Jennifer Steele Mondello, Ron Jeremy’s rape accuser, says: ‘I wondered if he planned to kill me’

Jennifer Steele Mondello, Ron Jeremy’s rape accuser, says: ‘I wondered if he planned to kill me’

Warning: This story contains graphic descriptions of sexual assault

“December 12, 1997. I’ll never forget that fucking date,” says Jennifer Steele Mondello. “When he was raping me, I could tell he had done it before.”

Mondello, a former adult actress known as “Jennifer Steele,” is the author of the new book Agency for adults: a memoir, which details his alleged assault by Ron Jeremy (real name: Ronald Jeremy Hyatt). The fallen porn icon is currently behind bars indicted on more than 30 counts of rape and sexual assault.

Tampa’s mother reminisced about her alleged sexual assault in 1997 to The Daily Beast in an exclusive interview. She says she met Jeremy at Stars Cabaret, a strip club in Beaverton, Oregon, in December 1997. As she wanted to become an adult artist, her manager at the time introduced her to Jeremy, assuring him he was “safe.”

“Ron offered to help me find some contacts to do girl-girl and solo scenes, and that I could stay at his place in Los Angeles,” says Mondello. “I clarified and he agreed that sex between us was not part of the deal, and I took great care to make sure he knew I wasn’t open to that.”

While in Los Angeles during what she claims was a “contactless session” at Hustler Studios, Mondello alleges Jeremy took her to a bathroom because he was having a hard time getting an erection and asked her to “bend over for a view.” visual”. fluff” so he could get aroused while promising he wouldn’t touch her.

“As an exotic dancer, that wasn’t an exaggeration for me,” she says. “As I leaned over, facing the other way, Ron broke my trust and entered me, and I walked away and we continued filming. I was young and didn’t know who I could trust from all the people around me who were fawning over Ron. In the car he convinced me that it was a misunderstanding and that it would not happen again, and that I was safe at his place that night.”

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Mondello had nowhere to stay, so she says she decided to take his word for it and accept his offer. But later that night in her apartment, she claims he assaulted her.

“He woke me from sleep to coerce me into letting him perform oral sex on me with the promise to leave me alone afterwards. He said I should appreciate everything he was doing for me,” she says. “When I refused sex, he raped me. He raped me in the mouth, vagina and anus. The trauma created memories of me being raped across the room.”

“There were a few moments where I wondered if he planned to kill me because how would a celebrity do that to people if I stayed alive?” She adds. “He stopped when he saw tears and blood, and in that moment I was relieved to live. I took a bath and I wanted to stay in that bath forever. I lost confidence in myself and my intuition after that.” (Jeremy’s attorney declined to comment on his behalf for this story.)

Mondello shared with The Daily Beast that he received mental health counseling for trauma through the Pineapple Support Society, a therapeutic support service for people in the adult industry. Pineapple Support Society founder and CEO Leya Tanit confirmed that Mondello had therapy sessions through her network.

While she was confiding in her immediate family, Mondello was hesitant to come forward because the cultural atmosphere of 1997 was so different from today in regards to sexual assault allegations.

“He was a celebrity. It was 1997. It would have ended up on all the news stations, and I’d seen what happened to Lorena Bobbitt. I had seen what happened to Anita Hill. The last thing I wanted was, you know, to accuse a celebrity of rape – especially a porn star. It would have been a joke as I saw it. I asked one of the officers if it would be enough to press charges if I had bruises and DNA and he said that considering I was a stripper and he was who he was, they would not press charges on that basis.”

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So Mondello, concerned that no one would believe a sex worker, decided not to file a police report at the time of her alleged rape.

“I thought that if you told people that something would be done within the [adult] industry, and I didn’t want to be the person known for making the industry look bad,” she says. “I thought the industry would take care of that internally.”

But nothing was done, and Jeremy continued to be cast in adult industry productions and booked strip club appearances.

Gene Ross, former executive editor of adult industry company AVN Publications, wrote the foreword to Mondello’s memoir. He says he was one of the first people to publish sexual misconduct allegations against Jeremy in 2004.

It felt so good to tell someone official that I cared. I can’t even describe the feeling of full circle.

“We’re talking 18 years and he wasn’t prosecuted until 2020, so this story was on hold for 16 years. Nobody wanted to believe it,” says Ross. “I wrote the story in 2004, and everyone was saying, ‘Oh, this can’t be, oh, this can’t be. I kept stirring the pot on this thing and Jeremy called me totally crazy denying everything, saying he was going to sue me. I must have talked to at least six or seven different women… He’s like that guy at the bar who didn’t take rejection. He wouldn’t take no for an answer. I was not a witness to what was happening between [Jeremy and Mondello]but her story fits the mold of every other woman I’ve talked to.”

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Although her alleged sexual assault took place in 1997, it wasn’t until 2020 when she was interviewed by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

“It felt so good to tell someone official that I cared,” says Mondello. “I can’t even describe the feeling of full circle. I was not one of the billing victims. I was one of the victim’s witnesses. There was a certain MO that I would be there to confirm that he [Jeremy] I had been doing this since at least 1997. They called me a victim witness, a historical witness, a witness to past wrongdoings”.

The Daily Beast obtained and reviewed an email between Mondello and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office confirming that they had spoken. When contacted for comment, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office could not comment due to the fact that the case against Jeremy is still pending.

Ron Jeremy listens to his attorney Stuart Goldfarb speak during his arraignment on rape and sexual assault charges at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on June 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

David McNew/AFP/Getty

Jeremy’s trial is currently on hold as his lawyers argue that the 69-year-old is mentally incompetent to stand trial.

“I think Ron is sick, and I think he was sick when this happened,” says Mondello. “I don’t wish him ill will, but I’m glad he’s in jail. It’s a big thing that it really came out that he was doing this because for so long I just had people turning their backs on me. That was awful. So now, it’s more about me looking at the industry and seeing if they’re doing anything to help talent have some sort of voice when these things come up. These kinds of things are happening today, and there’s nothing the industry has done to change things, not that I can see.”

Mondello is in the process of creating a free website to be made available next year,, which allows adult performers to anonymously share their experiences after each scene on set. She hopes to turn it into a non-profit organization.

“That way they can start to see patterns in different companies… which companies are behaving and which companies are a problem in certain areas,” explains Mondello. “And then talent can decide for itself who it wants to work for.”

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