Shame On Us: Why Didn’t We Believe Farrah Abraham About James Deen?

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Formerly-touted feminist porn star James Deen was recently accused of rape by his ex-girlfriend and colleague Stoya, which has inspired more and more women to come forward with their own stories of Deen’s behavior. But long before Stoya bravely took to Twitter to share her shocking secret, Farrah Abraham loudly complained of Deen’s manipulative and shady behavior and no one believed her.

For those who don’t remember, former Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham shot to fame after she starred in a sex tape with Deen back in 2013. When the tape was released, unsurprisingly only Abraham’s name was tarnished, though she repeatedly claimed that she had been manipulated by Deen and Vivid Entertainment, the company behind the video. Abraham stated that she had been dating Deen at the time and that the tape was not meant for public consumption. She said that Deen betrayed her by releasing the tape and calling it a porno, when it was actually a private sex tape.

Deen explained that Vivid Entertainment asked him to partake in a porn film with a celebrity that made it look like the two were dating. The tape would then be released to look like a leaked sex tape. Deen initially refused, but did the movie when the studio promised him the media would stay out of it.

When the tape was released, Deen’s reputation wasn’t harmed a bit — if anything, he shot to stardom and even landed a role in a non-pornographic feature film, The Canyons. Meanwhile, Abraham became a laughing stock and the butt of slut-shame-y jokes. Everyone put her down —including Deen himself, claiming she was a terror to work with and that she was a “drama train.” And everyone — myself included — believed Deen without a second thought.

Two years ago, Abraham warned the world that Deen was manipulative and not as nice as he claimed to be, but she was ignored and written off as a fame-hungry slut with a sex tape. In light of Deen’s rape allegations, Abraham took to her Twitter to tweet “I TOLD YOU SO” and added that she didn’t have time for rapists. Still, very little has been reported on Abraham’s claims from two years ago and even though she hasn’t said that she was raped by Deen (though she has stated that she was drugged and raped more than once during her brief stint in the porn industry), it begs the question of why we didn’t believe Abraham back then.

Back then, numerous articles criticized Abraham for not only making the tape, but also her reasons for making the tape. Her role as a mother, a young woman attempting to make a living, and her brave refusal to keep the truth of her exploitation hidden were all criticized. Abraham's reputation was that of an attention-seeker. We are conditioned to believe that women like Abraham, who chose to be in reality TV, are liars even when their privacy has been violated. 

Abraham should have been our warning sign to keep a closer eye on Deen. Because of our ingrained habit of questioning the veracity of women — especially openly sexual women — we sided with the alleged rapist who just happens to be a man. 

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