John Stagliano
John Stagliano 2009.jpg
Stagliano at the "Free Speech Coalition Awards Annual Bash Event", Los Angeles, 2009
Born (1951-11-29) November 29, 1951 (age 71)
Other namesButtman, John Stag, John Stagg, John Staglano, Jon Stagliano, Jon Stallion, Romeo Verdi
(m. 2008)

John Stagliano (born November 29, 1951), also known as Buttman, is an American entrepreneur, former pornographic film actor, producer and director who founded and owns the Evil Angel pornographic film studio.

Early life and career

Stagliano grew up in the Chicago suburbs,[1] and attended high school from 1965 to 1969.[2] He enrolled in college, but dropped out in 1969 for several semesters.[2] He then went back to college and studied subjects including English, journalism, and engineering,[2] before transferring to UCLA to major in economics.[1] He originally planned to get an economics PhD and become a professor.[2] He then switched to studying theater, playwriting, modern dance and jazz dance, partly because there were more women in those classes. He is of Italian[3] ancestry with some of his grandparents from Florence.[1][2][4]

In the 1970s, he wrote erotic fiction for a small newspaper, and did some softcore modeling.[1] He made his debut in a hardcore pornographic film in an 8 mm loop in 1974.[1] In 1979, he was looking for dancing jobs in Hollywood. He replied to an advertisement in the Daily Variety looking for male strippers for the new Chippendales show.[1][5] He performed with the group four or five nights a week for the next four years.[1] In 1982, when he was 30, he began publishing a small pornographic magazine on newsprint, which he called Evil Angel.[1]

Adult film producer

Initially he had little knowledge of film making, but he made his first movie for $8,000 in 1983, titled Bouncing Buns, starring Stacy Donovan. For the next six years he made films for other companies to manufacture and distribute.[1] In 1989, he started Evil Angel to sell his own films. The origin of the company's name dates back to when Stagliano was working as a stripper. "There was another guy in one of my shows named John. So this MC started calling me Evil John to differentiate us. This was when I was doing Dracula and chains. At the same time I had a girlfriend who called herself Angel when she did strip shows. She was a very nasty girl and I suggested that she call herself Evil Angel. She didn't, but I loved the name and wound up using it for my company."[1]

Stagliano at the 2005 AVN Expo

The first Evil Angel film was Dance Fire, filmed in 1988 by Stagliano, starring himself, Trinity Loren, and Brandy Alexandre.[6]

The Adventures of Buttman

In 1989, he produced The Adventures of Buttman, the first in a popular series which is credited with sparking the "gonzo" adult film genre.[7][8][9][10] These films involved highlighting the female buttocks,[1] with actors often licking, kissing and playfully biting the female behind. Stagliano has stated that a scene showing Tracey Adams' buttocks inspired him to make the Buttman series of films. The clip shows Adams on her hands and knees with her rear end stuck high in the air. "The shot only lasted a couple of seconds," says Stagliano, "but I knew then what I wanted to do."[11] Early Stagliano productions had little to no anal sex in them and were critically acclaimed for the showcasing of his buttocks fetish. Later Buttman films included numerous anal sex scenes, often featuring Stagliano himself. In the 1990s, Stagliano became one of the most successful figures in American pornographic films.[12]

He has directed series including Buttman at Nudes a Poppin', Buttman Goes to Rio, Buttman's Anal Divas, Buttman's Anal Show, Buttman's Bend Over Babes, Buttman's Bend Over Brazilian Babes, Buttman's Big Butt Backdoor Babes, Buttman's Big Tit Adventure, Buttman's Butt Freak, Buttman's European Vacation, Buttman's Favorite Big Butt Babes, Face Dance and Fashionistas, as well as numerous one-off films.[13] Stagliano also served as mentor, producer, and co-director to Tristan Taormino in her video version of The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women.

From October 2004 through February 2008, Stagliano produced and directed a Las Vegas show called Fashionistas based on his porn film of the same name. In 2008, he won the 'Best Director – Video' award for Fashionistas Safado: Berlin.[14] ("Safado" is a Portuguese word meaning lewd or salacious.)

Stagliano was described by U.S. News & World Report magazine in 1998 as "the nation's leading director of hard-core videos".[15]

Obscenity trial

On April 8, 2008, Evil Angel and Stagliano were indicted on federal obscenity charges by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C.[16][17][18][19] The scenes selected by the government to support the prosecution involved urination, use of enemas, and bondage.[20]

On July 16, 2010, a federal trial began in Washington, D.C., with Stagliano as defendant and after three days all charges were dismissed.[21] Judge Richard J. Leon stated, "I hope the government will learn a lesson from its experience," and called the evidence linking Stagliano to the production and distribution of the DVD videos "woefully insufficient".[20][22][23] Although he dismissed the charges on the grounds of insufficient evidence, the judge cited the "difficult, challenging and novel questions" raised in the case against Stagliano, questions concerning extant federal obscenity-statutes, the Internet, free speech, and the rights of criminal defendants. He stated that he hoped "[higher] courts and Congress will give greater guidance to judges in whose courtrooms these cases will be tried."[20]

HIV lawsuit

Stagliano was diagnosed with HIV in January 1997.

In a June 2013 lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against Stagliano and his company Evil Angel, adult performer Katie Summers alleged "negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, sexual battery and violations of professions code section 17200" because Stagliano didn't inform her of his HIV positive status prior to her performing in the 2010 movie Buttman's Stretch Class 4. According to the lawsuit, Summers consented to Stagliano engaging in sexual contact within the context of her acting in an adult film. In the scene, Stagliano can be seen handing Summers sex toys and touching her buttocks, but he does not perform hardcore sex with her. Summers claims that had she known of Stagliano's status prior to the scene that she would not have done it.[24]

In a press interview, Stagliano's wife Karen[25] disputes the allegations: "John and the company feel that he did not do anything with Katie Summers that would warrant having to inform her of his HIV status," Karen said "He had no genital contact with her, no sexual touching of her genitals at all that would have put her at any sort of a medical risk whatsoever."

The suit against Stagliano went into forced arbitration and the plaintiff had her deposition taken, but on September 29, 2014 Summers dropped her lawsuit.[26] According to Stagliano's attorney, Paul Cambria, "[Summers] had no case. I took her testimony and when I was done I could not see any possible way for her to succeed."

Scene with Ginger Banks and Jenny Blighe

In 2018, Stagliano directed an Evil Angel scene between Ginger Banks and Jenny Blighe. It was both performers' first scene, after working as webcam models, and they were told the scene was girl-girl. According to Banks and Blighe, Stagliano touched their buttocks without their consent during the filming, in character as Buttman. Stagliano said the pair had been asked to watch a previous scene in which he did a similar thing; Banks and Blighe said that they had concerns after watching the scene, but the production told Banks that Stagliano would not perform as Buttman.[27][28]

After Blighe made her experience public, Banks began experiencing online harassment due to her initial response. She voluntarily stood down as chair of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee in the aftermath.[27][29][30] Banks later filed a report of sexual battery against Stagliano and apologized to Blighe both privately and publicly, saying in 2020, "I should be held accountable for my part in the gaslighting and denying her reality". She said that Stagliano mocked her over the incident afterwards, and that she was told by others of similar incidents to her and Blighe's account.[28][31]

Critical appraisal

In her essay Crackers and Whackers: The White Trash of Porn, Constance Penley[32] asserts that John Stagliano did for anal fetishism what Woody Allen did for neurosis, pointing out that, "as in so many stag films," Buttman is the "butt of the joke" since, "seeking the perfect shot of a woman's perfect ass," the character "gets mugged, evicted, bankrupted, rejected, and ridiculed –  all in his single-minded quest for perfection."[33]

Awards and nominations

Personal life

Stagliano was in a relationship with pornographic actress Krysti Lynn (A.K.A Shawna Yager) during 1993. She was driving Stagliano's Acura Legend when she died on December 7, 1995, in an accident in Calabasas.[40]

In 1997, Stagliano tested positive for HIV. As of 2002, medication has kept the virus in check.[2]

He married former porn star Tricia Devereaux (Karen Stagliano) in 2008.

Stagliano espouses a libertarian political philosophy, and has been a significant financial contributor to the Cato Institute and the Reason Foundation, both libertarian think tanks.[41]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Profile of John Stagliano". Retrieved April 15, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Interview: John Stagliano". April 10, 2002. Archived from the original on October 17, 2002.
  3. ^ Stagliano and Lencioni family history
  4. ^ "Interview: John Stagliano". April 10, 2002. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  5. ^ "Las Vegas Show – John Stagliano's Fashionistas Website". Archived from the original on May 15, 2006. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  6. ^ Javors, Steve (February 14, 2008). "Evil Angel Releases First-Ever Video on DVD". XBIZ. Archived from the original on January 14, 2012. Retrieved April 17, 2009.
  7. ^ XBIZ. "The Evolution of Buttman". XBIZ. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  8. ^ "ELEGANT ANGEL". AVN. Archived from the original on March 3, 2009. Retrieved April 11, 2009.
  9. ^ Hunter, Tod (August 10, 2007). "Elegant Angel". XBIZ. Retrieved April 11, 2009.
  10. ^ Weasels, P. "The Quick and Dirty Guide to Gonzo". Retrieved August 24, 2008.
  11. ^ Luke Ford Archived May 27, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ O'Toole, Laurence; David, Kerekes (2003). Headpress: Powered by Love. Manchester, England: Headpress. p. 5. ISBN 1-900486-22-9.
  13. ^ "JOHN STAGLIANO'S TITLES". Archived from the original on January 19, 2009. Retrieved April 17, 2009.
  14. ^ Weatherford, Mike (January 18, 2008). "SHOW REVIEW: "Fashionistas"". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
  15. ^ Wallace, David Foster (2007). "The Big Red One". Consider the Lobster and Other Essays (1st Back Bay paperback ed.). New York City: Back Bay Books/Little, Brown and Co. pp. 3–50. ISBN 978-0316013321.
  16. ^ Obscenity indictment
  17. ^ Javors, Steve (April 9, 2008). "John Stagliano, Evil Angel Charged With 7 Obscenity Violations". XBIZ. Archived from the original on May 6, 2009. Retrieved April 17, 2009.
  18. ^ Sullivan, David (January 8, 2007). "John Stagliano, Evil Angel Indicted On Federal Obscenity Charges". Adult Video News. Retrieved April 8, 2008.
  19. ^ Poulsen, Kevin (April 10, 2008). "Feds Charge Porn Producer With Selling Adult Content to Adults". Wired. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  20. ^ a b c Hsu, Spencer S. (July 17, 2010). "U.S. District judge drops porn charges against video producer John A. Stagliano". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  21. ^ Kernes, Mark (July 16, 2010). "All Charges Dismissed Against Stagliano and Companies". AVN. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  22. ^ Weiss, Debra Cassens (July 19, 2010). "Judge Grants Acquittal Motion in Porn Case, Calls Evidence 'Woefully Insufficient'". ABA Journal. Chicago, Illinois: American Bar Association. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  23. ^ Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (December 17, 2013). "Judge Has Record of Wrestling With Thorny Issues, and the U.S. Government". The New York Times. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
  24. ^ "Porn Star Sues – 'Buttman' Never Told Me He Was HIV Positive". TMZ. June 18, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  25. ^ Rutter, Jared (December 11, 2008). "John and Karen Stagliano Tie the Knot". AVN. Retrieved December 11, 2008.
  26. ^ Pardon, Rhett (September 29, 2014). "Katie Summers Drops Suit Against John Stagliano, Evil Angel". XBIZ. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  27. ^ a b Randall, Holly (interviewer), Banks, Ginger (interviewee) (July 24, 2019). 103: Ginger Banks: From Camgirl to Pornstar (Podcast). Event occurs at 36:00–41:00. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  28. ^ a b Turner, Gustavo (June 12, 2020). "Evil Angel's 'Cam Girls' Controversy Reignites; Ginger Banks Files Police Report". Xbiz. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  29. ^ Roland, John (August 27, 2018). "Ginger Banks Resigns as APAC Chair". AVN. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  30. ^ Pardon, Rhett (August 27, 2018). "Ginger Banks Resigns as APAC Chairperson". Xbiz. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  31. ^ Miller, Dan (June 24, 2020). "Ginger Banks Accuses Stagliano of Sexual Assault in Police Report". AVN. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  32. ^ Professor of film studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, author of The Future of an Illusion: Film, Feminism, and Psychoanalysis (1989), and Nasa/Trek: Popular Culture and Sex in America (1997)
  33. ^ Penley, Constance (2004). "Crackers and Whackers: The White Trash of Porn". In Williams, Linda (ed.). Porn Studies. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. p. 325. ISBN 978-0822333128.
  34. ^ "Hot d'Or 1998 Winners". August 25, 2007. Archived from the original on August 21, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  35. ^ 2003 FICEB Award winners & nominees
  36. ^ Fishbein, Paul (October 22, 2009). "Pirates II, Evil Angel Big Winners at 2009 Hot d'Or Awards". AVN. Archived from the original on December 28, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  37. ^ "Hot d'Or archives presse x, articles sur les Hot d'or". Archived from the original on March 16, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  38. ^ a b XBIZ Award Winners, XBIZ, February 2011
  39. ^ "XBIZ Nominees 2013". XBiz. January 2013. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013.
  40. ^ "Crash Victim Identified as Sex Film Star". Los Angeles Times. December 8, 1995. Archived from the original on April 18, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2012 – via
  41. ^ Rich, Frank (May 20, 2001). "Naked Capitalists: There's No Business Like Porn Business". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 21, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2009.

External links