Michael-Verdugo-ropes-HGTV-drillAn openly gay police officer and reality-television contestant whose appearance in an all-male bondage film led to his dismissal from his day job is now prepared to sue his former department for discrimination. In 2008, Michael Verdugo was a contestant on the third season of the HGTV reality-competition series Design Star and eventually placed fourth. However, during the course of the show, his performance in a B&D film was revealed in the gay and gossip blogosphere. Mr. Verdugo, at the time a working officer with the Hollywood, Florida police department, was placed on administrative leave and subsequently fired in January 2009 (see the links below for background). “An arbitrator recently upheld the termination,” reports the Miami Herald today. Mr. Verdugo, 35, appeared in ROPE RITUALS as “Jeremy Wess,” which was first released in 1996, when he was 22 years old. “I don’t regret it. It was a time in my life that I wanted to explore,” he says, noting that although he was nude, he did not engage in hardcore sex. “It was all role-playing bondage. I was tied. I used handcuffs later on in my career.” CLICK HERE for more details…

Verdugo was talent-scouted at a Ft. Lauderdale dance club in 1996 and offered $700 to make the film. It was directed by Tom “Ropes” McGurk. He appeared opposite Chris McKenzie. The film is apparently out of print and was repackaged with another film — TRAINED TO OBEY starring Chad Knight — and re-released as TOM “ROPES” MCGURK PRESENTS: CLASSICS VOL. 2. That DVD may also be out of print, but has been made available through VOD on XTube.

In 2008, the Miami Herald managed to locate the film’s original producer, Christopher O’Neal, who disputed the performer in ROPE RITUALS was Mr. Verdugo. The latest Herald story does not include a clarification from Mr. O’Neal.

rope-rituals-dvd.pngMr. Verdugo is asking attorney Alberto Milan “to file a civil lawsuit against Hollywood police for wrongful termination and discrimination,” the paper reports. “When you’re a gay cop in a paramilitary organization like law enforcement, a lot of discrimination exists. He was a damn good cop,” Mr. Milan said. “This guy was an asset and there’s no doubt his talents were very useful to the people of Hollywood.”

City officials maintain Verdugo was terminated for not revealing during his application process to become a police officer that he had performed in an adult film. Mr. Verdugo says it never occurred to him to mention the adult work and maintains “that if a male cop appeared nude in a straight porn film his police buddies would be ‘high-fiving him in the hallway.’ ”

Today he owns and operates several interior design and home-staging companies and currently dates “a field training officer for Pembroke Pines police.”

See also:
* “‘Design Star’ Mikey Verdugo Suspended from Police Force
* “Reality Goes Erotic: ‘Design Star’ has a B/D Past

[Source: Miami Herald; promo image, top right © HGTV.]


Comments

5 Comments so far

  1. Barry on January 26, 2010 6:03 pm

    I will never, ever understand how the porn industry works. They “talent scouted” this incredibly handsome, kinky 22 YO stud and they shot one measley scene with him?? The right course of action would have been to cash out the 401K, empty the bank account and do whatever it took to film as much as possible with this fucking beautiful KINKY young stud. Even 12-13 years later he is still hot!! It’s not like they wouldn’t have made double their money back. Amazing.

  2. Tweets that mention Ex-Cop, Reality Star Fired Over Bondage Film Eyes Lawsuit : The Adams Report by JC Adams -- Topsy.com on January 26, 2010 11:59 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by JC Adams and JC Adams, Shufuni_Gay. Shufuni_Gay said: Ex-Cop, Reality Star Fired Over Bondage Film Eyes Lawsuit: An openly gay police officer and reality-television con… http://bit.ly/cou7Mc [...]

  3. Porn Controversy Tips Michael Verdugo to Activism : The Adams Report by JC Adams on February 3, 2010 1:01 pm

    [...] everywhere have been exposed to homophobia and discrimination still.” See also: * “Ex-Cop, Reality Star Fired Over Bondage Film Eyes Lawsuit“ [Source: South Florida Gay News; promo image, top right © [...]

  4. ‘Porn Cop’ Verdugo Keeps Police Certification | The Adams Report by JC Adams on August 12, 2010 2:43 pm

    [...] story. See also: * “Porn Controversy Tips Michael Verdugo to Activism” * “Ex-Cop, Reality Star Fired Over Bondage Film Eyes Lawsuit“ [Right image © [...]

  5. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON on March 21, 2012 10:12 pm

    IF FATHERS DID NOT PLACE SO MUCH PRESSURE ON SONS TO BE “MANLY,” INCIDENTS LIKE THIS ONE, WOULD NOT OCCUR. FOR THE LIFE OF ME, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY MALE HOMOSEXUALS PURSUE CAREERS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT AND/OR JOIN THE MILITARY. WE ALREADY KNOW SOME PEOPLE ARE, “TRIGGER-HAPPY.” WHY PLACE YOURSELF IN A POSITION TO BE KILLED IN AN ATMOSPHERE OF SPONTANEOUS AND RAPID GUNFIRE. SOMEONE COULD KILL YOU ON PURPOSE FOR BEING HOMOSEXUAL, THEN CLAIM EITHER IT WAS AN ACCIDENT, OR, THE “ENEMY” DID IT.
    THANKS FOR YOUR TIME.
    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

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