Gay Porn Star’s Death Sparks Vicious Online Attacks
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK – The death of gay porn star Erik Rhodes on June 14 has mobilized both fans and those critical of the late actor’s openly gay lifestyle to post their commendations—and condemnations—of the late star online. Rhodes—whose real name was James Elliot Naughtin—died of an apparent heart attack in his sleep, in an incident that may have been related to his well known use of steroids.
Rhodes, 30, was well-regarded in the gay community. Falcon Studios CEO Adam Q. Robinson tweeted last week that the actor was “a man of steel on the outside, but all teddy bear on the inside.” Producer and author Jack Shamama relayed his shock. “I still can’t believe @ Erik_Rhodes is no longer with us,” Shamama tweeted.
“He was a gentle giant. Anyone who says otherwise didn’t know him.” Rhodes’ heavy use of club drugs and steroids were well known, as were his battles with depression. While messages of support and condolences filled cyberspace last week, there were also postings from those who took the opportunity to assail Rhodes’ memory.
On Queerty.com, an article about Rhodes’ death prompted this comment from a user named Cynthia, who criticized Rhodes and the LGBT community.
“This story has brought me to tears and is a clear example that the wages of sin is death,” she wrote. “The fact that the gay community loves pornography and celebrates the pornographic industry is a tragedy.”