CHATSWORTH, Calif. — It's true: James Deen suffers from stage fright, and therefore made it his business to be Somewhere Else during the presentation of the Male Performer of the Year prize at the 2009 AVN Adult Movie Awards.
James admitted to AVN later that just before the category came up in the program, he jumped at a friend's proposal to go outside for a smoke (even though he recently gave up the habit). A panic-stricken Deen refused his friend's attempts to pull him back in when the announcement of the category came through the Mandalay Bay loudspeakers.
Girlfriend Joanna Angel accepted the award on Deen's behalf. The actor was later spotted staggering out of the Mandalay Bay Event Center, overwhelmed and intoxicated, but grateful.
Later, Deen gave AVN his official acceptance speech:
"Thank you to Chico Wang, who taught me everything I know; Mike John, who is the gonzo shooter; Robby D., because Robby D. is fucking awesome ... Robby D. is an amazing pornographer; Mike Quasar, because he calls me 'The Jew Bastard' and frankly it motivates me to work harder; Greg Alves; to Stoya, because her vagina is like gold; P.T., Shylar, B. Skow, William H., Jules Jordan. Thank you Joanna Angel for getting all the publicity you do. She's the best marketer in the business, nobody can market anything the way she can. Scooby from Fresh Talent Management and Joel from Gold Star. Tom Byron — if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't know how to perform. Rocco Siffredi, Manuel Ferrara, Mick Blue, Mr. Pete ... there's so many dudes out there, the list goes on. Manuel is the best performer in the business, I really should not have beat him. I want to give my award to Manuel."