New Podcast Examines The Final Porn Scene That May Have Driven August Ames To Suicide

Podcast co-creator Jon Ronson said he “wanted to do a story that brought August to life” while also shining a light on those “who took her apart on Twitter” ahead of the porn star’s alleged suicide.

By Jill Sederstrom

After a popular adult film actress shockingly took her own life two years ago, many framed her death as yet another victim being pushed over the edge by cyberbullying. But a new podcast questions this narrative, presenting new facts and details that lay bare troubling new details about the porn star’s life prior to her untimely death.

“The Last Days of August,” by journalist Jon Ronson and his producer, Lina Misitzis, examines the life and untimely death of Canadian porn actress August Ames, who allegedly killed herself two years ago.

Ronson said he wanted to delve deeper into Ames’ shocking death in part because of his knowledge of the adult film world, along with his past study on the effects of cyberbullying for his book, "So You've Been Publicly Shamed."

"I had a pretty clear idea — I wanted to do a story that brought August to life in a humanistic way, as well as the people who piled in on her, who took her apart on Twitter," he told The Guardian.

The result is a seven-episode podcast available Thursday on Audible that digs into the relationship Ames had with her porn producer husband Kevin Moore, her mental state leading up to her death and the final adult film scene she shot, which Ronson contends may have been too much for the star.

Ames, born Mercedes Grabowski, was discovered hanging from a tree on Dec. 5, 2017 in what has since been ruled a suicide. Ames died in the midst of a social media scandal which started after she posted a tweet that insinuated she turned down a particular scene in a porno because she didn’t want to work with a man "who has shot gay porn," according to the Daily Beast.

The backlash was swift and harsh with many accusing the porn star of being homophobic.

 Ames herself clarified her position saying in another post that same day that she wasn't homophobic  and had made the decision not to participate in the shoot to protect her body.

"Most girls don't shoot with guys who have shot gay porn, for safety," she wrote. "That's just how it is with me. I'm not putting my body at risk, i don't know what they do in their private lives."

By the next day, adult film star Jessica Drake had also weighed in on the debate calling Ames reasoning "seriously flawed" in her own post on Twitter.

"Performers, by all means, f--- who you want to f---...but if you're eliminating folks based on the fact that they may have done gay or crossover work, your logic is seriously flawed," she wrote. "reality is, WE DON'T KNOW who does what with whom when there are no cameras."

Porn star Jaxon Wheeler also criticized Ames on social media, telling the porn star to take a cyanide pill; the podcast reveals, however, that Wheeler's words were posted hours after Ames had already taken her own life.

Ames' would make her social media post on Dec. 4 writing, "F--- y'all."

“When you think about it, what we were watching in that moment was the moment that she decided to die. That’s what we were watching and it’s awful,” Ronson told the New York Post after having watched the footage while working on the podcast. “That was the truth of it, that was the moment when she reached the point of no return. The Twitter bullying may have been the icing on the cake, as some people described it.”

But Ronson and Misitzis also point to Ames’ last ever scene, filmed six weeks prior to the Twitter controversy, as being a potential trigger for alleged suicide. The scene, shot with porn star Markus Dupree, was reportedly a departure for her typical style and was aggressive.

“On more than one occasion in the footage, Markus forcefully repositions August, which visibly startles her,” Misitzis says in the final episode of the podcast after viewing the footage, according to the Post. “She says ‘Whoa s–t!’ and at one point Markus picks up her pink thong, stretches it around her head, jerks her around by it, and then shoves it in her mouth.”

Ames allegedly later texted a friend about the incident, saying Dupree had gone "full on War Machine," a reference to mixed martial artist turned porn star Jon "War Machine" Koppenhaver, who is serving a life sentence after brutally beating his ex-girlfriend nearly to death.

The podcast also examines the timing of the social media posts, the power of social media in general and the motivations behind the case’s main characters.

“It’s not about blaming people, it's about trying to understand what happened. We are more interested in understanding rather than blaming,” Ronson told the Daily Beast. “That became our responsibility in 2018: how to tell this story truthfully, honoring August, but at the same time do it ethically with a clear conscience.”

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

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