Married porn star sues BangBros because adultery is illegal in Florida

Lots of states have ridiculous, archaic laws against various sex acts still on the books, from a law prohibiting sodomy in Alabama to the law forbidding you from “nuzz[ling] or kiss[ing” a reptile in Illinois. While these laws are rarely enforced in criminal court, one woman in Florida tried to use her state’s antiquated adultery law to her advantage in a lawsuit against the porn production company BangBros, with whom she shot an adult movie six years ago.

The woman, who goes by the pseudonym “Isabella,” filed the suit against BangBros back in April, claiming that the company locked her into an “illegal and unenforceable” contract when she shot with them in 2008. The grounds for her complaint? Isabella was married at the time, and the movie was shot in Florida, where adultery is legally prohibited. Whoopsies! Sucks to be you, BangBros.

According to the Miami New Times, the 11-page lawsuit says that Isabella’s contract with BangBros was invalid because the film, Isabella’s Turn, depicted “sexual intercourse outside of marriage, which violates the public policy of the State of Florida.” (The film was shot in a warehouse in Miami, and is still available on the Internet.)

Because adultery is still technically illegal in Florida, Isabella’s lawyer is arguing that her contract with BangBros is invalid, making Isabella’s Turn “an invasion of her privacy.”

Florida isn’t the only state in the US with anti-adultery law still on its books. New York, Michigan, and Virginia are among 21 states that still have anti-adultery legislation on the books, though the laws are unlikely to be enforced in criminal courts. (They are, however, cited in civil cases, such as divorces or custody disputes.) Isabella waited until the statute of limitations for her own adulterous act had run out before filing her lawsuit against BangBros. (Girl, are you sure you actually needed a lawyer? ’Cause that’s one shrewd move right there.)

Although adultery cases are very rarely prosecuted in criminal court, Isabella’s lawsuit could nonetheless have disastrous implications for adult production companies like BangBros, who presumably frequently hire married performers for shoots.

“If this were to apply to all adult films, this would not make adult films illegal but would make contracts in this field void,” a law professor at the University of Miami told the Miami New Times. “This would allow the actor to later bring the sort of invasion of privacy allegations as Isabella sought here, since the actor’s consent to use of his image for distribution would likewise be void.” Translation: If you’re a married adult performer, and you shoot in a state where anti-adultery laws are still on the books, your contract with your production company could technically be considered invalid by a judge, thus entitling you to the right to stop your work from being distributed, or even some money.

Because Isabella wished to remain anonymous in her suit, we’ll likely never know for sure how successful her lawsuit against BangBros was. But the Miami New Times reports that Isabella’s lawyer withdrew her suit hours after she filed back in April, suggesting that they may have reached a financial settlement with the production company. (Isabella’s lawyer refused to discuss the terms of the case, or what the terms of a potential settlement might have been.)  But whether or not Isabella made bank off BangBros, it’s safe to say that the company will probably want to look a lot harder at whether performers are wearing wedding rings before they arrive on set.

H/T Miami New Times | Screengrab via BangBros

EJ Dickson

EJ Dickson

EJ Dickson is a writer and editor who primarily covers sex, dating, and relationships, with a special focus on the intersection of intimacy and technology. She served as the Daily Dot’s IRL editor from January 2014 to July 2015. Her work has since appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Mic, Bustle, Romper, and Men’s Health.