X marks the past for Traci Lords --
Your book is dedicated to "the children of the night."
You're actively involved with a nonprofit organization called Children
of the Night that helps young girls who have been victimized by
the sex industry.
Traci Lords: They do
wonderful work. When I was writing this book, I had an opportunity
to examine this blueprint of where I came from. Looking back, I
realize this could have happened to any girl. There are so many
Traci Lords out there. I came from a background of sexual abuse.
And acting out sexually is common. I think what was shocking about
me in particular was that I became such a phenomenon in the porn
world. That was an accident. I never tried to become a porn star.
It was just me trying to vent all of this stuff in some sort of
insane power trip.
Bankrate: People who
worked with you back then did say you exuded sexiness at a very
Traci Lords: I don't
take anything those people say seriously. They clearly have an agenda,
whether it's to get their five minutes of fame or to use a child
to hang the blame on.
Bankrate: Do you think
the porn industry has cleaned itself up at all, as a result of you
Traci Lords: I believe
the attention the "Traci Lords scandal" brought to the
porn world has forced those people to take age seriously.
Bankrate: You've done
quite a few mainstream projects. How did you break into programs
such as "Married with Children" and "Melrose Place"?
Traci Lords: Worked
my tail off. Auditioned like everyone else and eventually won roles.
Bankrate: Was it hard
getting people to take you seriously?
Traci Lords: It's hard
to break into Hollywood, period. And for a woman with a past you
can multiply that tenfold.
Bankrate: Did you have
much to show financially from those days in porn?
Traci Lords: No, nothing.
I made very little money. I used to say I had all these real estate
deals, but in reality, I was a little girl playing grown-up. I had
no money, real estate or otherwise. I said what I thought would
impress people. But it was no more real than a fake ID.
Bankrate: Do you have
some type of money management or investment style today?
Traci Lords: I bury
it all in my backyard. Or, I should say, I do own real estate now.
Bankrate: Are you a
Traci Lords: In many
ways. I have a wonderful life. I'm happily married.
Bankrate: Was it difficult
finding someone who would accept your past?
Traci Lords: My husband
is an exceptional human being. He is my treasure. We've been married
for over a year, but I've known him for seven. We don't have any
secrets from one another, so there's no judgment in that way in
our marriage. He's the first man in my life that isn't threatened
by my past and who I am.
Bankrate: What's next
for Traci Lords?
Family, gardening, fine wine, writing, directing, acting ... living