What Happened to Porn Star Dakota Skye?

dakota-syke-illo - Credit: Images used in photo illustration by SMG / ZUMA; hoo-me.com/MediaPunch/IPx/AP
On June 6th, 2021, police responded to a call from a man in a trailer on Skid Row in Los Angeles, a neighborhood frequented by the homeless and drug addicts. The man said a woman came over hours ago and asked to take a nap. He obeyed and offered her a place on his couch, but when he checked on her in the morning she wasn't breathing.
The woman's name was Lauren Scott, and she loved karaoke, Hilary Duff, and once dreamed of becoming a marine biologist. But she was better known as Dakota Skye. Tiny and flax-blonde Skye had appeared in nearly 300 films since entering the industry eight years ago when she was 19, from Couples Bang the Babysitter 10 to Young Girl Seductions 9; Though she was 27 at the time of her death, practically Methuseleh-esque in porn years, her petite stature (she was only six feet tall) and ubiquitous angelic expression resulted in her being cast mostly in teenage roles.
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According to the L.A. County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, Skye's cause of death has not been established and the office refused to release any documents related to her death to Rolling Stone until the case was closed. However, she was known in adult circles to struggle with substance abuse. At the time of her death, the press reported that she was homeless, which it was not; estranged from her husband, she lived with her boyfriend in Woodland Hills, California. But she had fallen from her previous heights.
At the height of her porn career, Skye was represented by one of the best agents in the profession, appeared on hundreds of DVD boxed covers, and was nominated for a number of awards including the 2015 prestigious AVN Best New Starlet Award in recent years booked many roles and made headlines, mostly for her arrests (including domestic violence in 2017, a charge that was later dropped) and erratic behavior on social media, including most recently flashing her breasts in front of a George Floyd mural in May 2021. She also struggled with drug and alcohol addictions, which led her to play around for years, borrowing money and using favors for work. "She was so big in our industry," says Kianna Bradley, a grown actress who befriended Skye and later mentored her. "And she died in a motor home with a man she didn't know because she had nowhere else to go."
Considering she hasn't been very active in porn in years, some members of the adult community who are sensitive to how they're portrayed in mainstream media looked to part ways with Skye, arguing that their story is a tragic, but all too common city - not just for those into porn. “A person with known addiction problems has taken an overdose. It happens every day in Los Angeles, ”an insider told me. "It's a sad person with drug problems who died from all the reports I've heard."
However, others argue that Skye's fate mirrors the problems facing the adult entertainment industry, such as the lack of systemic, institutional support for those struggling with mental illness and substance abuse. “When I was Dakota's age I was so fucked up that I was missed filming and they ended up saying to me, 'We're not hiring you anymore. Get help. We'll put you in rehab and help you, ”says Bradley. “That doesn't happen anymore. You used them up and pushed them aside. "
Skye was born in Clearwater, Florida, to an alcoholic mother who later died in her forties and a father she barely knew. Her childhood was marked by sexual abuse and her mother was sporadically drunk. “She had a very, very bad upbringing,” says her husband, Zachary Lecompte-Goble, to Rolling Stone. When she was in her early teens, she moved to live with her father's family in South Ohio, where she met an older friend who encouraged her to start cam when she was only 16, according to Lecompte-Gobel. She started her porn career in Florida when she was 19 after being recruited by her first agent, John O’Byrne of East Coast Talent. "Smaller models are good in the end - the petite girls are good," says O’Byrne. “The industry likes the little girl / big penis [juxtaposition]. She had a great work ethic in the beginning. She came up and shot and they said, 'Oh my god, she killed it. We want to book her for four more scenes. ”“ Within the first six months, he says, she was on more than 100 box covers.
According to Lecompte-Goble, Skye told him that when she first stepped into the industry, she told O'Byrne that she was just comfortable booking girl / girl shoots - a fairly common one Request for young women who were new to porn - only for them agent to immediately start booking their roles in boy / girl scenes. "It was certainly a bait-and-switch," says Lecompte-Goble. (O'Byrne denied any memory of it, saying Skye asked to do boy / girl scenes right off the bat.)
Skye enjoyed her job and was apparently good at it. "She looks a lot like Dakota Fanning, and that was part of the niche she worked in," said Alana Evans, Skye's friend and president of the Adult Performance Artists' Guild. "This naughty blonde enjoyed the personality that [viewers] enjoyed." After about two and a half years, she left East Coast Talent and moved to Los Angeles, the epicenter of the porn world, to work with adult superstar agent Mark Spiegler.
Skye was fearless and generous to her friends when she could be, and Bradley related that once, when Bradley auditioned for a marketing job at a club, she stripped down to her underwear, climbed onto a table, and began attracting patrons . “She was singing her heart and she can't sing a treat,” recalls Bradley. "Because she wanted to help me get this job." When she was sober, she was bubbly and free-spirited and ready for anything. Director and screenwriter Jacky St. James tells Rolling Stone that at the height of Skye's success she once called her to an uncredited supporting role in which she had to put on an unflattering costume to play a nerdy college student. "She had me put huge eyebrows on her and put them in the most hideous Pepto-Bismol colored outfit and let me stick her hair in that ugly hair tie and she was perfectly fine and comfortable and had a great time," recalls St. James. "This is my memory of Dakota for me: the girl who was never too proud to be silly."
However, in the depths of her addiction, she was impulsive and unpredictable. She went to Facebook to post lengthy swear words about her dog being sick and in need of an operation, and asked former coworkers and employers for money. "That was very unusual because she was a very popular actress," says St. James. “It was surprising that she needed money.” Lecompte-Goble says she would, for example, fly to Paris to make a sex tape with a stranger or pull a knife at him during an argument. “I have no idea about demons,” he says. “I've never met anyone who could be said to be demon possessed. But there was a demon in this girl. "
Lecompte-Goble first met Skye at a party at the height of her fame around 2015; They married in Las Vegas in 2016 after Skye said she was pregnant (Lecompte-Goble says she made the decision to terminate the pregnancy to continue working after Spiegler offered her a contract.) "- he currently works in the cannabis industry and previously briefly worked as a spokesman for far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopolous - he didn't know what to think of her doing sex work. “At first I saw it as her strength as a woman,” he says. "And I thought who am I to tell her she can't?" Far more disturbing, he says, was Skye's preference for Xanax. “This is Los Angeles. If you take Xanax because you are anxious and take it as directed, it isn't necessarily a red flag, ”he says. "And she was really good at hiding that at first."
When she lost the Best New Starlet Award, Lecompte-Goble said her substance abuse skyrocketed: he saw her routinely taking 10 to 15 Xanax at a time, and she also started smoking methamphetamine. “I wanted to help fix it because, you know, I'm out of this world,” he says. "I just thought I might get her mental help and give her what she needs and I can fix it." After living together for two years, the relationship ended after Skye pulled a knife on Lecompte-Goble. In the last years of their lives, since their separation in 2016, they have only been husband and wife in the legal name. “I became more of her father and more of a janitor than anything,” he says.
Also of concern was Skye's increasingly erratic behavior. She regularly became paranoid and violent, accusing people of sexually abusing or harming her, or alleging that shadowy forces were persecuting her and trying to end her life. She once told her friend Evans that Lecompte-Goble was a Kennedy and that people were trying to murder her. She called a friend and told him that there were hidden cameras in her house and that she was obsessively documenting her boyfriend's actions because she was afraid he would sexually abuse her. “She would say the craziest things. Everyone in the industry who worked with her or filmed her absolutely knew what they were going to do with her, ”says Evans. “They knew she was addicted and might be coherent, but not necessarily sober. And that was the path she went for a few years. ”At one point she accused the porn star Ron Jeremy of raping her; When the LAPD contacted her during the investigation into Jeremy to ask Skye's testimony, Skye initially agreed and then refused to cooperate with the police, according to Evans. (Jeremy currently faces 330 years in prison on other sexual assault charges; his lawyers did not respond to Rolling Stone's request for comment.)
Left to right: adult cast members Kasey Storm, Alana Evans, Cher Adel, Kianna Bradley and Dakota Skye. - Photo credit: Kiana Bradley
Kiana Bradley
In June 2017, Skye was arrested in Pinellas County, Florida for domestic battery. According to Pinellas County court records, at around 4:55 am, Skye slapped her then boyfriend in the face after they had sex, "swelling and cutting his lower lip." "It was a drug-fueled rage," says Bradley of the incident. The following month, the friend filed a motion for no charge, which the court granted. Over the next two years, Skye went into rehab at least six times, Lecompte-Goble says, usually checking himself in after just a few days. Neither of them took: she would spend a couple of weeks clean and then jump back on the couch with agents and publicists and celebrity affairs until she landed on the street again. “She called me late at night or early in the morning. You could tell she was screwed, ”says Bradley. “Her husband would say he doesn't know where she was. It was hard to keep an eye on Dakota. "
Skye's fights made her a favorite for adult gossip blogs who, like mainstream gossip blogs, indulge in the rigors of their fallen stars. “Dakota has always been the social media wreck that we all enjoyed. One part of this page likes to watch, the other hopes she gets the help she needs, ”wrote a gossip blogger after Skye posted on Twitter that she would go into rehab in 2019, a few months before coming forward Driving under the influence found guilty in a Burbank court. But even though her mental health issues and the breakdowns on public social media made her gossip feed, she continued to book roles.
According to her profile on the Internet Adult Film Database, more than 20 scenes with Skye were released in 2019 alone (although some of them were compilations of her previously filmed work). “If you have a name and sell the girl, they'll book you. And that's the bad thing about the industry, "says O’Byrne. “It's like playing sports. If someone is injured and wants you to play, they'll tell you to play ... they shot her because everything she touched sold. "O'Byrne says Skye had him at an Exxotica in 2018 -Convention and asked to return to his agency. At this point, she had separated from Spiegler after leaving the industry for a short time to go back to school; Since returning, she'd gone through a number of other agencies and got tattooed, which spoiled her looks as a girl next door. O'Byrne said no. “She wasn't the same girl. It would have been difficult for me to represent her if I remember the person I want to remember, ”he says. “This is the person I wanted to represent at the time. And Dakota wasn't that person anymore. "
Many of the jobs Skye booked, Evans says, were with companies that had previously worked with her and tried to help her, despite her public troubles, by giving her work. But Bradley says anyone who occupied Skye at the lowest point of her addiction was effectively supporting her. “She was at the point where she did everything. Fans see, escort, trade content, work whenever they could. It had nothing to do with work, ”she says. “If someone has hired you in the past two years, be ashamed of yourself. She was out of her mind. It was very well known. If someone tells you otherwise, they're lying. ”St. James, who stopped working with Skye years ago but stayed in touch with her sporadically over the years, agrees. “When someone goes through something like this, the best thing I can do is not hire them. Not only because it is a liability for me, but also for them because they can agree? ”She says.
After Skye's death, loved ones who benefited directly from Skye, such as her former agents and publicists and the producers who employed her, accused her of exploiting or even enabling her. Some of those close to Skye referred to James Bartholet, Skye's friend and publicist, as an example of someone who made their addiction possible by continually partying with Skye. (When asked about this, Bartholet denied ever doing drugs to Skye and denied doing drugs with her, saying, "Anyone who makes such statements is slander and slander. There are many haters out there." ) But everyone agrees that the bigger problem was the lack of infrastructure support for Skye within the company. “It took a lot more people to say, 'No, I'm not going to book you, but I'll help you sober up.” She didn't get that, ”Evans says. "Giving an addict $ 1,000 for a scene doesn't help."
Because of the widespread - and imprecise - belief that all adult performers are survivors of abuse or drug addiction, some people I spoke to took care that Skye's struggles did not reflect the porn community in general. An industry source warned that attention to Skye's death and the industry-wide issues it may highlight would be a public relations issue amid ongoing attacks from anti-pornography groups such as the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (formerly known as morality in.) is exposed to Media), a multi-million dollar conservative advocacy group currently campaigning to shut down sites like Pornhub. "Within two seconds you'll get NCOSE to turn your story around and say, 'PORN did this to her", "the insider warned me.
According to her friends and family members, Skye's struggles with addiction and mental health declined before she entered mainstream porn; from what she has said she enjoyed working in porn and was able to make lots of friends and mentors in the adult world. But porn actors, who usually work as independent contractors, often do not receive health insurance or benefits, nor is there a formalized support system for those struggling with substance abuse or mental health problems. There are a handful of organizations primarily geared towards sex workers, including Pineapple Support, which connects sex workers with therapists across the country. But both Evans and Bradley say Skye's efforts to seek help from Pineapple Support have gone unanswered. "A lot of us tried to help Dakota," says Evans. "But if you didn't allow their addictive behavior, you were the problem for them." (Pineapple Support CEO Leya Falcon didn't respond to requests for comment.) While her friends and family say Skye struggled long before she entered the industry, it was the lack of infrastructural support on porn for people with mental health doesn't help. "People come into this industry with them because they can make a lot of money here," explains Evans. "Sometimes they can. And sometimes with Dakota, it will only compound the problem that she's having."
Like many other cast members during the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in a month-long closure of sanctioned adult film shoots, 2020 was a tough one for Skye. But it was in two ways because she had experienced a number of other personal setbacks: her mother died of liver failure in 2019 after a long battle with alcoholism, two of her grandparents had died of Covid-19, and she lost her beloved dog Eli. She was arrested at 3 a.m. in May 2020 and held in a Van Nuys Prison on undisclosed wrongdoing charges; Earlier this spring, she was outed as an escort on a porn gossip blog and faced tremendous backlash on social media after posting an Instagram showing her boobs in front of a George Floyd mural. "I just think, 'Oh, Dakota was high,'" Evans says after watching the post. "That wouldn't have sobered her up."
The night before her death, Skye had left the house she shared with her boyfriend and called a number of her friends, including her publicist, and asked if she could stay with them. They all turned them down. “She thought the FBI and the Mafia were after her. She thought she was going to be a Hell's Angel biker. She was high, ”says Bradley. She walked all the way from the Valley to Skid Row in Los Angeles, an hour-long journey before ending up at a homeless person's camp at 2:30 in the morning. Though the LAPD denied Rolling Stone's request for a police report, according to Lecompte-Goble, who spoke extensively with investigators, the homeless saw Skye smoke a bit before she curled up on his couch and fell asleep. She never woke up.
Those close to Skye are split over how much the adult community could actually have done to at least help her through her addiction - if not save her. “If someone has a problem, we help them. And if that person doesn't want our help, there's nothing we can do about it, ”says O’Byrne. “If you check someone into rehab and they check themselves out, you've done your job. When we say we activated them, they are trying to pass the money on to the people who they think caused the whole problem. The industry probably kept her to themselves longer and kept her alive longer because they respected her and wanted to make her understand that we were there for her and if she needed help, she asked. All you can say is that the industry made it possible for them to put money in their pockets to buy the stuff, and that's not our fault. "
Others, however, see the story differently: Dakota Skye was a troubled young woman from whom the industry profited massively until it could no longer do it. And when they couldn't, they had no more use for them. And while such a development is not specific to porn - certainly the same thing has always happened with Hollywood starlets - the uniquely stigmatized nature of sex work makes it even more difficult for those struggling to get support. Those close to Dakota "had all the resources we had [to help her]," says Evans. “Dakota either used it or refused it. So what matters is actors in the form Dakota was in - directors shouldn't be filming them. That's the kind of thing that should happen instead of those on the sidelines going out of their way to help them without any support. "
After Skye passed away, Bradley and Evans started a fundraiser to generate enthusiasm for a Dakota Skye Foundation to help people into porn who are struggling with alcohol or drug abuse and mental health problems. Some people I've spoken to also came up with the idea of ​​performing mandatory drug testing on performers suspected of being too impaired to give informed consent on set, although St. James was skeptical that it would Measure could be implemented across the industry. "Recreational drug use is everywhere, certainly outside of this business," she says. "If you do a drug test in Hollywood, you're going to have massive fucking problems."
At her memorial service, Bradley gave a speech addressed to those in the business who continued to benefit from Skye while she was in her addiction. “We cannot accept pornography at the expense of the young women who make it. Not as an actor. Not as directors. Not as agents. Not as fans. It's way too expensive, ”she said in the speech. “Dakota is the youngest girl, but I guarantee you if we stop doing more we will meet again in months, weeks, or days to mourn the loss of another young woman. We can do better. We have to do better. "
If you or someone you know is struggling with drugs, call the Drug Abuse and Mental Health Authority's National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357). You can also turn to the Crisis Text Line, a free, 24/7 confidential SMS service that assists people in crisis by sending 741741 SMS.
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