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Jenna Jameson: 'I chose the right profession'

Porn star's new book tells of rise to fame

Jenna Jameson
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CNN's Anderson Cooper talks to porn star and best-selling author Jenna Jameson about her book and career (August 26)
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Anderson Cooper

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Jenna Jameson is an industry unto herself -- and also part of an even bigger, if often scoffed-at, business: adult entertainment.

The porn star has made the most of her fame, creating her own Web site and exercising a great deal of control over the Jenna Jameson brand. But she's the first to say that it hasn't been easy, fun, or even desirable. She appeared on "Anderson Cooper 360" to talk with the host about her new book, "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale."

COOPER: It took a fraction of a second for a Google search to return 992,000 hits for Jenna Jameson; 700,000 of those sites also come with the letters X, X and X. But that's understandable, considering she's the reigning queen of porn.

Now, the woman who gave us "I Dream of Jenna" and "Lip Service" is telling her very adult story in the book "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale." Suspense thriller it ain't. It is also a best seller. I spoke to Jenna Jameson earlier today.

OK, Jenna, I have got to clear up something right from the beginning. I read an account that said you actually wanted to be a TV anchorwoman one day. Is that true?

JAMESON: That is -- that was definitely what I wanted to do. I used to practice with the TelePrompTer when I was young, because my father was a television producer. So it didn't come to pass, but you know, at least I'm still on TV.

COOPER: Well, you know, such is life. Maybe in the next lifetime.

JAMESON: Yeah, I don't think it is going to work out for me now.

COOPER: Well, you never know.

Why porn? I mean, you -- why did you get into that business?

JAMESON: Well, that's a very good question. I tried to track it back and figure out what I decided to do what I've done, but who knows? I mean, I've always been so overtly sexual. And I've always been driven to succeed at something that hasn't always been accepted by the American public. So I think I chose the right profession.

COOPER: But you had a really tough background, which you write about in the book a lot. I mean, you know, you were abused as a child, you lost your mom at an early age. Did that in any way play a part? Because there are those who say, look, you know, young people who experience abuse often gravitate to the porn industry.

JAMESON: Right. Absolutely. It's something that I've thought about a lot, and I can't really say for sure if that is reasoning behind why I've gotten into the adult industry. All I know is that when I lay my head down at night, I feel comfortable and I'm happy, and I guess that's all that really matters.

COOPER: It's a huge industry, which I think a lot of people don't really realize, or maybe they just don't admit that they realize. But I mean, in terms of income, it rivals, you know, motion pictures. It rivals pro sports in America. And yet it's an industry which is kind of in the shadows and is -- has a lot of pitfalls, which you write about in the book.


COOPER: You know, as you say, I think, in the book, it can be very demeaning to women.

JAMESON: Well, it can be. I think that nowadays, the American public, or they're much more accepting of the adult industry, and it goes to show that we should give the American public much more credit than we do.


COOPER: Do you think people are hypocritical about this? On the one hand, I mean, publicly they say, oh...

JAMESON: Absolutely.

COOPER: ... they condemn it, but in truth, if they're logging onto the Internet, they're buying the DVDs.

JAMESON: Well, obviously they are, because this is a billion-dollar industry. So everybody watches porn. It's just a fact of the matter.

COOPER: It's just a question of whether they admit it or not.

JAMESON: Exactly. I think a lot more people are starting to admit it, because women feel that it's acceptable nowadays. So that's really helped our industry, because now men feel comfortable bringing the movies home.

COOPER: There are, you know, obviously you know there are critics. Writer Naomi Wolf recently wrote that basically the porn industry has raised expectations for men in a way that women feel, how can I compete with this? And in fact, she claims it's sort of has deadened the male libido, because you know, they feel like the real thing isn't good enough. Everyone has to be a porn star.

JAMESON: I really don't believe that. I think that it's added to people's sexual lives, and I think that it's added to women's especially, because there's a little bit of Jenna Jameson in every woman out there, and I think that now that they're starting to see me coming out more into the mainstream, they feel a little bit more comfortable being naughty in the bedroom.

COOPER: I've read that you want to have a child now.


COOPER: After you have had the child, you've said that you would stop doing porn. Is that true?

JAMESON: Yes. Absolutely. And it's certainly not because I feel ashamed of being a porn star, but I think it's because I want to focus 100 percent of my time on my child, and I want to be able to tell my child that once they came along, that mommy was no longer a porn star.

COOPER: And if your daughter one day said to you, if you had a daughter, if she came to you and said that she wanted to get into that industry?

JAMESON: I'd tie her in the closet. Only because this is such a hard industry for a woman to get ahead and get the respect that she deserves. I fought tooth and nail to get to where I am, and it's not something that I would want my daughter to go through. It's not something that any parent would choose for their child.

COOPER: So you would advise young women not to get involved in the industry?

JAMESON: Not unless they had their head on completely straight and they knew that this is what they wanted to do. For my child, hey, I want them to go to college and be a doctor.

COOPER: Well, Jenna Jameson, you are a leader in your industry and you are now a best-selling author. Your book's on The New York Times' best-seller list. We appreciate you joining us. Thanks very much.

JAMESON: Thank you very much.

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