Humor

Married Porn Star Sues BangBros Citing Florida's Antiquated Law Against Adultery

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The skin flick was shot in a warehouse near Miami International Airport on February 13, 2008, and released Valentine's Day (because nothing says romance like anonymous sex). Six years later, it is now at the center of one of the strangest legal battles Miami has ever seen.

This past April 30, the Puerto Rican porn star filed an anonymous, 11-page lawsuit against BangBros.com, the film studio Venetian Productions, and a half-dozen adult film affiliates.

Simply put, Isabella Unknown v. Venetian Productions and BangBros.com et al. is one of the most ingenious legal maneuvers we've ever seen. It's the Miami porn industry's Marbury v. Madison: a lawsuit so devilishly simple it threatens to undermine a multibillion-dollar business.

In her suit, Isabella claims her contract with BangBros is "illegal and unenforceable because the consideration given by Isabella to the Defendants was sexual intercourse outside of marriage, which violates the public policy of the State of Florida." Without a valid contract, the porn -- which is still available online to this day -- is "an invasion of her privacy" for which Isabella is due "restitution."

Translated from legalese: Isabella's contract with BangBros was bogus. Why? Because she was married when she boned for $1,000.

Florida is one of 21 states that still legally prohibit adultery. In the Sunshine State, Statute 798 prescribes up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine for "any man or woman, married or unmarried, [who] engages in open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior," although it is almost never enforced.

For the past three years, Florida legislators have proposed overturning the antiquated legislation. In January, Rep. Ritch Workman (R-Melbourne) asked his fellow politicians to "have the intestinal fortitude to repeal what is a ridiculous law."

They didn't. And so Statute 798 remained on the books. Then this April -- a year after the statute of limitations for the lewd and lascivious act expired -- the porn star filed her complaint. Included in the lawsuit is a copy of her contract. Under "description of services," it says simply: "B/G Facial."

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.