I get asked all of the time what the other guys in Sex Rehab were like to live with. You know, we shot the show so long ago I almost forgot but I’ll tell you my impression of all of them here.
Frankly if I hadn’t been on the show I would never, ever have met any of them. All of them were out of my social or geographical orbit. I was only one degree of separation from Amber as it turned out but still, I don’t think we would have ever made time to get to know each other.
Nobody smelt badly except maybe James when he arrived. Nobody had appalling table manners. Everybody was mostly courteous, kind and inclusive-even Kari Ann. Remember the way the show is edited tends to exploit the best and the worst of who we are.
Whilst I was there I hung out mostly with Jennie and Kendra but I had long and involved conversations with almost everyone. Why did I hang out so much with Jennie? What was it about her that I loved so much? Well, for a start, she is hungry for life, for education and for new ways of thinking. She devoured ideas and suggestions, she listened when I mooted Film School and I still believe that if she plays her cards right there is nothing that she couldn’t do.
Jennie has the correct balance of ambition and talent and the show opened a door into her hidden soul. Listen, do I love her painting? No, but I respect her for getting up every day and picking up a paintbrush. Do I think she errs toward overblown prose? Yes, but she is a 26 year old ex-porn star starting over with a huge amount to learn, look at and consider. With consultation she will get exactly where she needs to be.
There are still dark forces determined to unsettle her, unseat her ambition, and refuse to let Penny Flame forget where she has come from. These vile bodies write vicious posts on her blog, they rewrite her wikipedia page. I am well aware of these embittered, desperate people-they try to do the same to me but they can’t touch me now because, in the words of Quentin Crisp, I am one of the stately Homo’s of England.
There was so much time where we did nothing in Rehab and by nothing I mean no group, no therapy, no planned activity. We mostly filled our time playing dominoes or cards. Nicole was a genius at dominoes so I’ll start with her.
Jennie and Nicolle really did not get on very well. They shared a room but there was a tension that bubbled up between them and actually came to a head as we were standing in line off camera moments before we filed into Rehab Graduation. I didn’t and still don’t understand their gripe but I suggest it has something to do with class and pre-history. Nicole is one classy broad, elegant, chic, fierce. One of those gals who came to Hollywood in search of that ‘Hollywood Dream’ and ended up being one of it’s finest victims. Her Colin Farrell sex tape caused her to feel tremendous shame and ultimately isolated her from her friends and family. She faced Hollywood’s dark forces head on. Sex tapes are so often a double-edged sword, nobody really knows who, if anyone, will benefit. What I found out from most of the women I shared time in Sex Rehab with was just how many of them had sex tapes with celebrities squirreled away for a rainy day.
Kendra and Lucas are the sweetest couple and live with hundreds of rescued dogs and cats in a sprawling house in Northridge. Kendra has devoted her life beyond ‘Kendra the Stripper’ to helpless animals and causes that fight injustice head on. Whatever may or may not happen to our friendship I know in my heart that she will always be there for me. She is the sort of woman who stops at the side of the freeway to open an abandoned cardboard box in search of kittens and puppies. She rescued my dog Luna twenty minutes before Luna was going to be destroyed. She has a huge, huge heart but seldom makes room in it for herself. I know that her philanthropic life is at odds with what she has to do to earn money. I am sure she is only moments away from the kind of woman she would like to be.
Kari Ann needs to get the fuck away from David Weintraub. Her tendency toward men like him will destroy her life. Now she is Miss VH1 super bitch I fear that no one will ever get to see the girl she could have been. With men like David Weintraub crafting her existence she may very well end up dead, drowned in her own vomit whilst David parties in a joining rooms. This deadly scenario is all too common in Hollywood. One could imagine an altogether nastier narrative for David documented with grainy TMZ videos of him being hustled, half dressed and sweating into police cars crying foul. I end up writing about Weintraub when I wanted to write about Kari Ann, there is a terrible irony to that-that he and men like him will always eclipse her. Her meth antics on Sex Rehab were not as constant as the show editors wish you to think. Sometimes we would just lay outside quietly chatting, giggling and smoking. I will remember her best like that. A sweet little girl with a meth habit.
Phil Varone, don’t you just love him? We all loved him. What isn’t there to love? He concisely articulated every problem he and others had. He was and is a superb diplomat and sensitive to boot. Watching him with his Dad has just made me love him even more. Phil and I played Mexican dominoes with Nicole and it was over those plastic tiles we got to know each other. We never locked horns, as I am wont to do with other males. Phil went to Sex Rehab to do the recovery work. If we had not been there I wonder if that work you see and relate to would have ever happened?
During the interview process I told the producers that I likes surfer boys and lo and behold there was James. The big problem was that I never found him attractive. He, like Kari Ann, had arrived after a protracted period of drug and alcohol abuse and three weeks really wasn’t enough time for him to figure stuff out. He had been paid a great deal of money to wear certain clothing whilst on the show and that initially galled me. Maybe I shouldn’t have judged him so harshly. After the ‘rape the shit’ comment he made to Jennie we got on very well and I even taught him how to knit. Even though I didn’t get to know James as well as the others I respected his dolphin like sea talents. We spent a day at Huntington Beach. Watching him surf was a joy.
Amber had a profound effect on me. She reminded me of a very beautiful version of my mother. Her emotions close to the surface, her aquiline elegance and sweet demeanor and real desire for recovery. Her story is harrowing and desperate. The enmeshed relationship she has with her mother, the loyalty she has for her mother, the huge price she paid for her addictions. Hearing her story would make me cry. The anger workshop we did, the paint in her hair, the way she almost flew through the air like an angel when she was throwing the paint and the eggs. I will never forget the impact she had on me. Amber, Phil and I had lunch recently at The Ivy. I am always slightly in awe of her. I always will be.
Jennie, what more can I say? We were, are and will always be friends in whatever shape God intends. I am sure that my protectiveness will get in the way like it did when I now famously approached David Weintraub at Cecconi’s and challenged him after he was rude and demeaning with her. I want her to soar higher than I ever did-even though I get envious when she does. I want her success to fit her like a loose garment. I want everyone to be as amazed as I that a woman with so much talent could have buried herself so deeply in the sordid world of pornography. It amazes me that she touched the lives of so many men as a porn actress even if these broken men wanted to fix her with cheap, meaningless promises. I have not and will not see her in her porn incarnation, I met Penny Flame briefly but do not want to meet her ever again. I am privileged to know Jenny Ketcham. Our relationship is not without it’s hitches but we are addicts right? We are blighted by the disease of perception. Both of us.
Which brings me to..me, the eighth member of the Sex Rehab cast. You know what addicts are like, they either hate themselves or love themselves too much and I am no exception. I could make huge and grandiose statements about myself or I could tell you that I am a piece of shit. I wrote that and I laughed out loud. I really have no idea what the others would say about me if they could right here right now-but I could guess. Kendra might say that I am a flakey friend who says he is going to show up but always gets way laid. Amber might be suspicious of me and Kari Ann would say, ’I love you to bits but you talk shit about me’. Phil would find something totally loving and appropriate and Jenny might too. James would howl and say something dudeish and give me a huge hug. I would say, about me on sex rehab, like I have many times before, I am so glad that I got to go on the show and change my life because of it.
I get to write this blog and today, this very lunchtime, I get to thank strangers in the street who show their heartfelt appreciation of sharing all the work we did so honestly and publicly. Thank you all so very much.