Ira Isaacs: The Rise and Fall of a Porn King

I suppose I better preface this by giving those of you who don’t know who Ira Isaacs is a brief history lesson.  Well, first of all, Ira is my former boss. He is also an American film director and self-described “shock artist.” He was also convicted of five federal counts of selling and distributing obscene material in 2012. If you need any further information on him, I would suggest reading his Wikipedia page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ira_Isaacs but I will do my best to give a juicier summary here.

I started working for Ira in 2003 shortly after my son was born. I was making a home video for him to distribute. I would bring the video in to his office so he could help me edit it and I saw that he was overwhelmed because the girl who was helping out in his office had quit. Before I knew it, I was gainfully employed by the man himself.

When I began working for Ira, business was booming. There were tons of orders pouring in. Ira, who came from a middle class background, was enjoying his wealth. During the three following years that I would work for him, Ira lived in a big, beautiful house in the Hollywood Hills, and owned a vintage Cadillac, a Lamborghini Gallardo and a BMW. While enjoying the high life, Ira was never a snob about the fact that he had a lot of money and he was generous with his cash. He paid his employees well and often offered to buy us lunch.  He was loyal to a lot of local businesses and did what he could to stimulate the economy.

I learned a lot when I worked for Ira. He was a very smart man with a background in advertising and I gleaned valuable information about marketing, customer service, and the computer. The fact that he saw my potential to learn, even though I wasn’t the most experienced candidate, meant a lot to me.

Now I don’t mean to idealize Ira. He had his down sides. Was he stubborn? Yes. Did I sometimes come home wanting to kill him? Yes. Was he a pervert? Yes. Was he a chauvinist? Yes. But I suppose that comes with the territory and Ira was always completely who he was, no surprises, and I was grateful for that.

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In 2005, I stopped working for Ira because my husband had opened a music rehearsal studio that was starting to take off and he needed my help running the studio and taking care of our son. While we had many successful years as owners of the studio, by 2011, our business had run it’s course, it seemed, and I looked up Ira again to see if he had any work for me.

I hadn’t really been up on the news, but anyone who had been probably heard about what happened to Ira during that time…

Apparently, the wheels were already set in motion when I was last working there. There was an IT who worked with me, I’ll call him John. John was a really likeable guy from England. The theory is that the FBI got to him and shook him down for information and evidence. All Ira knows is that someone from the office was a rat and John was the only employee that didn’t testify in court when the case was brought in. It baffled both of us that John maintained such a cool demeanor, coming into work, knowing that he was leaking information to the FBI. Did they offer him money? Did they threaten his immigration status? We will never know.

Anyway, the FBI came in there, badges drawn, and conducted interviews with the entire staff, and, suffice it to say, no one came in to work the next day. And so began Ira Isaacs’ life as a criminal.

He was tried once but a mistrial was declared because the judge who was trying the case was also found to be a fan of pornography. But double jeopardy be damned, they dragged Ira back in for a second trial.

It was at this time, between these two cases, that I began working for Ira again. It was sad to see how the mighty had fallen. The Lamborghini was gone and the Cadillac was sold during this time. He was hemorrhaging money due to the legal fees and the man who once slept well into the morning was now up early dealing with legal issues and worry. He had put up quite a battle as his own one man PR team, but now he was too poor and tired to fight and he was seeing jail as more and more of a reality.  Also, the economic downturn, and the fact that the pornography market was so saturated didn’t help matters as the orders that were once pouring in had now slowed down to a trickle.

After working for Ira another year, he let me go. There wasn’t enough work or money to justify my employment.

Ira would be put on trial two more times to fight the charges that were brought against him. He was finally sentenced to four years in prison in January 2013.

While I was working for Ira I got to see him building the defense for his case. The thing was, he was trying to fight an obscenity charge by proving that what he was selling had artistic and political value and was therefore not obscene. I was a bit torn on that one. Even I had to admit that what he was selling might be considered obscene. The thing was, he didn’t deserve to be in jail.  He wasn’t hurting anyone. If you don’t like it, you can look away.

And what’s really ironic about this, is that Ira, more so than anyone I know, lived the American dream to it’s fullest. He pursued life, liberty and happiness while fully taking advantage of his freedom of speech.  Funny though it may seem, he lived out his dreams and fantasies while stimulating the economy, providing jobs, and bringing pleasure and enjoyment to many lonely men, no matter how perverted they may have been.  It is times like this that I am ashamed of my country. Sorry, America, this time you got it wrong.

23 thoughts on “Ira Isaacs: The Rise and Fall of a Porn King

  1. Interesting story–now I’m curious about Mr. Isaacs…as for the negative feedback, be flattered: it just means people are hearing you. I love to be cursed and trolled.

  2. I was looking up something else and ran into this story. I appreciated what you had to say. It’s rare to see a defense of pornography just based on the good sense that no one is hurt by it. I can’t find out whether Isaacs has spent time in jail yet but I’m sure the stress has ruined him even if he hasn’t. I briefly worked with Barry Goldman who did spend time in jail for similar charges and I know how the pressure of the situation can ruin peace of mind and health. Your support for the guy was good to see. Thanks.

    • Hi Troy! The article is not always met with the most favorable criticism but remains one of my most read pieces even though it was published years ago. I think Ira is currently in jail because I heard he was sentenced and I have no reason to believe that he isn’t doing time. It’s definitely a shame to see our criminal system wasting money over a basically victimless crime. Thank you for writing.

  3. Hello Marissa,

    I believe i’ve met you back in the day while you were working for Ira. My name is Megumi, i have been with Ira since 2006.
    Please….allow me to correct one thing, he did not only own a classic cadillac, Lambo, and btw, but also Ferrari and aston martin as he lived high in Hollywood hills lol

    I am obviously very disappointed at the administration for putting a man who did not hurt nor cheat anyone into the prison, but it is all done now.
    Ira has been released from Federal prison just last week and is back in LA.
    He is a very smart man and has incredible ideas as you know.
    I am sure that he will be successful at what he’s going to do next.

    Great article, i enjoyed it.

    Regards,
    Megumi

    • Hi Megumi,
      I remember you. Thank you for reading and writing and the corrections. I’m glad you liked the article. I’m so sorry that Ira went through what he did but glad he is out of prison now and on to other things. Please send him my regards. I wish him the best.

      • Thank you Marissa!
        I have just visited Ira yesterday and talked about your article. He read it before he’s left and he liked it as well.
        I hope you don’t mind me sharing it on facebook.
        You are a wonderful writer.

  4. First and foremost, I admire the fact that you are loyal to your former boss. Your compassion is evident in the article and another trait that I find equally as admirable is that you have not judged him. In fact, others could learn from your laissez-faire and fair-minded attitude.

    Another important fact is, if as you say, he has hurt no one with his business, then the harshness of his sentencing is questionable. Granted jail terms are meant to be a deterrent and is meant to assist the criminal to rehabilitate, but if there is no evil or habitual traits to rehabilitate, then it’s a waste of government resources and a complete outrage.

    He sounds like a resourceful and a smart, business-oriented man so hopefully, he will put his talent into more ‘lawful’ and equally as enterprising pursuits, now that he is out.

    Bouquets to you Marissa, for a well-written piece.

    • Thank you Wendy! Even though I wrote this blog nearly 3 years ago, it remains the most read and viewed. Ira is now out of jail and in a half way house and I plan to visit him and do an afterward to this piece, maybe to publish in the magazine I’m writing for and then share here. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your views.

  5. I my self and so many of my friends online or real life are/am into bdsm and fetishes some weird some more popular. its like being gay or loving verbal intercourse,,u dint choose it,,it just feels right,its the way you have known ur self from the beggining,,we ourselves have experienced same struglles of shame and dispare before finally accepting these weird but naturally harmless feelings we were born with. ,,its against human rights against the freedom of expression,,against discrimination rules of crushing minorities ,,there are thousands of people maybe millions with this fetish and even worse,,oh yes you havent seen worse!!but i m sure that at least one percent of fetishists are into scat,,there are hundreds of scat communities with thousands of members,,but the reason we all are shy and not spoken is just we know no one would respect how we feel. Its very unfair to let some one decide a fate of a man who doesnt understand why he feels the way he does,,
    ,,why do u think the videos are sold,,, they are sold because many like them,,its different from some pervert liking to buy animal cruelty vids,,or child abuse films,,its enjoying to watch a film that unlike all boring main adult. Film making industry ist brutal like max hardcore chiking young girls who looked frightened,,,nor is hazadrdous. ,im pointing the the jour ! who said u should watch those vids,,,they always say its explicid. Before every video so that those who really like them will watch,,you shouldnt have sneeked into a hole that wasnt gonna be pleasant for you and they told you that at the beggingg of the film . U just care about what you feel and prefere other feelings to be neglected ,.i bet u would sentence him to death if it wasnt for certain legal history makings,,,you definately disrespected our human rights,,,our interests,, there is no worse answer to one mans natural needs ,than jailing him for expressing it in a natiral way .
    Just because you do not understand the reason why some people like scat,,same as some other like feet,and so,,wouldnt give you the right or reason to condemn him to prison…we call our nation the most supportive to communities especially those In minority who are just expressing their feelings and definately wint want you to accidentally see their desires to get upset or whatever,,,but when you purposefully get your nose into some ones a@@ youre gonna smell bad things,,so plz do not look at vids you dont like!!and stop blaiming others.

    Scat and bdsm community are people from all walks of life, even many politicians share the same views many doctors writers, respectful people
    Coprophilia is a sexual desire coming from masochistic characters mostly,,as ling as it doesnt hurt any one or against any ones consent should be left to tendt to its audience,,
    scat is mostly the rarest fetish which only makes it a great target for dogmatic conservatives,
    But this rare fetish is so intensly rooted deep within its community ,that no one could subside it not by Mind controling laws nor by bullies in the public who only respect what their father respected!
    Let us be free in the way we think and feel good.
    Dont lay the responsbility of watching scat films on the producer,,you shouldnt have watched it if u didnt likes it,,,

    I dont like and am disgusted by surgery on a swollen abcess ,,and i wont watch it,,but if i did,,and so many others got disgusted,,would u put the surgeon in trial??or just better not watch the damn procedure???

    Im full of shame how the usa community was silence through this trial..how bdsm community didnt back him in any effective manner…he was producing movies that so many people would really like but are were shy to express it,
    He must be released .if we believe in freedom ..the recpecting minority rights and habits ,,even if we dont understand or relate to it,,even we are disgusted by it…,as long as no one was hurt,,nor did anything against their will,,

    • Thank you for this. I saw Ira not too long ago and he has been released from prison but now he is in a half way house. It will be difficult for him to get back into society so it’s definitely a shame that he has become a victim.

    • Well, i guess it could be a great Hollywood story if he didn’t end up in jail. He’s actually in a half way house now, trying to get back on his feet but his prospects are bleak as far as finding a job and housing. Thanks for reading Sheldon!

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