On Tuesday morning I received a phone call from a close friend. We rarely talk on the phone, so when he calls I know I should pick up. He asked if I had heard about the Topher Dimaggio rape allegation, and then filled me in when I said no. Fellow gay adult film actor Tegan Zayne has accused Dimaggio of forcing himself on Zayne the night before they were set to shoot a scene, and ejaculating inside him despite numerous pleas not to.
This close friend then proceeded to tell me that Dan (who has asked to remain anonymous, so his name has been changed), a friend of his, had reached out for support. Dan alleges that he, too, was raped by Dimaggio two years ago.
[Editor’s note: It’s worth noting that Dimaggio responded to Zayne’s accusations by denying them. “These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core,” he says. “All of my relations with this person have been consensual & willing.”]
Dan was overcome with emotion when he received a text with the article reporting Zayne’s allegation. Immediately he shared it with friends who instantly responded, “Oh my God. He’s been doing it to others, too.”
Within a matter of hours, I was on the phone with Dan to hear his story, which is presented below. It is a raw account that very powerfully demonstrates the realities of incidents like these.
He has chosen to remain anonymous in sharing his account out of fear of what might happen to him. But he feels compelled to share his story — not only to validate Zayne’s allegation, but so others might see themselves reflected in his story, whether as victims of this one predator, of a boyfriend or of a random hookup.
The way [Tegan] described that situation felt exactly how it went down that night, and if I could get anything out of this story, I just want to back him up. No, this isn’t random behavior, it didn’t come out of nowhere. I experienced similar behavior and action years ago, and I want to add my voice and see if there are others that say this happened to them or not.
As a gay man you read stories and you think, “If I was ever in that situation, I would push the person off or tell them to stop, or it’d be someone I didn’t know.”
But it was somebody that I knew. I had met Topher a few times. [He] put me in a situation where I felt powerless and felt like, even though I had said no, he continued. It’s a weird haze of “Well, this is happening and I can’t stop him, and I don’t know what to do” and you just kind of let it happen.
So on that night in particular I went out with a couple of friends, and one of my friends is actually friends with Topher, and we went to go meet up with them at a bar. We were drinking and we left the bar and went to an afterparty.
There were multiple people there, including my friends, and including Topher.
Things went by, people left the party, and the next thing I remember is that I am alone with Topher in this place. I don’t know if I fell asleep and he woke me up, or how exactly I got into this position, but I was in the bedroom, I wasn’t wearing clothes, I was face-down, and he was trying to have sex with me.
Personally, I am not a bottom. I bottom, but not often, and I wouldn’t bottom for this guy — I didn’t know him that well. I didn’t have feelings for him. I had no intention of hooking up with this guy. I go out, I have fun, I meet people, I make decisions about who I want to hookup with, but this is not somebody I wanted to hookup with, so being in this situation was very jarring. All of a sudden to catch yourself — you’re drunk, you’re in a haze, you’re naked with a person you don’t want to be naked with.
And so I remember saying no, I don’t want to do this, and he said, No, don’t worry about it, and that’s kind of exactly what he said to Tegan. He was like, No, it’s fine, don’t worry about it. He inserted himself inside of me and started to have sex with me.
I said, Stop, no, this hurts, and he said, Just don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about it. And he kept going and going and going and I just remember saying no, please stop, no, please. And I remember … I could see it and feel it in my head. I could remember where I was, where my body was, the pain, where he was, and then he finished inside me.
And was like … OK, well, what the fuck? I don’t know where I am, really. I’m stuck here. And then I woke up the next morning, not really knowing what was happening, sort of putting the pieces together. It wasn’t until I left and went home and I showered and I felt the pain and I was like, Holy shit, I need to go see a doctor.
So I left and went to the hospital and told them that I was sexually assaulted by a porn star and I was terrified and I needed help. I wanted to get on PEP. I knew I had a 48-hour window.
The doctor asked if I knew who it was. I said yes. She left the room. A couple minutes went by, she came back and said she had spoken to a police officer who was on duty and he was outside the exam room and he wanted my written statement.
She told me that in order for her to do an exam to see what the damage was — cuts or bruises or scars — that I had to speak with the police officer. I told her I didn’t want to do that, so they didn’t perform an examination. They gave me 30 days of three different types of antiretrovirals for potential exposure to HIV.
They gave me full blood panels for STIs. Everything came back fine, but I was on anti-HIV drugs for 30 days, which is its own kind of Hell.
And that was it. I didn’t know what to do. I told people, who told me to go tell other people, to potentially go to the authorities. But I was frightened. I don’t know what this person is capable of.
I don’t know what kind of retaliation could happen from a report. It’s probably incredibly over-the-top, but there was that case of those porn star guys that killed their producer. My real fear was that I didn’t know what this guy was capable of. I didn’t know if he had guns or if he was on drugs.
I didn’t know if he had friends who have guns or were on drugs that would hurt me. I don’t know what the companies he works for would do in terms of retaliation if I went anywhere with this.
So I kept it to myself. I was legitimately afraid, and still am. You just don’t know what people are capable of. Obviously he is abusive, because he raped me. Even though I told him it was painful and asked him to stop multiple times, he didn’t care.
So I didn’t, and I learned to cope with it. I would still see him around and I wouldn’t talk to him. I’d see his picture up on ads, and it was always pretty painful. My close friends that I’ve told know what he did. And seeing [Tegan Zayne’s story] made me feel like I had to say something.
Some people probably don’t believe me. They think it’s porn, it’s a pornstar, you probably just got too drunk or deep down wanted this or something. That absolutely wasn’t the case. I can tell you the amount of time I spent in tears, going to the hospital, going through the motions, getting the drugs, were not part of a larger fantasy.
It was criminal.
And it just fucking sucked. I wished it didn’t happen. But now I feel responsibility to tell this story and help other people if they have their own stories to know that these things do happen.
If I could talk to him, and he would actually listen, I would like to tell him that he hurt me and he did abuse me and did something that was wrong and to just apologize for what he did. That would probably go a long way. Because you feel like a lot of the time what happened was something that I did.
It’s not that I did anything — it was done to me. That’s the hardest thing to break away from. You say, What did I do wrong? How did I screw this up? when in reality the other person should be saying, I fucked up. I should have stopped when you said no, and I didn’t. And I’m sorry.
Honestly, I would probably accept his apology. Doesn’t mean that we’re going to be friends, but an acknowledgement that you know what you did was fucked up and wrong.
Dan says he hopes that with this Topher Dimaggio rape account out in the open, he hopes Dimaggio doesn’t hurt more people, and that others feel confident enough to say they’ve been in similar situations. “I think they happen a lot more often than we talk about,” he tells me.
Dan isn’t in the porn industry and believes a weird power dynamic was at play as a result. But Zayne’s statements emboldened him.
“Seeing my abuser called out for what he did sparked me to say, Fuck it, it happened to me, too, and that fucker did it to me, too. And I want to say something. Because there are probably others.”
We reached out to Topher Dimaggio for a response but as of publication have not heard back.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of rape or sexual assault, there are many resources available for help, including RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the National Domestic Violence Hotline for LGBTQ Abuse, Emerge (an organization set up to offer help to LGBTQ batterers) and The Anti-Violence Project for LGBTQ people.
Featured image by nito100 via iStock
Tim Lewis is a writer interested in sexuality, spirituality, class and culture as found in everyday life. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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