of Lucas, Hawk says:

“A great analogy for Michael is Ann Coulter. He’s a person who doesn’t really have anything to contribute artistically, so they compensate with outlandish claims.”

Here, here. Going on, Van Meter explains:

Of course, Hawk, who has appeared in three of Lucas’s movies, is probably not the most impartial judge of his talent as a director. Hawk and his boyfriend, Matthias von Fistenberg (a nom-de-porn homage to Diane Von Furstenberg), are co-owners of a fledgling production company called Dark Alley Media, whose pornographic output tends to be much darker than Lucas Entertainment’s. One of their movies shows Von Fistenberg, a former classical-music producer, sitting down to play at a grand piano before having a jockstrap thrown at his face. They recently sued Lucas for $750,000 for slander, libel, interference with trade, and a host of other legal complaints. Among Dark Alley’s contentions was that Lucas was trying to have their videos removed from local sex shops. “I have a right to do that,” Lucas said at the time. “I can tell anyone, ‘You want my product? Don’t go to them.’ ” In August, the suit was settled out of court (both parties have agreed not to discuss the settlement). Shortly thereafter, Lucas signed on as a major sponsor of September’s Gay Erotic Expo in Los Angeles, the biggest annual industry convention, and Dark Alley’s registration fee for a booth was mysteriously returned.

There. That last sentence – what Van Meter’s not saying is that the Gay Erotic Expo is run by HX Media, publishers of HX Magazine, who have long had a running arrangement with Lucas Entertainment.

From what we understand, the payment wasn’t “mysteriously returned,” but was returned after Matthew Bank, whose Lucas loyalty knows no bounds, refused to do business with Owen and Dark Alley. What’s more: we hear that the editor of HX had planned an entire Dark Alley feature, but that Bank demanded he squash it to appease Lucas.

Fuck, we love gay publishing. Especially its nepotistic underbelly…