YWCA Embarrassed by Revelation Porno Shot at Downtown Location
Dec. 23, 1989
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ What YWCA officials thought was to be filming for a documentary featuring Elizabeth Taylor turned out to be a four-week movie ''pornathon'' that prompted a police investigation and a lawsuit.
To the embarrassment of the women's association, a four-story downtown building it owns was used as a set for films such as ''Wanda Does Transylvania'' and ''Wives of the Rich and Famous.''
''This has been a very unpleasant, unhappy situation,'' said Ethel Sanford- Smith, associate director of the YWCA in Los Angeles.
The YWCA's stately Clark Residence, built in 1913, previously had been used to shoot the TV miniseries ''Winds of War'' and ''Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years.''
This time the YWCA received partial payment purportedly for a family- oriented documentary featuring Miss Taylor, Ms. Sanford-Smith said. But payment was stopped on a second check after the shooting was completed, she said.
John Laolagi, owner of the defunct Stallion Productions in North Hollywood, said four film crews working simultaneously in a monthlong ''pornathon'' shot 47 ''adult'' videos. He said there was no intent to defraud anyone.
The filming was legal, city police Detective Greg Jones said, but police are investigating complaints by performers and crew members that they received a fraction of pay owed them.
Police Sgt. Donald Smith said unpaid salaries could total $320,000.
Trans Pacific Marketing, an Orange County videotape and cassette company, filed a lawsuit last month in Orange County Superior Court against Stallion Productions and Laolagi, company attorney Yeehorn Shuai said.
The $894,000 lawsuit contends Laolagi committed fraud by failing to pay for ordered videotape.
Laolagi owes the YWCA as much as $20,000 for use of the building, but the agency has declined invitations to join in a lawsuit, fearing the publicity it would likely bring, Ms. Sanford-Smith said.