Ben Dover - Biography - Early Adult Film Work

Early Adult Film Work

In 1978, broke from his now fading career as a musician and working as a male stripper using the stage name, "Hot Rod" (due to his apparent likeness to Rod Stewart at the time), Honey responded to an advertisement for models in The Stage newspaper and met agent Kent Bolton, a college lecturer and former Labour Party MP on the Isle Of Wight and was renowned for organising "spanking parties". Being paid £100 a shoot, Honey started working for David Sullivan's Private Magazine and European hardcore porn magazines such as Rodox/Color Climax, a Danish company that in addition to more "standard" hardcore material also produced bestiality and child pornography. His first shoot was with a then 17 year old Eileen Daly, who had gone to see the same agent above a strip club in Soho with her mother. Honey was introduced by Bolton to the likes of photographer Lexington Steel and director Mike Freeman.

Honey starting working as an actor for Videx Limited in 1979, a production company based in Wimbledon set up by Freeman. Freeman had previously produced softcore porn in the 60's before being jailed in 1969 for the murder of a well known Soho gangster who had been contracted to kill Freeman and had threatened to kill his wife and children, and started producing hardcore porn upon his release from prison in 1979 exploiting the fact that video wasn't covered by the Obscene Publications Act. Whilst working at Videx, Honey starred in his first film as an actor in "Truth Or Dare" with Paula Meadows. However, soon video was brought under the Obscene Publications Act and Freeman's home was raided in 1981 by the OPS (Obscene Publications Squad), and all the Videx video equipment was confiscated. It was alleged that the raid was engineered by porn shop chain owner and publisher David Sullivan, whom Freeman has previously refused to deal with to stock Videx titles in his shops and was angered by articles in The Star that unfavourably compared his productions with those of Videx. He allegedly paid someone to act as a member of the public to make a complaint of being shocked and appalled by the film "Sex Slave".

Although video had been brought under the Obscene Publications Act, Freeman continued producing hardcore videos including two gay porn films. He was informed by his solicitor that if he withdrew the gay porn material the Home Office would drop their case, but refused. The Videx offices were raided in 1983 and Freeman was arrested again in relation to the film "The Videx Video Show" under Obscene Publications Act and Perverting the course of justice, as he was accused of destroying evidence with the motivation of denying producing the film after erasing the contents of one VHS copy of each film, despite never denying his involvement and his name being heavily featured in the videos credits. By this time Honey was working as photographer and sales manager for the company - but managed to recover incriminating evidence from his car during the raid (and would later claim in court that he didn't work for the company).

Freeman was sentenced to 15 months in the case relating to the first raid in 1981 involving the two gay films. Freeman has been persuaded to put the company into voluntary liquidation to avoid a potential four year prison sentence. Whilst Freeman was incarcerated, Honey took over Videx and produced and directed his first film "Rock 'n' Roll Ransom". After serving 10 months, Freeman was released from prison and set about preparing for the second case relating to the second raid, in which he represented himself in order to be able to call famous witness, which his QC had refused to allow. Freeman was being charged under Obscene Publications Act and Protection of Children Act, as images of children taken at a naturist park were featured (although in a separate scene to any pornographic content). In case documents, whilst admitting to starring in the film "The Videx Video Show", Honey refused to comment on or confirm his involvement in Videx and retained the services of Sullivan's solicitor, whom Sullivan was paying for. Having successfully demonstrated that the film was not obscene and called film critic Derek Malcolm who classed the film as "harmless erotica", both Freeman and Honey along with Freeman's girlfriend Sara Bhaskaran and silent business partner John Currey were found not guilty under the Obscene Publications Act. However, Freeman was found guilty of Perverting the course of justice (despite having already been acquitted of the offence relating to the video) and sentenced to another 15 months, and also recalled by the Parole Board for his previous life sentence for murder under the false charge of crime of violence while on parole which took 2 years to prove. After starting a case at the European Court of Human Rights, Freeman was released on parole in 1986 after being informed that if he dropped his case against the government he would be released.

With the aid of his girlfriend Linzi Drew, Honey took the Videx equipment (state of the art U-matic High Band equipment, which Freeman had purchased to replace the original confiscated equipment) and mailing list to set up his mail order business, Stephanie Perry. Honey also worked as photographer for Escort Magazine throughout the 80's shooting Drew who regularly appeared in the magazine, under the pseudonym "Brian Wilson" (after Beach Boys singer). The pair were later jailed in 1992 for "publishing obscene material for gain" and "being in possession of obscene material" following a sting operation in which an undercover police officer joined the companies mailing list and over a period of more than a year regularly bought videos to prove that the operation was "an on-going tax free profitable business". Drew was sentenced to four months, which she served at Holloway Prison and Drake Hall, Staffordshire before being released after serving two months, whilst Honey was sentenced to nine months, which he served at Brixton Prison before being transferred after five weeks to Send Open Prison, Surrey. In December 1993 Honey filed for bankruptcy

Following release from prison, Honey along with Bill Wright (AKA Frank Thring) was commissioned to work on the first feature length videos for Berth Milton, Sr.'s Private Media Group that had previously only produced magazines. Honey directed their first seven films initially with Wright and took on the new pseudonym Steve Perry.

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