Look Homeward, Porn Angel

Devinn Lane returns to OC, sucks down a few frozen bananas, and talks about life before she became the den mother of porn

"Because I was 27 when I got into the industry, not 18 and invincible, I knew I'd lose friends and family," she explains. "I knew I'd be out in public sometimes and people would turn their noses up at me. They'd look at me and say I was probably a drug addict, an alcoholic or a child molester. Which is just pure ignorance."

Though her mom never approved of her career choice, Lane continued to talk to her up until her death from diabetes three years ago at 48, following 17 and a half years of dialysis. And she maintains close relations with her younger brother, who lives in New York.

But her dad is a different story. An evangelical minister in the Church of God, he sounds like John Lithgow in Footloose. No makeup. Church three times per week. Dresses below the knee. No movies. Basically nothing secular. Lane, Aries that she is, rebelled, smoked in the girls' room, skipped school. Her father didn't spare the rod, and her mom, daughter of a minister herself, didn't intervene.

"The spankings were quite harsh," she says. "Which is funny because as I got older and got involved in the world of [bondage and domination], I realized I actually liked spanking. Some sort of sick, twisted thing from my past, I guess. I felt what my father did was abuse, absolutely. I've never raised my own hand to my daughter. I never would. You either follow in the footsteps of your parents or you change. I changed.

"I left home at 18 and never looked back. I still don't talk to my father, and I don't foresee ever reconciling. Of course, he was angry when he finally found out about what I was doing. You know, the Jesus people write to me and tell me, 'You're going to hell,' 'Jesus can still forgive you,' this and that. And I'm like, 'Well, I guess I'm going to have to burn.' I was raised in a hardcore Protestant home, and it's not a healthy environment."

Lane says she's not opposed to spirituality, just organized religion.

"I tell people, 'You don't understand: I'm a product of the church.' I rebelled against everything I was taught and went into life to see what I was missing. I found out I liked a lot of things I was taught were bad and there was nothing wrong with them. I dealt with a lot of guilt for a long, long time. The guilt of being bisexual and not being able tell anyone because it was 'a sin.' All of these 'sins'—I basically became a sinner and felt that I would be punished for all these sins, although I was really a good person."

Some from Lane's past are more accepting. Before lunch at Mi Casa, we dropped in on Lane's old boss Lori Thompson, branch manager at Downey Savings who remembered Lane as a good worker who had already begun stripping for bachelor parties on the side. A solid, middle-class lady, Thompson chuckles as she recalled Lane's stripper name, "Cherry Pie," and confides that she knew the young Lane was bound for stardom.

"Me? I have no problem with it," said Thompson of her ex-employee's career. "I went out and bought one of her videos, actually. Over at Spanky's on Harbor Boulevard. I asked the teller if he had Devinn Lane videos, and he said, 'Right this way.' In Style was the name of it."

"Oh, that's a good one," says Lane, beaming.

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