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Crissy Moran, Former Porn Star, Has a New Life and Is 'Fasting' From Men

After six years in porn, Crissy Moran is helping women heal from "sexual brokenness."
After six years in porn, Crissy Moran is helping women heal from "sexual brokenness."
Nanette Gonzales

Crissy Moran holds a pair of

drumsticks, her long, slender fingers clanking off-rhythm as she looks

up at a monitor above, following along to the directions of Guitar Hero.

Eyes

smoky, lips pouty and dark brown hair flowing over her shoulders,

Moran, flanked by an all-girl band, shreds "With or Without You" on a

dimly lit stage in a bar tucked deep in the Valley. The lead singer,

blonde and doe-eyed, hits every note -- off-key. It's so bad that members

of the audience join in out of sympathy. But Moran doesn't seem to

notice, her gaze trailing off in space as if she's dreaming.

The

crowd of a half-dozen at the bar doesn't know what to make of the

group's music, FYI, but patrons are enraptured by the beautiful disaster

onstage. A few boos are mixed in with catcalls, and then silence.

Moran

and her "bitches," as the bar's MC repeats on the mic, are here for her

birthday. Her 26th, her girlfriends joke, taking their seats to down

Cadillac margaritas and munch onion rings. Rotating in their atmosphere,

a steady stream of hanger-on Casanovas crash like asteroids. She looks

familiar, they say.

She gets that a lot.

"He was like, OK,

take off your bra. And I was shaking. I didn't know what he was doing

at that moment. Most women in the business come from backgrounds of

sexual abuse, so for me, because I did, too, when he said that, I froze.

I disconnected."

Crissy Moran once was one of the biggest names

in porn. She spent six years in front of the camera. At the top of her

game, she earned about $15,000 a month from her website alone. Roped

into the business after falling into a rabbit hole of abusive

boyfriends, the self-described "relationship junkie" now does penance as

an outreach specialist to women in the adult entertainment industry.

Moran works for Treasures, a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2003 by a

former dancer to help women heal from what she calls "sexual

brokenness."

Moran's brokenness stems from early sexual abuse, she says, followed by a string of abusive partners.

"I

was a relationship addict," Moran reveals, sitting in a black leather

chair at Treasures' office. "After so many of these relationships, I hit

rock bottom, because the breakups were so hard. Each one was taking

something different, or maybe the same, just more of it, and I was left

alone. After one particular breakup, I went online and I started doing

online dating. ... I was doing crazy things. I flew to New York and I

met a man; I drove my car six hours to meet a guy. I had to have

somebody."

The journey into porn started in Moran's home state of

Florida, where she first started posing topless. From there, a new

boyfriend started pushing her to work "with females and himself, which I

really didn't want to do, either. He controlled my money and gave me a

very small allowance to buy whatever I wanted, but all of my money went

into his bank account."

They moved to California together, and the

relationship became abusive. Moran describes it as jailer/prisoner:

trapped and physically overpowered by her boyfriend, a mixed martial

arts fighter.

"He would hide my car keys. ... He pulled me around

by my hair when he was angry and he punched me in the back of my head.

One time in Hawaii he got angry with me, and I ran as fast as I could to

the elevator, but before it came, he grabbed me and took me back to the

room, where he beat me. Another time I jumped out of his car and I ran

into a convenience store, yelling, 'Call the police, he's going to kill

me.' There were at least 10 people looking at me, and they watched him

carry me away. ... Nobody cared about me. My family wasn't present in my

life."

Getting emotional, she talks about her cries for help: "It goes way back to childhood. It just felt like I didn't have anybody."

UP NEXT: Moran describes how she broke free from the cycle of abuse, and how websites are still making money off her image, but she isn't.

A picture of Moran while she was still working as an adult film star.
A picture of Moran while she was still working as an adult film star.
Wikipedia.com

Finally,

after years of abuse, Moran escaped the boyfriend with the aid of

friends, only to fall into the same patterns with other men. Her last

relationship with a man soured after she found out he'd visited a strip

club -- and shown topless pictures of her to his co-workers. The act of

betrayal from someone who wasn't even in the business, a "nice guy,"

crushed her. She decided to leave the business altogether and begin what

she calls a fast from men.

"As you can imagine, it's not always easy," she admits.

A

few months after Moran left the business, a mutual acquaintance

introduced her to Harmony Dust, a former adult dancer and founder of

Treasures, the nonprofit that would become Moran's new home.

But

the choice of abstinence was her own, not a mandate from Treasures.

Moran developed strict rules for herself. (She didn't just give up sex,

she says, but "any alone time with a man.") After completing six months,

Moran recently extended the fast until April, for a total of nine

months.

Her transformation hasn't gone unnoticed by the outside world. Moran has become the public face of Treasures, with ABC's Nightline featuring her in a life-after-porn special in June 2010.

"We

provide services to women in all areas of the industry: escorting,

street prostitution, porn, dominatrix," explains Dust, a published

author and public speaker. "We go to 170 strip clubs a year, and we

bring gifts to the women, with the message that they're loved, valued

and purposed. We're not here to convince women to leave sex work; we

don't identify ourselves as anti-sex industry. We're more for women

realizing their fullest potential and being a source of support."

A

part-time staffer since November, Moran oversees the nonprofit's

support group and works with its leadership team. "Now I have a sense of

who I am, more than thinking I need to be with somebody to be

somebody," she says.

strong>UP NEXT: Moran tries to take her old porn website down

But six years after her last porn shoot,

Moran's image and films live on online, on websites owned by her former

business partners. No longer a porn star in real life, yet still one

online, she refuses to take money from the sites, giving up potentially

thousands of dollars of income.

"At first it was tormenting me,"

she says of the websites. "I called my webmaster and said, 'I want to

get out of the business, take the website down,' and he said, 'No,

you're in a contract. Where do you want me to send your money?' 'I don't

want the money, just take the site down, that's all I want.' He

wouldn't take it down."

And she wouldn't take the money: "I want

to make a stand for all of these women who are getting put in this

situation and bring awareness to people who are thinking about getting

into the business. It isn't something you can easily get out of."

The

sex industry has evolved from a dirty little secret into one of the

economic engines of Southern California. But the true dirty little

secret of porn, Moran and Dust say, is this: Not all of these performers

are willing participants. Some live the life freely, but others live a

waking nightmare.

Crissy Moran is one of the lucky ones -- lucky to

wake up from a bad place, lucky to be strong enough to pick up the

pieces. Now she's happy, possibly for the first time in her life. She

spends her weekends at church and lights up when she talks about her new

Bible reading group. The most important thing in her life isn't the

pursuit of physical pleasure, she says, but spiritual wholeness.

Another

birthday in the books is a symbol of growth. And while she's not quite

as young as her friends declared at the bar that night, her life is in

front of her, and she knows what she wants. "My passion is to stay here

at this nonprofit, and keep doing whatever needs to be done. That's my

goal."

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