"Celebrity Rehab" on VH-1 follows as eight celebrities check into rehab under the supervision of Dr. Drew Pinsky for 21 days. In addition to D-level actors like Daniel Baldwin and Brigitte Nielsen, the show also includes former "Family Matters" co-star Jamiee Foxworth as well as Mary Carey -- both of whom have worked in the porn industry and have either left or is seemingly looking to leave that business.
I asked film producer, author, businesswoman and porn maven Tera Patrick to weigh in on what she thought about the show. And, as pornography continues to become more and more mainstream, be sure to check out Ms. Patrick as she hosts the 25th anniversary of the AVN Awards on Showtime Network in the coming days. "You can't get more mainstream than that," says Patrick.
Shortly after speaking with Tera Patrick, I chatted with comedian and porn connoisseur, Patrice Oneal about his thoughts on pornography and addiction.
Tera Patrick In the show, "Celebrity Rehab", it seems as though Dr. Drew believes that addiction and pornography go hand in hand? Do you agree? Personally, my motto is "empowerment over exploitation". The number one advice I give to girls who come into the industry is "empower yourself and treat the business like a business. I always tell the girls 'don't get involved with drugs, don't get involved in abusive relationships'--this is just advice that I would take in life. I do think that the industry does attract a certain type of person. I think that in our industry, because of the way the lifestyle is--staying out late, going to parties and premieres, it's easy to get addicted to substances and alcohol--I think it does lend itself to being a problem.
But, I think that everyone is responsible for his or her own life and I think that you could say the same thing about the mainstream industry. I mean, look at Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton--I think that there is more of a problem [with addiction] in the mainstream and even Tyra Banks' industry than in the porn industry. I think that pornography is more of a target because it does seem to be more of an exploitive industry to so many women in the industry; and I think it's because so many women regret [going into porn] because they don't do well in the industry--it's easy to point the target at pornography. I feel like I have been able to be a positive influence in the industry just like Tyra Banks probably feels like she's been a positive force in her industry.
What are your thoughts about a show like "Celebrity Rehab" documenting a porn actress as she is being rehabilitated? Do you feel like that is in itself exploitative?
I don't know if I feel like it's exploitive but I definitely don't feel like it would help with her process. I feel like that's probably part of the problem--putting the person on TV probably doesn't lend itself to being helpful in putting them on the road to recovery.
Do you think that by Mary Carey playing into Dr. Drew's desire to "reform" her is part of her strategy to be on the show?
Maybe, I don't know. I've met Mary and I think that she is a sweet person. I don't think that she's dumb but I think that maybe she's using it as a way to get on TV. I think that anyone in our industry or in the mainstream industry likes to be on TV and likes to be in the public eye so anything that they can do to bring themselves attention is probably what they are trying to do--whether it be positive or negative.
Patrice Oneal You seem to have some thoughts to share on Jamiee Foxworth's work after "Family Matters?" That girl should never have f*cked her life up doing porn because she is not a "porno girl", she just f*cked for money. There are some girls that would do it for free and now they can do it for money. I mean, I don't know why people get into porn, all I know is that when I watch a porno, I can tell who has an ethic and who doesn't. You know, I'm a comic and when I first started, it was like, 'wow, I get to do comedy" then when I started making money it was like, 'oh sh*t, the IRS is taxing me for comedy, this is crazy!'--and now it's my business. But, when you see me on stage, you know that I love comedy even though it's my profession. You can see the difference in anything--even bus drivers. You know which one has an ethic. 'I'll deal with him because he loves driving the bus!'--it's the same for porno.
Who is your all-time favorite actress?
Vanessa Del Rio...she's the best.
Do you believe that one can be addicted to pornography?
I believe that you can be addicted to pornography. I mean, if anybody knew my lifestyle they might think that I could be. I think I'm not. I think "addiction" has a negative connotation. I suppose it means that it's something that you shouldn't be doing but you keep doing it. So, "addiction" has to be involved with something that you don't want to do. Now, (hypothetically) I could be on cocaine and heroin all day but if there is no voice inside of me telling me that it's a bad thing to do, I don't think it [constitutes as] an addiction. I think "addiction" doesn't have to do with what other people think you shouldn't be doing or the amount of time you do it but I do think that you should have something in you that says 'this is f*cked up, I don't want to do this anymore' and you can't stop. In that case, I am addicted to eating certain foods that I shouldn't be eating but when it comes to sex and porn, I never say to myself 'I shouldn't be doing this'. I don't want to stop watching it, so it's not an addiction to me. I mean...it's never slowed me down.