WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—An intimate group of adult industry heavyweights and legends gathered at Hustler Hollywood's flagship store on Sunset Blvd. Thursday evening to witness Belladonna and John Stagliano set their handprints permanently in stone blocks to be placed on the Hustler Walk of Fame before the store's main entrance.
Previous Walk of Fame inductees Sunset Thomas, William Margold and Eric Edwards, along with such active performers and directors as Jules Jordan, Mr. Marcus, Van Styles, Eli Cross and Tasha Reign, looked on as Hustler founder Larry Flynt presided over a brief ceremony in the sunken book cafe area of the store giving the Evil Angel honcho and his directrix compatriot their respective turns pressing their hands into the black material that will be laid into the sidewalk outside once it hardens.
"The Hustler store is a beautiful place ... they've been here for a long time and are an iconic establishment, and if I somehow get to become part of that, that's a great thing," Stagliano told AVN prior to the ceremony. "My plan is to bring my son when he turns 18 and say, 'Look at this! Daddy did some shit!'"
Asked whether this honor carried any special significance for him given his 2010 triumph in the federal obscenity case brought against him, Stagliano quipped, "Well, I bet you they would have put my handprints in here even if I was going to jail and I was out on parole right now. Larry's that kind of guy. I think Larry would have really respected that. But it's certainly a lot more fun to not have to worry about that right now."
There was, of course, indisputable significance to Belladonna's concurrent induction into the Walk of Fame alongside Stagliano, he having given her the arguable breakout role of her career in his much celebrated 2002 opus The Fashionistas (which won her the AVN Award for Best Supporting Actress - Film) and later brought her into the ultra-elite Evil Angel fold as a director.
"Belladonna was a really good actress who read pretty good for the part, but I was blessed with her being way more talented than I knew she was," Stagliano reflected.
Added Bella herself, "I have to say, if it wasn't for John, I don't really know where my career would have gone, because being able to be a director really gave me the freedom to explore what it is I wanted to do in the industry. So I feel really lucky to [be inducted] with John, and happy, because I don't know who else I would want to do it with. I'm very grateful for him, he has given me so much. I'm honored to be a director for his company."
For the ceremony, Flynt offered summary words of praise about each inductee prior to their individual handprint settings. He drew especially spirited applause from the room when he touched upon Stagliano's obscenity trial victory, after which he noted, "John is truly a pioneer in this industry. He's always done quality work, he's always put everything into it, and really dedicated his life to the artform.
"I was going to have him put his butt in cement," Flynt then joked in reference to Stagliano's famed Buttman character, "but we decided to stick with the tradition of the handprint, we thought that would be more appropriate."
On Belladonna, who Flynt intoduced to hearty chuckles as "a former Mormon," he mused that she was "a woman from my own heart—she likes a bush."
Bella choked up a bit during her own humble speech, beaming, "I never dreamed this would ever happen, so thank you."
Some of the other industry notables who attended the event included Hustler's Theresa Flynt and Michael Klein, Evil Angel's Christian Mann, Michelle Maylene, Sabrina Maree, Darren Roberts, Stagliano attorney Paul Cambria, Tod Hunter, Steve Nelson and Dan Miller.
For a photo gallery from the event, click here.