Porn star Kent North dies at 35
by Jim Provenzano
Adult video performer Kent North died in London on July 4 of an apparent drug overdose, according to Hot House Entertainment, where he was under an exclusive contract. He was 35.
Mr. North, whose real name was Ben Grey, was born December 27, 1971. He worked exclusively since 2004 for the San Francisco-based video company.
"We are all shocked and deeply saddened," said Hot House President Steven Scarborough in a statement. "Our deepest sympathy goes out to Kent's friends and family, especially his lover, Lloyd."
Mr. North performed in 14 videos for Hot House. He earned awards for Best Solo Performance at both the 2007 GAYVN and Grabby Awards. He also co-hosted the 2007 Grabby Awards in Chicago.
In addition to being an award-winning performer, Mr. North and his lover Warren Lord (a.k.a. Lloyd North) participated in promotional events, including International Mr. Leather and the Folsom Street Fair. Mr. North often made appearances throughout Europe.
"He was always eager to pose for photos and extend his kindness to everyone who approached him," said Hot House public relations coordinator David McCambridge. "Kent loved his fans as much as they loved him. During events he was always the last model to finish signing."
According to McCambridge, Mr. North had served in the British Royal Navy as a lieutenant and submariner, and had been honored by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
"Kent displayed gentlemanly grace and charm at all times," said a Hot House release. "His well-mannered English demeanor was enhanced by a wicked sense of humor and a devilish grin. Kent's warmth and genuine kindness will be missed and fondly remembered by all who knew him."
The day of Mr. North's death, rumors that he had committed suicide were posted on various porn blogs. The Web site http://www.gayvn.com claimed that Mr. North committed suicide, with Scarborough confirming in a bylined report that he "intentionally overdosed on drugs."
On Wednesday, Scarborough told the Bay Area Reporter that he told GAYVN Mr. North had died, and asked for patience while they gathered information. Scarborough said that the report was incorrect and that he did not say Mr. North had taken his own life.
"I told them he was dead and said we didn't know anything," Scarborough said.
McCambridge said he hopes the rumors will be dispelled after the release of a London coroner's report, which, he said, "indicates an accidental overdose of sleeping pills."
Also on Tuesday, McCambridge forwarded what he said was an e-mail from Lord. In that message, Lord said that Mr. North's body was released to funeral directors in preparation for services on Monday, July 16.
"The police have concluded their investigation with no suspicious circumstances," Lord wrote. "The coroner also completed the post mortem yesterday, again no clear result, although no suspicious circumstances or physical questions. We do await toxicology test results."
Lord added that an inquest was opened and adjourned until September 12.
"We are still not 100 percent sure on the exact cause of death," Lord wrote.
On July 8, a posting attributed to Lord, who uses the name Lloyd North in nonsexual roles, appeared on the adult blog http://www.billinexile.com: "The cause of death has yet to be formally announced by the authorities in London. Kent was not involved in the world of drugs. He was a wholesome and amazing person who respected the values of Hot House and the responsible side of the industry. Anyone who knew Kent will tell you that he was a warm and genuine person. His work for the St. Stephens Trust in the UK will continue in his name. Please consider your comments before you speculate, as his family and friends are still trying to come to terms with his loss. Thank you for your understanding."
In an excerpt from the February 22 B.A.R. article, "Pornocopia at the Castro," when the GAYVN Awards were held in San Francisco, Mr. North said in an interview that he was also employed as a bank manager in London, and had made 16 movies in less than three years.
"The bankers at home think it's great, and my partner practically pushes me out here," said Mr. North.
Mr. North's 14th Hot House video, Knuckle Sandwich, will be released posthumously later this year.
Those wishing to send cards or condolences to Lord should address them to Hot House Entertainment, 1433 17th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107.
Cynthia Laird contributed to this report.