READ this powerful story of Liberty Bradford Mitchell growing up as a pornographer’s daughter: “As passive as her exposure was to pornography, it was always there – and it was in fact a form of sexual abuse.” — “I remember one afternoon, I was maybe 6, when I was at the theater and I followed my dad into a screening room,” she says of her exposure to rough-cut porn. “I sidled up in a chair and sat cross-armed like my dad, staring analytically at the screen just like my dad. I remember my dad’s employee saying, ‘Should she be watching this?’ and my dad said, ‘She doesn’t know what she’s seeing.’”
Wow! That doesn’t mean that this exposure to hardcore porn as a very young child didn’t have a harmful effect on her! Not to mention the MURDER of her pornographer father by her pornographer uncle! Check out the excerpt below to learn more and then read the full story at the link.
[SF Gate] — As a child, Liberty Bradford Mitchell sat through one of her dad’s rough-cut porn movies. As an adolescent, she was given her first safe-sex talk by her dad’s girlfriend – a porn star.
Then, at age 20, on Feb. 27, 1991, she learned that her father, Artie Mitchell, had been slain by her uncle, Jim Mitchell.
“Murder was a bigger stigma than pornography had ever been,” she says.
Such was the life of Bradford Mitchell, whose father and uncle operated the Mitchell Brothers O’Farrell Theatre in San Francisco and produced one of the first feature-length porn movies, “Behind the Green Door,” starring Ivory Snow model Marilyn Chambers. The 1972 film made the brothers tens of millions of dollars and got them invited to the Cannes Film Festival and minted as porn kings.
Bradford Mitchell is now 42, living in Los Angeles and mother to two children, ages 11 and 7. She has a new one-woman show, “The Pornographer’s Daughter,” which will premiere in March at a theater in Venice (Los Angeles County). She is in talks with a major network television producer to write a miniseries and hopes that her multimedia show will find a home onstage in San Francisco, where the story takes place.
PIONEERS OF PORN
In an opening line of the new production, which will incorporate music and video, Bradford Mitchell says, “I was born a Leo in the summer of 1970. My parents were hippies who dropped way too much acid before naming their children.
“They emerged as pioneers of the porn industry, became millionaires, and poured a lot of money into Mercedes, marijuana and cocaine, lap dances, poker games and high jinks.” The theater was called “the Carnegie Hall of public sex in America” by writer Hunter S. Thompson, who worked as night manager at the strip club while researching a book he never completed.
Bradford Mitchell has her dad’s face and eyes and the mellow mien of her post-hippie upbringing. But her edge is sardonic, befitting a woman who grew up “with G-strings grazing my nose,” who watched “Little House on the Prairie” at home and stopped by her dad’s “office,” the adult theater, after school. A woman whose father urged her to party and admonished her for being a “terminal square.”
Two days before her father was killed, Bradford Mitchell – a theater student at USC – came to San Francisco to organize an intervention. Her dad, whose nickname was “Party Artie,” had gone on the wagon on his own and was not doing well. He had been banned from coming to work because of his erratic behavior, which included shooting up the office dart board with his pistol.
FATHER’S STRUGGLE WITH DRUGS
Sitting in a cafe in North Beach, Bradford Mitchell recalls how her dad was trying to make changes in his life, and was working on opening a music club (which he had asked her to manage). He was talking about moving to Mexico to dry out for six months. Anytime a rock star or celebrity visited the Mitchell Brothers, Party Artie was expected to show them a good time.
“My dad was tired of the business, and at that point, it kind of ran itself,” she says. “He’d go and play golf and fish. But he was having a hard time with the drugs. I went to see Jim – it was the first time I’d ever sought his counsel, as he was always kind of a scary figure to us kids – and said, ‘We need to do an intervention.’ He said, ‘We can’t do it because of who we are. We are too well known.’ ” She thought the response was bizarre, but odd was the norm in her family.
Bradford Mitchell’s blue eyes well with tears remembering what happened next.
“My mom called and told me my dad was murdered – and by my uncle,” she says. “Jim had grabbed a rifle and a pistol, drove from his house at Ocean Beach to Corte Madera, where my dad was renting a house. He slashed my dad’s tires and went in and just started shooting.”
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