A former g@y p0rn star has been ordered to pay more than £100,000 damages to an adult industry media tycoon after falsely accusing him of being a ‘rapist’ on Twitter.
Adult actor turned pop singer Mickey Taylor, whose real name is Marcus Stones, was sued for libel by industry boss Jack Aaronson, for his attack on the social media site now known as X.
He posted a series of tweets in June 2020 which accused him of having ‘raped male models’ and the High Court was told, these amounted to the claim Mr Aaronson was ‘therefore a serial rapist.’
The internet postings appeared after the two men had a disagreement over an unrelated matter and fell out, the High Court heard.
The false allegation
American businessman Mr Aaronson, who is known in the porn industry as Dominic Ford, and founded a website called Just For Fans, complained Mr Stones made a ‘series of incredibly serious false allegations’ as an ‘act of revenge’ after the disagreement.
Mr Stones disputed Mr Aaronson’s defamation claim and the case was heard in the High Court in London in December 2022 with the ruling by Mr Justice Julian Knowles delivered on Saturday.
Mr Stones was also hit with a £212,000 legal bill to meet Mr Aaronson’s costs in addition to the £110,000 damages order.
The defendant who is from Manchester and now an animation and illustration student, told the court he was forced to leave the porn industry in August 2021 because of the case.
Mr Aaronson, 48, worked in the porn industry before launching his own website, which connects porn stars directly with viewers, in 2018.
The website allows users to follow and chat to their favourite porn stars and access exclusive videos and photos by paying a monthly fee, with the platform taking a share of the profits.
Last year it had a turnover of around £30 million and has several million subscribers.
The success of the move led to him being nominated for XBiz businessman of the year in 2022.
Under the pseudonym Dominic Ford, Mr Aaronson carved out a career as one of the most successful gay porn stars, as well as operating his own porn studio for nearly a decade.
The effect of defamation
Speaking to Mail Online from his offices in California he said the decision by the High Court in London had vindicated him and ‘lifted a huge albatross from my back.’
He added: ‘I am so relieved. I feel that through an objective process of a court of law it has been said very clearly and very emphatically that I did nothing that he claimed that I did.
‘That is not up for debate. Everybody has their day in court and nobody has their voices silenced and that is a very powerful thing.
‘I have a spotless reputation but it has been an awful nightmare which has affected my business and personal life.
‘These were very serious allegations which I strongly felt should be heard in a court of law and not the court of Twitter.
‘It has been very difficult for myself and for my staff who represent my company and also for my friends who have taken the brunt of me being silent over these years.
‘Anybody who knows me or has had any interaction with me knows that these were implausible stories. But there are so many people who don’t know me and some of them believed the allegations.
‘My business suffered tremendously. There are so many models, male and female, who would not join my website because of the allegations against me.
‘The word got around to the entire industry and my brand became very toxic for a very long time.
‘I have lost friends and people who supported me lost friends. We lost a ton of business.’
The judge in his ruling Saturday said: ‘The defendant subjected the claimant to a campaign of defamation of an extremely serious type which directly impacted upon many aspects of the claimant’s life, including his reputation, his business and his mental well-being.’
Mr Aaronson’s lawyer Yair Cohen said: ‘Those people who make false allegations of this nature are damaging the cause of the real rape victims.
‘My client has been through a terrible ordeal which started by a vindictive individual who thought he had the power to destroy somebody else’s life through making false accusations on social media.
‘False allegations of sexual assault not only harm the innocent but also undermine genuine victims. I am immensely pleased with the outcome and hope that in the future internet users will think twice before posting false allegations of this nature’.