Christy Mack’s story is important and immediate, but the type of dialogue it should be provoking isn’t happening because all the players involved are compromised by their involvement in porn, MMA, and reality TV.
Mack, a porn performer, was beaten savagely last Friday, August 8, allegedly by ex-boyfriend War Machine, an MMA fighter who legally changed his name from Jon Koppenhaver. With Mack at her Las Vegas home was former reality star Corey Thomas (“Megan Wants A Millionaire”), who made it out with two black eyes and a broken nose.
UPDATE: Koppenhaver was captured a week later by US Marshals and the Simi Valley Police in his room in a Simi Valley Extended Stay Hotel. According to Wikipedia, Simi Valley is where Koppenhaver grew up. The community lies just to the west of Porn Valley and is also the home of the Ronald Reagan Library. According to police, Koppenhaver went quietly. In his room was loose cash and pizza./UPDATE
That these three professions share a similar echelon of both fame and fame-seeking behavior immediately compromises the message: Mack was severely beaten by someone who, if we believe her, might have killed her had she not escaped. What are we teaching people?
But because of a life lived on twitter, in tattoo parlors and gyms, in selfies and the relentless if inevitable quest for followers and fame that these jobs require, the simple and understandable fact of Mack’s poor choice of partner has been blown up to ridiculousness: “What did you expect by going out with someone named ‘War Machine’?” people ask. And “Did you expect your porn star girlfriend not to be fucking other guys?”
The titillation and squalor makes the Rihanna/Chris Brown incident look downright classy.
On the plus side, Mack’s fame has elicited nearly $60k in donations as of this writing, as well as an offer of free dental reconstructive surgery. This sort of thing would not happen to an ordinary battered wife who showed up at a shelter. And reality star Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman has vowed to go after War Machine, with whom he has a personal beef. Celebrity counts for something.
On the other hand, no one assumes a non-famous battered wife must have done something to deserve the beating.
But we are not asking why women stay with violent men, why is violence reinforced in men, and what is this we are confusing with love? Instead, because of the people involved, we are asking if the eventual Dog/War Machine smackdown is going to be on basic cable or Pay Per View, if some unscrupulous pornographer is going to offer to pay Mack and War Machine for a makeup movie, and if this isn’t some big publicity stunt.
I wrote the following article for Gamelink’s Naked Truth, detailing the events of August 8 and immediately thereafter:
Christy Mack Recovers from “Cursed” War Machine Assault
Porn and MMA don’t need any more negative publicity, but in the wake of this weekend’s battery of Christy Mack, the public can be forgiven for concluding that inter-industry dating doesn’t work out for the best.
Mack, the Las Vegas-based pinup and porn performer, is currently recovering from serious injuries inflicted, she says, by ex-boyfriend Jon Koppenhaver, known professionally as the Mixed Martial Arts fighter War Machine.
Koppenhaver is at large and a $10,000 reward is offered by the Las Vegas Police for information leading to his capture.
Koppenhaver, Mack says in a statement released on her Twitter page, arrived at her Las Vegas home early on the morning of Friday, August 8, where he assaulted her friend and then proceeded to beat, stab, and threaten to rape the 23-year-old performer. Mack says she was finally able to escape, running naked through back yards to a neighbor who helped her to the hospital.
According to his WarMachine170 Twitter account, Koppenhaver was Hungry just before he arrived at Mack’s residence. Five hours later, after allegedly sending two people to the hospital (Koppenhaver tweeted that the other was a man — it is reported that former reality star Corey Thomas escaped with a broken nose and two black eyes — and internet speculation, of course, is that Mack was having sex with him), he felt Cursed.
Koppenhaver did not tweet for the next two days, but then let loose with a series of disturbing posts on August 10.
I only wish that man hadn’t been there and that Christy & I would behappily engaged.I don’t know y I’m so cursed.One day truth will come out
The cops will never give me fair play, never believe me. Still deciding what to do but at the end of the day it’s all just heart breaking.
I’m not a bad guy, I went to surprise my gf, help her set up her show and to give her an engagement ring and ended up fighting for my life.
Adult industry support for Mack was immediate. She was an engaging panelist at an XBiz seminar I moderated this January, just before she won XBiz’s Best New Starlet award and just after hilariously infuriating the Lego company for offering a blowjob to whomever could build her the best Lego sculpture. She is a heavily-inked dynamo and a business-savvy free spirit.
Ivan, co-founder of porn star site network Puba.com, which hosts Mack’s site, said that, despite Mack’s outrageous presentation, she is very humble and down-to-earth.
She is one of the most generous people you will ever meet. And she never publicizes it. She lives her life with her animals and small circle of loved ones.
While Koppenhaver was roundly derided on social media and urged to surrender to cops, to commit suicide, and to not commit suicide, many comments on non-adult gossip sites suggest that Mack deserved to be beaten.
I don’t feel bad for you one bit Christy, you are the idiot that decided to date him
Well deserved. Bet you don’t feel like celebrating being a hoe now, do you?
Perhaps the most chilling read is the Twitter feed of a man claiming to be Jon Koppenhaver’s “brother,” whose handle is AlphaMaleSeeJay. His brother used the recent death of Robin Williams to Photoshop Mack’s bruised face onto her porn glamour shot.
Koppenhaver’s actual brother, Michael Koppenhaver, told the wrestling site BJPenn that @AlphaMaleSeeJay was a troll account, but also said that Mack’s account of August 8 was not entirely true.
War Machine had previously dated porn star Alanah Rae, and infamously beat up several party guests — including his agent, Derek Hay — at a 2009 adult industry event. The impetus was that Hay was not getting War Machine enough work as an adult performer.
I asked porn star Alec Knight, who had the misfortune of getting in the way of War Machine that night (and was hospitalized) why no one seemed to file charges after such a well-publicized melee.
“I tried to sue him for damages but he didn’t have any money that the lawyers could get from him so the charges were dropped,” Knight says. “Around that time he got into another fight that landed him in jail anyway.”
This opens up a bag of worms about why people who are so clearly unstable occasionally get a pass in porn.
“I hear that is what ended his career in porn but [it] didn’t stop him from associating with porn folk,” Knight says.
Koppenhaver, who legally changed his name to War Machine, said in an interview with BJPenn.com Radio that, following his release from prison on another assault charge, on of his motivations for success was to disgust the judge who had sent him there.
Yeah, I’ll always try my best so I can live and eat and stuff. But I want them to see more, just to piss of the judge and the supposed victim. I want them to see that I’m doing well and showing my face on tv. I want them to flip though through the channels and see my face and cringe. I want them to be disgusted with my success. I just want to throw it in their faces. That really motivates me.
It is easy to predict how the incident can devolve into victim-blaming, in that Scorpion And Frog way the internet has. Mack knew War Machine’s record of assault, volatility, and imprisonment, yet entered a relationship with him. “What do you expect from someone named War Machine?” more than one commenter posted.
Furthermore, that Mack and War Machine were actively sexting, retweeting, and promoting each other days before her hospitalization (Mack’s Fleshlight is also featured prominently on War Machine’s “Alpha Male Shit” website), that Koppenhaver had a public record of domestic abuse, and that both had the other’s name tattooed prominently on themselves (Mack’s read “Property of War Machine”) indicates mutual thrill-seeking behavior. The relationship wasn’t over in the way Mack’s statement attests.
Mack could have taunted Koppenhaver, shamed him, even initiated the assault. And yet none of that is justification for leaving a human being with (at last count) 18 broken bones.
Porn stars and MMA fighters have been common sights recently (Jenna Jameson and Tito Ortiz come to mind, and MMA celebrities grace the AVN Awards red carpet in Vegas more and more). What is the appeal? Mutual athleticism and body consciousness sounds right, the energy of Vegas where both industries have hubs, and the similar fame accorded to celebrities of both entertainments seem to be factors. That War Machine was looking for work in the adult industry at one point also suggests that MMA fighting isn’t necessarily that lucrative — another instance where reality doesn’t measure up to perception.
Similarities aside, I am not aware of a single porn/MMA matchup that did not eventually result in a domestic violence charge. It seems like an unstable connection.
(“You need not be a porn fan to help Christy Mack,” writes Mika Tanon her Facebook page. “War Machine has not yet been apprehended. Call 911 if anyone has info on this piece of shit”).
We wish Christy a speedy recovery.