Skip to comments.Former Colorado Legislator Now In Porn Business With Daughter: "I Feel No Shame"
Posted on 08/10/2004 8:19:17 AM PDT by dukeman
A former Colorado lawmaker and parole board chairman now works in the family business - but it's no dry cleaner or mom-and-pop restaurant.
These days, Larry Schwarz can be found at Platinum X Pictures, a hard-core adult-film company in California's San Fernando Valley.
Debbie, his wife of 24 years, is director of sales. Their 28-year-old daughter, Stephany, is co-owner and star of the company, where she goes by the stage name Jewel DeNyle.
"I feel no shame, as I have learned that what we do in our office is no different than any other business," Larry Schwarz says. "It is the adult-entertainment industry, and it's not violent like what you see in real-life daily news or in mainstream movies."
Schwarz says he works on the decidedly unsexy side of the porn business - managing the warehouse in Canoga Park, marketing tapes and DVDs, and overseeing payroll and collections - and spends no time on the production side, where the movies are shot and edited.
"It is not a porn shop, it is a warehouse distribution center, like any other, shipping VHS and DVD products - period," he says.
"It looks very much like a truck terminal without a dock. I'm still the same person as before, working with a different product and trying to do the best possible job and create profits. It's only different in the minds of those who wish to make it so."
People who knew Schwarz as a Republican legislator twice elected to represent a conservative House district in southern Colorado say they can't fathom his being part of the $6 billion porn industry.
"I could put my finger in an electrical socket and I wouldn't get this kind of a shock," says Ken Chlouber, the Republican president pro tem of the Colorado Senate, who worked with Schwarz on several bills and once wintered his burros on Schwarz's ranch in Wetmore. "If you knew Larry, none of this fits."
A former trucking company executive, Schwarz was tapped in 1997 by then-Gov. Roy Romer for a seat on the state's Parole Board. He was reappointed by Gov. Bill Owens three years later.
Then everything unraveled.
Authorities raided Schwarz's Wetmore home on Dec. 4, 2001, looking for child pornography.
According to court records, police removed cartoon books depicting children having sex and other items, including tapes of DeNyle from Schwarz's home.
Police also investigated claims that Schwarz had sexually molested family members years earlier.
No charges were filed, but Owens fired him from the Parole Board.
Schwarz says that after 15 months of unsuccessful job hunting, the position at his daughter's film company was the "only one available" to him.
Schwarz and his wife moved to Los Angeles in March 2003 to help Stephany, who was already an industry star, get her own adult-movie company off the ground.
Stephany, who refused to be interviewed for this story, spent nine years in the tiny town of Wetmore, 20 miles south of Cañon City. She is the biological daughter of Debbie Schwarz and was adopted by Larry while still a child. [Oh, tell me this guy hasn't been watching porno flicks of his adopted daughter. Ugh!]
People in Wetmore remember Stephany as a rowdy high school student, but Schwarz says he never detected signs that she was heading toward life as a porn star.
"I would much rather she were on the silver screen with Mel Gibson, but life happens not always as we wish," Schwarz says. "We both decided early on that it was better to be there for our daughter and help her avoid other situations which may have been even more devastating.
"When (Stephany) first told us what she was doing for a living, she stressed that she is who she is at home, and Jewel only while at work. She has done an outstanding job at maintaining that distinction throughout her career. We are proud of her."
Schwarz's willingness to further the adult-film career of his adopted daughter by marketing and distributing her films is baffling to some.
"When you have children, why in the world would you promote them doing pornography?" asks Norma Anderson, a Republican state senator and co-majority leader at the time Schwarz was in the House.
Schwarz says he played no role in Stephany's choice to enter the adult-film industry, noting that she decided to do so long before he ever joined her in California. And, he said, she recently decided to retire from performing.
Schwarz also said he isn't in the adult-film business for the money. While he wouldn't disclose his salary at Platinum X, Schwarz says it is substantially less than the $77,928 a year he earned on the Colorado Parole Board.
At work, Schwarz says he takes extra precautions with his daughter's image and "specifically avoids seeing her in anything she performs."
When it's time to choose explicit photographs of DeNyle for use in promotional materials, Schwarz says he refuses to take part.
"I think it's great that Jewel's parents have an open mind about their daughter being in the adult industry," says Michael Stefano, a co-owner of Platinum X and a performer in the industry. "Jewel is very close with both of her parents and would do anything for them."
It's possible that Schwarz, who calls his Platinum X family a "team of mother, father, daughter and associates," is breaking new ground in an industry that thrives on expanding the concept of what's acceptable.
To date, the phenomenon of parents working directly for, or with, their porn-star offspring is still fairly unusual, says Mark Kernes, a senior editor with Adult Video News, an industry trade magazine.
Schwarz's former neighbors in Wetmore aren't turning their back on him.
"I don't think there is anyone you can talk to up here that would bad-mouth him," says Cecilia Sanders.
A group of longtime residents that gathers regularly for conversation and coffee at the Wetmore Community Center recalls Schwarz as "nice" and "personable" and as a legislator who effectively looked out for the interests of Custer, Fremont, Teller and Pueblo counties.
However people categorize his involvement in the adult industry, Schwarz says he will never abandon his Republican ideals of self-reliance, lower taxes and individual freedom.
As for those who question his commitment to family values, Schwarz says the term has many definitions.
Schwarz plans to spend the rest of his working days with his family at Platinum X.
But he still manages to keep the state he called home close at hand, with pictures of cowboys, horses and cattle on his office walls and mountain scenes glowing on his computer screen.
And Schwarz vows to one day return to the state he loves.
Hey ... it's my story, and I'll make him a Democrat party member if I want.
The bloviator Michael Moore says thems not lies. ;)
[beezdotcom:] I think if he were honest with himself, he would a)admit that he's really moved toward the Libertarian camp,
I don't understand these comments. What makes a person a libertarian (or not) is their philosophy on the proper role of government, not their attitudes about porn, or drugs, or whatever. And his *political* views were never mentioned in the article (other than to say that he considers himself a *Republican*).
It'd be like presuming someone to be a communist because he liked vodka or Cuban cigars.
Nice try, you can run but you can't hide from your Republican Party.
It's not a slam on libertarianism. Is vice a plank in the republican party? No it isn't. Legalizing vice is with the Libertarians, big L party ones that is.
I think I'll just pop some corn and watch this one.
What's that supposed to mean? I'm not hiding anything. I'm just telling the truth. Who embraces the legalization and acceptance of vice in this country?
correction; Republican Schwarz
You can run but you cannot hide.
You can't "bork" a group to avoid the obvious.
Depends on what you mean by "embraces." I have no problems with vices being legal so long as the vices do not harm non-consenting parties.
Have your libertarian porngraphic filth all you want. I could care less. The Libertarian party is as useful to this country as the communist party.
By allowing one religion to insert its beliefs into the law, we've opened the door for other religions to do the same. I don't want Jainists writing laws forbidding the eating of meat, or Muslims writing laws requiring women to wear burqas and thus I can't expect to see Christians writing laws according to our sense of morality.
I don't belong to any political party.
The Party in question is the REPUBLICAN PARTY and their pornographer elected official.
Any time a Republican does anything untoward, the aplogists try to say they are something else. Nice try, you can run but you can't hide.
Marriage confers things like citizenship upon a person in this country. There are a lot of reasons for government to issue marriage licenses.
I'm NOT retracting ANYTHING. Here is what you said to me, making my statement and personally addressing me. If you don't like it when people get personal THEN DON'T DISH IT OUT. BTW, good to independent so you don't have to take a stand for anything.
He should be honest and call himself a libertarian and not a republican.
Nice try, you can run but you can't hide from your Republican Party.
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