It is much harder to lie to someone's face. But. It is also much harder to tell the truth to someone's face.
I'm the first artist of any kind, good or bad, that was ever prosecuted by the Federal Government. Thirdly, they used the law retroactively. The obscenity statutes had changed in the early '70s, and they tried me under a 1969 statute. It was a railroad job. I was with a judge that was a Nixon appointee. A District Attorney who was a Nixon appointee. The only reason I never went to prison is because the Democrats took the White House.
I've been asked to do small parts in films, but you know, what I've learned in the 12 Steps of Recovery is that for me, being a public person, is not a very healthy thing. There's too many drugs, too many jets, too many girls, too many parties. It's just not my lifestyle. I'm 58 years old. A good round of golf is about as exciting as my life gets.
The court case against me was a dictate out of the White House. Richard Nixon instructed the Justice Department to prosecute pornography to the fullest extent. Now, at the same time, Watergate was going on, so I think he was trying to defer the press or take attention away from his own personal problems.
Basically, the prosecutor who led case against me and that administration were trying to say that an actor can be held responsible for his acting, thousands of miles away from where he did the acting. The analogy would be if an artist painted a nude painting in New York City, and it was met with accolades and great reviews. And suddenly, somebody from Texas bought it and put it in their shoe store and it was found to be obscene in Texas, the artist in New York is responsible, and goes to jail because it's obscene in Texas.
Whether my acting was obscene, or whether it was distasteful, well, Judge Rehnquist, who just recently passed away couldn't define pornography. His comment on pornography was, "I may not be able to define it but I know it when I see it. " That's not law. That's definitely not law. Really, this trial should have been an organized crime trial. About murder and tax evasion and brutalizing people. Not about obscenity.
I met with a bad bout after the trial was over, and while the trial was on I habit of stopping by the liquor store and buying a bottle of wine every night. Just to forget the days courtroom proceedings. Then the next morning I'd get up, go to court again and do it all over again. Well, by 1985, I was a fall down, low bottom drunk. An alcoholic. And in 1989, I finally got sober. And I found the rooms of a 12 Step Recovery Program. And I diligently worked those 12 Steps, and I have changed my life dramatically. I'm happily married. I converted to Christianity.
It is not difficult to conceive, however, that for many reasons a man writes much better than he lives. For without entering into refined speculations, it may be shown much easier to design than to perform. A man proposes his schemes of life in a state of abstraction and disengagement, exempt from the enticements of hope, the solicitations of affection, the importunities of appetite, or the depressions of fear.