I got this letter from an admirer in regards to the porn actress (Ada Mae Woffinden Johnson) who began making films using my name back in November 2001 (my first porn article was published in 1998). Apparently she has been doing interviews. Now, instead of giggling as my friends make fun of her and wishing she’d stop using my name, I am hugging myself and rocking in the corner like a tiny child in horror that anyone might confuse me with her. Here is the email:
Subject: your namesake
Hey VB -
You have a great site and I love reading your comments on things and clicking on your links.
You’ve probably seen some of the comments made by your namesake regarding the rates of STDs among blacks. Apparently, that was nothing compared to the wackiness of some comments she made at another time:
So, just out of curiosity, I was wondering if you have been tossing any ideas around to help casual readers understand that Violet Blue and Violet “Lust” Blue are two different people.
(This is why they are so picky about middle initials and stuff at the Screen Actors Guild. Maybe you could start using your middle name – Indigo?)
Keep up the great work!
“Wackiness” just doesn’t quite cover it, does it? Especially with quotes like these from her SetGo interview:
Setgo: What did you think about the war to free Iraq?
Violet “Lust” Blue [the porn performer - Ada Mae Woffinden Johnson]: I think it was kinda silly but I think we should just kill the entire Middle East. That way we wouldn’t have terrorism any more.
Setgo: Are you bothered that California is being overrun by illegal immigration?
Violet “Lust” Blue [the porn performer - Ada Mae Woffinden]: Yeah, I think they should all go back to where they belong or learn how to speak English. Did you know that there’s no word for ‘maintenance’ in the Mexican language? I know a lot of nice Mexicans but there are a lot of Mexican scum who tend to live off the government and have a bunch of babies. I don’t think we should be that open to immigration from Mexico.
Setgo: Do you think we need more Muslim immigrants?
Violet [the porn performer - Ada Mae Woffinden]: No, they keep buying up all the 7-11s. I think all immigrants should learn how to speak English. If they speak English, I’m happy. I hate when I drive through the Valley and I can’t read any of the billboards because they are in Spanish. That’s why I am going to go back up to Washington where all there are a few American Indians and Koreans. Everybody is white. It’s a wonderful wonderful thing. It’s clean. There aren’t a lot of icky people. If you look at it, most bums are either black or white. I’m surprised there are not more Mexican bums.
Fuck, fuck, fuck. I can’t believe people like this still exist. What a peculiar nightmare to wake up and find myself in, it’s like a bad movie of the week and I’m being played by Tori Spelling. This woman is even dressing up like me. What if it happened to you — any suggestions?
UPDATE 2011: After years of using my name and occasionally dressing up as me for “appearances” and “signings” at great confusion to press and fans, and doing nothing to eliminate this confusion, when Ada Mae Johnson (nee Woffinden, now NoName Jane) announced her retirement from porn in 2007 and contacted me to tell me. She acknowledged in an email that she had been “using” my name and that I could “have it back.” I offered to buy her website, which had an image of her dressed as me on the front page. She said she still planned to use it as a source of income, and in late 2007 I filed suit against Johnson (then named Woffinden).
Neither indigent (poor) nor unmarried (as she claimed in the press), Johnson lost the suit and a settlement was reached in 2008.
I won the case on facts – and sworn testimony from many publishers, sex educator Carol Queen and others, and not for any other reason (Johnson still claims the loss was from her lack of funding, which was untrue, as we showed the Court she was not as she claimed “indigent” – as can be read in the Jurisnote Formal Summary). The Federal court summary regarding the injunction against Johnson (now NoName Jane) read:
The court granted Blue’s motion for a preliminary injunction, noting that Blue could likely demonstrate continuous use of her mark for many years prior to Johnson’s first use of the stage name “Violet Blue.” Furthermore, Blue could probably prove that prior to December 2000, consumers and readers of online reviews of adult materials and other writings about human sexuality would likely have associated Blue’s name with her brand. Blue was therefore likely to be successful at trial on the question of whether she had a valid trademark. In addition, Blue was likely to succeed in demonstrating a likelihood of confusion. Both parties used the name “Violet Blue” in relationship to goods and services that were extremely similar and, at times, overlapping. Moreover, there was significant evidence of actual confusion.
The case was won based on the Federal Preliminary Injunction. Johnson voluntarily settled and acknowledged explicitly in Federal court and in formal writing that she never had a right to use my name.
All the details can be read here. Fot the record: despite inaccuracies on adult film databases (which were examined in court), Johnson’s first film was “Simon Wolf’s Beauty and the Bitch 2″ (distributed November 2001); her website was launched April 2002. My first published work was in 1998, first column 1999, I had several more sex and porn-related columns on websites including GoodVibes.com in late 2000, my first book was in print December 2000, and this website launched in early 2001.
Prior to the lawsuit, a Federal Trademark was granted for my name. It was not easy, and had to be proven and judged in a manner that would stand up to Federal scrutiny – it was not easy, and was judged and granted upon merit and an impartial Federal Trademark jury assessed its validity against considerations in all fields.