Lords has one elder sister, Lorraine, and two younger sisters, Rachel and Grace. Her parents divorced when she was seven years old and Lords moved with her mother and three sisters to her great-grandmother's house. Around that same time, her mother enrolled at the Ohio University and landed a part-time job. You know, kids at sixteen, a husband who drinks and beats you.
When I hit L. I was hateful to my mother. If I came home from a date at I just wanted to piss my mother off. She didn't see her father for many years after. She was angry at her mother, and found a father figure in her mother's boyfriend. Roger Hayes, as she calls him in her autobiography , was a drug abuser and molested Lords in her sleep. Lords refused to follow them to a new place and was left with her older sister Lorraine. Her mother and two younger sisters eventually found a new apartment.
Pornography career[ edit ] At age 13, Lords became pregnant by her high school boyfriend. Afraid of her mother's reaction, she went to Hayes for help. He arranged for her to have an abortion without her mother's knowledge. The woman offered to improve Lords' job opportunities by helping her get a fake driver's license. She provided Lords with a new birth certificate on condition that if she were ever caught she would say that she had stolen the phony identification.
She was now able to line up a few job interviews. Posing as her stepfather, Hayes drove her to the agency. During August, when she was selected to model for Penthouse magazine's 15th-anniversary issue, Lords was asked to choose a stage name.
She chose Traci—one of the popular names she had longed for growing up—and Lords, after the actor Jack Lord , since she was a fan of the television series Hawaii Five-O , in which he portrayed the character of Steve McGarrett. Some of her schoolmates recognized her in the Velvet magazine pictorial.
Lords subsequently quit high school at age 15 and entered the sex industry, where formal education was irrelevant. Lords' article stated that she was 22 years of age, was a virgin until nineteen, and had studied interior design at El Camino College. Lords made the first of her many illegal movies during October , when she appeared in What Gets Me Hot! Besides her work in porn, she also appeared in the music video for " Gimme Gimme Good Lovin' " by the heavy metal band Helix.
Lords continued making more movies until the autumn of , when she tried to quit the industry at age 17 she returned a few months later. Afterwards, she met Stuart Dell, who became her boyfriend, manager, and business partner. They formed the Traci Lords Company. Dell and Lords made a distribution deal with Sy Adler, an industry veteran who ran Vantage International, that they would produce three movies for the company.
She had lied to law enforcement, photographers, producers, directors, co-workers, and the general public for two years. The owners of her movie agency and X-Citement Video, Inc.
See United States v. X-Citement Video She was taken into protective custody and hired high-profile lawyer Leslie Abramson. On July 10, district attorney 's investigators searched Lords' Redondo Beach home as well as the Sun Valley offices of Vantage International Productions a major producer of adult movies and the Sherman Oaks offices of modeling agent Jim South.
South and other industry officials said that Lords, who was seeking employment, provided a California driver's license, a U.
Leslie Jay, spokeswoman for Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione , also said Lords showed identification indicating that she was older than 18 before the illicit photos for the September issue were taken she was actually fifteen years of age in the photographs. Two adults who knew Lords, but who requested anonymity, said they saw her picture in the adult magazine Velvet during July , and telephoned the district attorney's office to inform authorities that she was underage, but that an investigator told them, "There isn't anything we can do about it.
John Weston, attorney of the Adult Film Association of America , said distributors should withdraw any movie made before May , featuring Lords "in sexual conduct, no matter how briefly". The withdrawal of Lords' movies from the market cost the industry millions of dollars.
While most of her movies were permanently removed from distribution in the United States, several were re-edited to remove Lords' scenes entirely such as Kinky Business and New Wave Hookers , or in a few cases, had new footage filmed with a different actress playing her part as in Talk Dirty to Me Part III. This action resulted in claims that she herself had tipped off the authorities to gain immunity from prosecution, while being the only one to profit from the movie. Lords denies this notion in her autobiography and says she was reluctant to sell the rights, since at that time she was trying to become a mainstream actress, and wanted no older movies still available.
Lords was offered enormous sums of money to continue in porn, but she declined the requests. Transition to mainstream, Not of This Earth and Cry-Baby[ edit ] After spending several months in therapy, Lords decided to concentrate on acting.
She enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute , where she studied method acting for three months. After leaving the school, Lords placed an advertisement in The Hollywood Reporter looking for representation. She was contacted by Fred Westheimer and although the agency declined to officially represent her, he decided to send her out on a few auditions.
As a result, she was offered a guest role in an episode of the television series Wiseguy. He immediately cast Lords into the lead role of Nadine Story, and Not of This Earth became her first mainstream film debut since her departure from the adult film industry.
Although the film failed at the box office, it did well in video sales, and, based on that success, Lords was offered to appear in Wynorski's next film, The Haunting of Morella However, Lords turned down the offer due to the requirement of having a nude scene, since she was trying to establish herself as a serious actress.
The Traci Lords Story. In December, she mass-mailed her resume to various agents and arranged a meeting with Don Gerler. Lords auditioned for the part of Breathless Mahoney in the film Dick Tracy , but the role went to Madonna. The film was a critical and commercial success, and her portrayal of the rebellious teenager Wanda Woodward established her as a legitimate actress.
On the set of the film she met the property master Brook Yeaton, whom she began dating. The couple married in September in Baltimore, Maryland. Directed and produced by her former boyfriend and business partner Stewart Dell, the video had been filmed in early An extended version was reissued in under the title Traci Lords: She continued modeling and walked the runway for fashion designers such as Janet Howard and Thierry Mugler.
Breakthrough, Fires and Melrose Place[ edit ] During , Lords decided to emphasize her career as a recording artist. She first got signed to a development deal with Capitol Records. The company arranged her to fly to London and meet with producer Tom Bailey. After finishing her recording with Bailey, Lords was introduced to producer Ben Watkins of Juno Reactor with whom she recorded more techno -influenced songs. She later met Mike Edwards, the main singer of the band Jesus Jones.
Around the same time, Lords was cast in the television series Roseanne , appearing in three episodes. During January , Lords appeared in four episodes of the television series Melrose Place , where she played the part of Rikki Abbott. It received generally positive reviews and the lead single " Control " peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs.
The album's second single, " Fallen Angel ", was also successful in charts, peaking at number eleven on Hot Dance Club Songs.
After the release of the album, Lords embarked on a small tour performing as a DJ , mostly in Miami nightclubs. She played a felon, Sharon Lesher, who is manipulated by a serial killer Jack-of-All-Trades and eventually becomes his partner in crime Jill-of-All-Trades.
Lords was eventually approached to appear in the sequel Blade II portraying Racquel's twin sister Valerine in seeking of vengeance upon Blade. However, she turned down the offer because of her contradictory schedule. However, it was later neglected after she left the record label. In August, Lords ended her two-year relationship with John Enos after they reportedly got into an argument because her cat was killed by one of Enos' dogs.
In , Lords had lead roles in the films Epicenter and Chump Change. She played Jordan Radcliffe, an heiress and leader of the Human Resistance Group "The Raven Nation" after the aliens used her brother to murder her parents. In the book, Lords chronicled her childhood, career and brief time in the x-rated industry. The book received positive reviews from critics and was a commercial success making The New York Times Best Seller list.
It was criticized by pornographers, who claim they were the victims. Lords continued to use the now famous stage name that she had given herself as a minor, and ultimately made it her legal name.
She explained, "I chose to stop running from it. Instead, I won it, legally changing my name to Traci Elizabeth Lords. That's who I was, and that's who I was going to be. She signed to Sea To Sun records the following year, and released the chart topping single "Last Drag". Lords is currently recording new music in Los Angeles. We're stunned and thrilled. I just want you to know, these Ds are mine. And my husband is happy with the changes in my figure. I never thought it would be on something called Zack and Miri Make a Porno.
So I went and I read the script at his house and I was prepared to say no. I thought I have the perfect out. I just had a kid. No one is going to blame me if I say I just can't do this right now. But it made me laugh out loud and it made me just literally cry.
It was just funny. I'm done with all that, she said.