Of course, no one ever accused the actor (whose hairy torso earned him the nickname “The Hedgehog”) of being clean. Far from it, we want our Ron Jeremy dirty, and that’s just how I found him last night at the grand opening of Hustler Hollywood in Berkeley.
The 54-year-old actor has appeared in 1,700 X-rated films, but these days his stock-in-trade is autograph-signings and celebrity appearances. The events have him on the road so often, he can’t say for certain the last time he visited his California home.
As a half-dozen female porn stars prep themselves in a back room of the Hustler boutique, Jeremy is seated in a pair of stained sweatpants and a black tee. “Oh, she has a great ass,” notes Jeremy as actress Veronica Rayne (star of Cherry Bustin’ #4, Lick Her Ass Off My Dick and Butt Bitches) passes in front of his folding chair.
A minute later the blond starlet 4.Memphis Monroe (18 & Nasty #45 and Cum Rain, Cum Shine) seats herself on Jeremy’s lap as she struggles to strap on a pair of stiletto pumps. “If I get a boner, I’m going to send you right through the ceiling,” quips Jeremy.
In February HarperCollins published the actor’s autobiography, Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz, and the porn star produces a copy of the New York Times that recently placed the book as #34 on the best-seller list.Larry Flynt has just arrived from the airport and soon the adult-film actors will join him in signing autographs for the 200-plus people forming a line around the store. “The police are outside,” warns the publicist. “So ladies, remember, no nipples.”
“What about anal penetration?” replies Jeremy. “Is that out, too?”
Seated in his golden wheelchair, Flynt tells me that no one has fought harder than he to ensure Americans’ their right to freedom of expression. “Name one other person who’s been to prison six times and shot and paralyzed for defending our freedom of speech?” asks the Hustler publisher, his voice still slurred from a stroke.
“Today there’s too much apathy about the 1st Amendment. People take civil rights for granted,” he continues.
When asked how he compares to Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner, Flynt shoots back: “He’s a coward. He would never stand up to defend freedom of expression. Deep down Hef wishes he was publisher of Time magazine. He’s ashamed of his role in pornography.”
The same, no doubt, cannot be said of Flynt and Ron Jeremy. The smut business has treated them well, and now they’re willing to share that success with the little guy. On the way out the door I have Jeremy sign a copy of his book for me. The price on the book’s jacket is $26, but with the porn star’s signature it’s now worth far more. “You can probably sell it on eBay for $40,” imparts Jeremy. “Thank me later.”