Linda Lovelace was perhaps America’s first adult film star. Her film, “Deep Throat” helped adult movies go mainstream, and it became a cultural phenomenon when it was released in 1972. And yet, Linda’s fame was not accompanied by fortune, nor was she happy about it. In fact, Linda eventually revealed that her participation in the movie was not by choice, claiming that her abusive husband forced her to film it. In her later years, Linda became an unlikely champion of the anti-porn movement. In this video, we’re taking a look at Linda’s life and career, and the surprising twists and turns they took. So join Facts Verse, as we present: Linda Lovelace Felt No Pleasure During Her Film Career.
Linda Lovelace was born as Linda Boreman in The Bronx in 1949. Her childhood experience was incredibly difficult. Her police officer father, John, was more likely away from the house than spending time with the family. And her mother, Dorothy, worked as a waitress, and was reportedly overbearing and mean to Linda. As a child, Linda moved around from school to school, primarily at private Catholic institutions. Oddly enough, Linda was the most prim and proper girl in her high school class. She apparently would go to great lengths to avoid even being in a scenario with boys her age that might result in sexual activity. As such, he classmates nicknamed her “Miss Holy Holy.” During her sophomore year, her father retired from the police force and moved the family to Davie, Florida, where Linda finished high school.
But things were not smooth sailing in Florida. Two years out of school, she ended up getting pregnant. Because it was not a baby from a married couple, it was a big problem for her family. Her mother managed to trick Linda into putting the baby up for adoption, which no doubt caused Linda a fair amount of trauma. But at this point she was old enough to separate from her family, so after she was forced to give up her baby, she left them and moved back to New York City. Her intention while there was to get formal education in computer training, a newly developing field. Sadly, she was in a car accident in the city, and her injuries were moderately severe. Linda was taken to a local hospital and given a blood transfusion due to her significant loss of blood. Unfortunately, the blood she received wasn’t adequately screen for hepatitis. This meant years later she ended up needing a liver transplant.
Her car accident also meant that she needed assistance recovering. She decided to move back with her parents for the time being. But if she had planned to move back alone to New York City after getting better, those plans quickly changed. She met and started dating a man named Chuck Traynor. While at first Chuck was a polite and attentive boyfriend, things reportedly took a drastic change. He started to get violent and abusive, and quickly forced Linda to move with him back to NYC. Linda later claimed that he began his process of gaining control over her early on, as he would utilize methods of hypnosis to get her to loosen up, sexually. Once there, he not only played the role of boyfriend, but he also became her pimp. He forced her to engage in prostitution, and over time began exerting more and more control of her. He even forced her to change her name to Lovelace.
Linda’s Foray Into Adult Films
Chuck was content using Linda as a prostitute for a little while, but at some point it occurred to him that her look might serve well in the burgeoning adult film industry. And more importantly, he saw it as a way to make a lot of money. So he started filming Linda in short adult films, referred to as ‘loops’. These were silent, short features that would play at peep shows.
There are conflicting reports on how willingly Linda was participating in any of this, particularly the films. People who worked with her in these days, and even ones who filmed her famous movie Deep Throat all seemed to think that she was a willing, if not eager participant in all of it. But years later, Linda revealed she was not. In fact, she was on the opposite end of that spectrum, having been physically forced to participate. She claimed that Chuck abusive and violent behavior was directed at keeping her essentially a hostage in their relationship. Sadly, she also didn’t know how to break free from the relationship, as so often happens in cases of severe abuse. So instead of leaving Chuck, prostitution, and adult films loops behind, Linda got further and further sucked into them. She agreed to marry Chuck in 1971.
Not long after that, they were introduced to a man named Gerard Damiano, who directed adult films. Damiano took an immediate liking to Linda, and promised to write a script with her in mind for the lead role. That, of course, led to the creation of the movie that made Linda famous: Deep Throat.
The movie Deep Throat became a cultural and movie phenomenon when it was released on June 12, 1972. It premiered in New York at the World Theater, and was officially the first feature length adult film in history. In the first seven weeks, it grossed about $1 million. It set a record of more than $30K in one day, and by six months of its release, it had earned a record breaking $3 million. That’s equivalent to nearly $20 million in today’s economy. In addition to having a huge start out of the gate, the movie had staying power. Because of its cultural influence and popularity, it ended up getting screened many times every day for more than a decade by the theater chain, Pussycat Theater. Over the years, Linda did promotional appearances for the film, even allowing her hands to be imprinted in the cement outside their Hollywood branch.
Once the era of VCR’s and home video arrived, Deep Throat continued to sell. It was the first adult film to be made into a home video, and eventually became one of the top selling videotape releases among adult features. All in, the movie has grossed more than $600 million in total. Sadly, Linda Lovelace has seen none of these profits. She was paid a meager $1250 for the shoot, and given no part of the potential profits. And to make things worse, Chuck reportedly took that $1250 from her. So she ended up not making a dime on the movie.
Linda eventually revealed her take on the movie, her participation in it, and the abusive relationship she had with Chuck. In 1980, she put out an autobiography called, Ordeal. In it, she chronicled the years of abuse and torture that Chuck had inflicted upon her. According to Linda, she was an utterly trapped person. She said that Chuck would beat her constantly, and even would hold a gun to her head and threaten to shoot her. He reportedly slept on top of her, listened to all her phone calls, and even watched her while she was in the bathroom. As such, she claims that she was essentially a sex slave when it came to Deep Throat and the other movies she participated in. She said that Chuck would constantly threaten to kill her, adding that she would be just another dead prostitute, and that no one would miss her.
She revealed that while she appeared to be enjoying filming Deep Throat and other films, she was actually being raped at the time, since these films were essentially filmed without her consent. At the same time, she knew that she had to perform or she’d get beaten more. So she pretended to be enjoying it, slapping a fake smile on her face and just trying to get through the shoot. And according to Linda, she wasn’t a victim of Stockholm Syndrome, where she became brainwashed into liking her captor. She stated that she found no sexual pleasure during her entire time being married to Chuck, including her participation in adult films. Said Linda, “I did not have a single orgasm for six or seven years.”
Chuck, naturally, denied all of these accusations. And there have also been people who worked with Linda back in the day that have said that she was a very willing participant, and genuinely enjoyed the work. Some have even claimed she is a compulsive liar. And yet, most people who knew Chuck have stated that he was far from a good person, making it more likely that Linda’s allegations have at least some truth in them, if not full truth.
Eventually Linda extricated herself from the seedy world of adult entertainment. In 1980 she met a man named Larry Marchiano, who ws a construction worker. The two fell in love and got married that same year. They had two children together soon after. She also changed her name back to Boreman, and became a born again Christian. Her transformation was perhaps completed when she became an anti-pornography activist. She was championed by famous figures in the women’s movement, like Gloria Steinem, as a symbol of women who were unfairly treated in life, but who managed to rise again in defiance. She was considered an independent and strong woman, as well as one who had survived her years of trauma. She had come out the other side and was able to speak her mind and use her voice.
Sadly, Marchiano’s business failed in the late ‘80s, putting them in financial strain. This is notable because it was right around the time that Linda was seen at adult film conventions selling autographs. Some immediately questioned her motives, considering how fiercely she had recently been campaigning against that industry. But Linda countered by saying it was strictly a financial decision, to help out her family. And who can blame her, considering she never got any more from the movie itself! Sadly, her marriage to Marchiano fizzled, though they remained friendly after the divorce.
Linda was involved in yet another major car crash in 2002. This one was more serious than her original crash, and she suffered serious injuries. She died on April 22 of that year, after being on life support for several weeks.
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