When porn and celebrity meet, broker not far away

The negotiator of star sex images says someone has to make the deals

Porn Studies > Porn in the News

By ROBERT W. WELKOS - Los Angeles Times - 8/6/05

HOLLYWOOD - By now, everybody's heard that Colin Farrell is suing his former girlfriend, Playboy Playmate Nicole Narain, over a steamy 15-minute sex video they made together more than two years ago. But who's this David Hans Schmidt, who was named in the suit along with her?

If you don't know, it probably means you are (a) not an exhibitionistic celebrity or (b) not in possession of sexy images of one.

Over the last decade, the 45-year-old Schmidt has emerged as one of the nation's leading brokers of celebrity porn.

He is the man who negotiated the sale of Tonya Harding's wedding-night sex video; arranged for Paula Jones, the former Arkansas state employee who sued Bill Clinton for sexual harassment, to pose in the buff in Penthouse magazine; and was the wheeler-dealer who obtained topless shots of rescued U.S. Army POW Pfc. Jessica Lynch and nude photos of Amber Frey, the star prosecution witness in the Scott Peterson double murder trial, and then tried to peddle them to Hustler magazine's Larry Flynt.

Negotiating terms

When a cache of explicit photographs of Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx turned up in May guess who got a hold of them? (Schmidt later negotiated an agreement to voluntarily return them to litigator-to-the-stars Martin Singer, and the two sealed the deal by posing for a photograph shaking hands. Ironically, Singer is now suing Schmidt over the Farrell video.)

Schmidt also tried to broker a deal this year involving a pornographic video featuring musician Fred Durst, lead singer of Limp Bizkit. The video was posted on the Internet after computer hackers who had removed the clips from Durst's computer backed out of negotiations.

"Somebody has to make the deals," says the Phoenix publicist and agent, an unrepentant name-dropper who claims to relish his role as a peddler of Hollywood sleaze.

He occupies a position close to the heart of America's twin obsessions pornography and celebrity in the Internet age.

Sal Abate, owner of Phoenix-based Internet Commerce Group, which operates various porn Web sites, calls Schmidt the "go-to guy" for deals involving celebrity sex videos and nude photos of the stars. ICG's marketing director, Paul Nash, was named as a defendant in Farrell's lawsuit along with Schmidt and Narain.

In Farrell's suit, attorney Singer calls the defendants' attempts to cash in on the screen star's private video an "outrageous attempt to capitalize on the celebrity of ... Colin Farrell."

Legal issues

High-profile attorney Aaron Moss, who has represented such stars as Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Dustin Hoffman, calls the trafficking in celebrity porn "not only in poor taste but also legally actionable."

"Celebrities often give up some aspects of their private lives by virtue of being public figures, but this does not mean that unscrupulous businessmen have the right to make money by exploiting a celebrity's most intimate moments," Moss said.

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Porn Studies > Porn in the News

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