Traci Lord, one of the first true porn queens, had made 100 films by her eighteenth birthday.
With an abusive home life and an abortion as childhood memories, Lords ran away from home to live with a forty-something boyfriend when she was 15. Borrowing the birth certificate of a friend’s sister, she faked her way into the porn industry. Racking up dozens of film appearances, she also modeled for adult magazines, including Penthouse.
Before she reached 18, the federal authorities discovered she was underage, and arrested the owners of her movie agency and X-citement Video. Shops were forced to pull all her tapes and magazines from their shelves and dump them. As a minor, Lords could not herself be charged. The government was more interested in clobbering the porn industry and the Lords case gave the perfect excuse. It was the producers who had accepted her fake ID, and people involved in making her films, that took the rap.
Lords herself claimed she was a victim of the industry, that she was drugged and made to do things against her wishes. Her boyfriends and co-workers disagree; they never saw her use drugs and believe she was fully conscious of her actions.
Although Lords said she was trying to escape her porn past, she never changed the stage name that was so associated to her ‘damaging’ publicity. She has since made a number of films, appeared in several US TV series and collaborated with the Manic Street Preachers on the single, 'Little Baby Nothing'.