Ron Jeremy rape accuser Jennifer Steele Mondello comes forward and says ‘I wondered if he was planning to kill me’

Warning: This story contains graphic descriptions of sexual assault

“December 12, 1997. I will never forget that damn date,” says Jennifer Steele Mondello. “When he was raping me I could tell he had done it before.”

Mondello, a former artist known as “Jennifer Steele”, is the author of the new book Adult Agency: A Memoir, detailing the alleged assault by Ron Jeremy (real name: Ronald Jeremy Hyatt). The porn icon who has now fallen behind bars has been charged with more than 30 rape and sexual assault charges.

The Tampa-based mom recalled her alleged 1997 sexual assault to The Daily Beast in an exclusive interview. She says she met Jeremy at Stars Cabaret, a strip club in Beaverton, Oregon, in December 1997. Since she wanted to become an adult artist, her manager at the time introduced her to Jeremy, ensuring that she was “safe.”

“Ron offered to help me meet some contacts to do solo scenes and girls, and I could stay at his L.A. home,” Mondello says. “I made it clear and he agreed that sex between us wasn’t part of the deal, and I made sure he knew I wasn’t open to that.”

While in Los Angeles during what she claims is an “offline filming” at Hustler Studios, Mondello claims Jeremy brought her to the bathroom because he was having trouble getting an erection, and asked her to “bend over for a fluff visual” so he could get aroused, while promising that he would He will not touch it.

“As an exotic dancer, this just wasn’t that stretchy for me,” she asserts. “As I bent down, facing the other direction, Ron broke my trust and got in, I pushed myself away and we continued shooting. I was new and didn’t know who I could trust out of all the people around me who had been condoning Ron. In the car, he convinced me that it was a misunderstanding and that That would never happen again, and that I was in his place safely that night.”

Mondello had no place to stay, so she said she decided to take his word and accept his offer. But later that night in his apartment, she claims that he assaulted her.

“He woke me up to force me to let him have oral sex with a promise to leave me alone afterwards. He said I should appreciate everything he was doing for me.” When I refused to have sex, he raped me. He raped me in my mouth, vagina and anus. The trauma created memories of watching myself get raped from another side of the room.”

“There were some moments where I wondered if he was planning to kill me, because how could a celebrity get away with doing this to people if I stayed alive?” She adds. “He stopped when he saw the tears and the blood, and at that moment I was relieved that I would live. I took a shower, and wanted to stay in that bathroom forever. I lost faith in myself and my intuition after that.” (Jeremy’s attorney declined to comment on his behalf for this story.)

Mondello shared with The Daily Beast that she has received trauma mental health counseling via Pineapple Support Association, Treatment support service for those working in the adult industry. The founder and CEO of the Pineapple Support Association, Leah Tanit, confirmed that Mondello has had therapy sessions through their network.

While she was acknowledging her immediate family, Mondello was reluctant to come forward because the cultural atmosphere of 1997 was very different from today in terms of sexual assault allegations.

“He was a celebrity. That was 1997. It was going to end up all over the news stations, and I saw what happened to Lorena Bobbitt. I saw what happened to Anita Hill. The last thing I wanted was to accuse a celebrity of rape — especially a porn star. How you saw that would be a joke. I asked one of the policemen if it would suffice to file charges if I had bruises and DNA, and he said given I was a stripper and he was the same, they wouldn’t file charges based on that.”

Therefore, Mondello, worried that no one would believe the sex worker, decided not to file a police report at the time of her alleged rape.

“I thought I told people that something was going to be accomplished within [adult] The industry, and I didn’t want to be the one known for making the industry look bad,” she says. “I thought the industry would take care of it internally.”

But nothing was done, and Jeremy continued to appear in adult industry productions and book appearances at strip clubs.

Jane Ross, former executive editor of adult industry company AVN Publications, wrote an introduction to Mondello’s memoir. He says he was one of the first people to publicize allegations of sexual misconduct against Jeremy in 2004.

I was relieved to tell someone who cared. I can’t even describe the feeling of full circle.

“We’re talking about 18 and he didn’t get prosecuted until 2020, so this story has been around for 16 years. Nobody wants to believe it,” Ross says. “I wrote the story in 2004, and everyone kept saying, ‘Oh, this can’t be, oh, this can’t be.’ I kept raising fate on this thing and Jeremy was calling me completely crazy and denying it all, saying he was going to sue me. I must have spoken to at least six or seven different women… He’s like that guy in the bar who doesn’t accept any no-no. He could not accept it. I was not witness to what was happening in between [Jeremy and Mondello]But her story fits the mold of all the other women I’ve spoken to.”

While her alleged sexual assault occurred in 1997, it wasn’t until 2020 when she was interviewed by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

“It felt so good to tell someone an official who cares,” Mondello says. “I can’t even describe the feeling of full circle. I wasn’t one of the victims of the accusation. I was one of the witness the victim. There was a certain thing I would be there to support [Jeremy] He’s been doing this since at least 1997. They described me as a victim witness, a historical witness, and a witness of past bad deeds.”

The Daily Beast obtained and reviewed an email between Mondello and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office confirming that they had spoken to each other. When the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office was reached for comment, it was unable to provide comment due to the fact that the case against Jeremy is still pending.

Ron Jeremy listens as his attorney Stuart Goldfarb speaks during his trial on rape and sexual assault charges at Clara Shortridge Fultz Criminal Justice Center on June 26, 2020, in Los Angeles, California.

David McNew/AFP/Getty

Jeremy’s trial is currently suspended as his lawyers argue that the 69-year-old is mentally unfit to stand trial.

“I think Ron is sick, and I think he was sick when that happened,” Mondello says. “I don’t wish him ill will, but I’m glad he’s locked up. It’s a big deal that it really turned out he was doing it because for a long time I’ve had people turn their backs on me. That sucked. So now, it’s more about looking at the industry and seeing if they’re doing any Something to help talent have a voice when these things come up. These kinds of things happen today, and there’s nothing the industry is doing to change things, I can’t see.”

Mondello is working on a free website to be available next year, SturdyStairs.com, that allows adult artists to anonymously share their experiences after each scene on set. She hopes to turn it into a non-profit organization.

“That way they can start to see patterns in different companies… which companies are doing and which companies are problematic in certain areas,” Mondello explains. “Then the talent can decide for themselves who they want to work for.”

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