Serious Estate Tycoon Uncovered as ‘Boogeyman of Porn’

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty

Picture Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Every day Beast/Getty

Los Angeles-region genuine estate magnate Mark Handel was after ready to get point out laws specifically drafted to match his developments, persuade the city council to give his projects an fascination-absolutely free 6-determine personal loan, and to cultivate ties with gentlemen who would later on signify the location in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

But according to supplies from a forthcoming documentary—which The Day-to-day Beast corroborated by public documents exploration and discussions with San Fernando Valley insiders—Handel, now dealing with federal fraud and money-laundering charges, preserved a parallel profession as one of the most notorious and misogynistic figures in hardcore porn: Khan Tusion.

Just one of the directors at the rear of the new movie disclosed to The Daily Beast that he initial read about Handel’s notorious change ego when doing work on a motion picture based on a 2010 murder in the adult industry.

“People would mention this guy ‘Khan Tusion’—they would get in touch with him the ‘boogeyman of porn,’ ‘the Freddie Krueger of porn’,” said Lucas Heyne, whose prior movie Mope premiered at the Sundance Movie Festival in 2019. “He was acknowledged for becoming 1 of the most verbally abusive and bodily abusive porn directors that’s at any time existed.”

Handel’s lawyer did not answer voicemails or emails for this tale, and in a temporary cellular phone trade with The Day by day Beast Handel himself insisted he would converse only through his legal counsel. He did not reply to a subsequent phone and text message detailing all the info in this short article.

Heyne and his co-director, Sara Gardephe, instructed The Day by day Beast Handel has been in the same way unresponsive to their overtures—though they continue to hope he will concur to an job interview right before the film’s prepared launch next 12 months.

Khan Tusion’s films—which have titles like Tough Intercourse and Meat Holes—are infamous for their scenes of woman performers having crushed, spat upon, stepped on, and even choked into unconsciousness. Taglines referred to the women he worked with as “jizzmops” and “the nastiest whores who like to be addressed like worthless pieces of meat.”

Tale proceeds

In accordance to stars interviewed for the documentary, titled Pariah right after Khan Tusion’s creation organization, the cruelty and degradation that arrived from the person driving the camera wasn’t an act.

“Tons of women of all ages have been abused by this one dude,” actor Taryn Thomas asserts in a single clip shared with The Everyday Beast, recalling how she agreed to what she believed would only be a rough sex scene in Meat Holes 3. “Nobody advised me that I was likely to go to a porn set and I’m going to be verbally abused, spit on, have somebody’s foot set on my vagina, Ok, or everything to that extent. And I’m heading to have to think about the factors this douchebag stated to me for the rest of my lifetime. No, I shouldn’t have had to put up with that, and that wasn’t in the contract.”

A performer who formerly utilised the identify Regan Starr explained to The Each day Beast a Khan Tusion-orchestrated experience so extreme that its distributor made a decision to fall the title completely. Starr claimed that the director explained to her only that she would seem in a “rougher sex scene,” and discouraged her from using a “safe word” that an actor can deploy when they want to halt filming.

“He was form of telling me in his individual way, that there was not going to be a harmless term, since even if I utilized it they weren’t likely to halt,” explained Starr, who turned distraught though recalling what transpired on set.

In retrospect, Starr said she did not feel Khan Tusion at any time instructed the male actor contracted for the scene that there was a secure phrase at all—and when she shouted it, in growing pain from her counterpart’s blows, Khan Tusion kept recording.

“He motioned to the second cameraman, the motion to preserve rolling, preserve rolling, continue to keep rolling,” she reported. “His eyes bought really major and he bought fired up. It was like he was in a trance, a pleasure trance sort of issue. I’d in no way witnessed just about anything like it.”

Eventually, as Starr broke down in a panic—fearing, she explained to The Daily Beast, that she experienced unwittingly signed up for a snuff film—the scene lower abruptly limited. It shortly turned notorious in the porn earth, even as its director denied her edition of gatherings in business publications.

What especially disturbed and intrigued Heyne, and his co-director Sara Gardephe, about the brutal, menacing director is that he by no means confirmed his face and appeared to have labored to conceal his identification.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Lucas Heyne attends the Mope premiere during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Jerod Harris/Getty Images</div>

Lucas Heyne attends the Mope premiere in the course of the 2019 Sundance Movie Competition.

Jerod Harris/Getty Photographs

Besides the pseudonym, Khan Tusion applied a voice distorter on movie and in no way allow himself be photographed or shown over the shoulders at market activities. In the 2001 British documentary Hardcore, the director compelled the filmmaker to hold the camera pointed at his torso, as he insisted he had a “different life” as a “pillar of the community” that he desired to protect. He claimed he produced the films not for dollars but to achieve a substantial he described as “better than medicines.”

But Heyne and Gardephe uncovered it was an open up key that Khan Tusion was in reality the politically-wired property developer Mark Handel, the brother of common but controversial radio host Bill Handel. Monthly bill Handel advised The Everyday Beast he is estranged from his brother, and managed the two have had nearly no call in the latest many years.

“The point that initial caught my eye was that this man was just chatting to these girls for the the greater part of the video clips,” claimed Gardephe, who previously directed a documentary about incels known as Shy Boys: IRL. “We ended up uncovering a wholly insane tale.”

In the interview with Thomas, the performer identifies a photo of Handel as Khan Tusion. And a clear paper path straight connects Handel’s respectable enterprises with Khan Tusion’s empire of humiliation and discomfort.

Federal data demonstrate that the now-defunct trademarks for Khan Tusion’s signature homes, from his generation residence Pariah Pictures down to titles these types of as Frank Wank and Piss Mops, all belonged to a organization known as MNP Enterprises LLC. California incorporation records exhibit that not only did Handel sign-up this entity in his personal identify, but even made use of the identify and Calabasas handle of his true estate business, MWH Development, on the submitting.

Insiders, most of whom requested anonymity to communicate freely, described the San Fernando Valley as both equally the epicenter of the American porn business and a locus of political power in Southern California. But the two circles seldom overlap, they mentioned, as elected officials locate the refracted glare of the established lights unflattering for their public impression.

Marketing campaign finance data clearly show Handel poured 1000’s on thousands of pounds into the electoral attempts of area politicians—most notably, now-Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-C.A.) and Sen. Alex Padilla (D-C.A.), whom Handel has backed considering that their days on the Los Angeles Town Council. Restricted community guidelines capped donations, but resources instructed The Day-to-day Beast that Handel served as a liaison for Cardenas to the larger sized Los Angeles true estate community—allowing him to garner donations from an array of builders.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA).</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Patrick T. Fallon/Getty Images</div>

Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA).

Patrick T. Fallon/Getty Images

Handel’s 2020 federal indictment, for allegedly concealing money and business enterprise dealings amid individual bankruptcy proceedings, also asserts he engaged in this form of action, however it tends to make no reference to Cardenas or any other distinct official.

“Defendant Handel also solicited huge quantities of donations from his enterprise associates and other individuals to be paid out to politicians, which defendant Handel described as becoming a ‘bundler’,” reads the charging doc, which could web the mogul a prison sentence of up to 120 many years. “Handel did this, at minimum in component, to profit his actual estate projects by gaining access to and possessing impact around politicians.”

Community information also exhibit that Handel shaped a number of company ventures with one particular of the San Fernando Valley’s most essential power brokers—James Acevedo, regarded as the political godfather to both Cardenas and Padilla. Handel’s firm, MWH, would later on make use of a top rated aide of Padilla’s from his time as city council president. And Padilla’s protégé, former Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, was the legislator who penned the state invoice to allow an embattled MWH undertaking to proceed. Fuentes did not reply requests for remark.

On the town council in the mid-2000s—around the very same time as Khan Tusion was cranking out sequence like Hellfire Sex and Butt-Licking Anal Whores—Cardenas and Padilla served press as a result of Handel’s true estate initiatives in their districts, even about nearby opposition.

Cardenas declined to comment for this tale. Padilla and Acevedo did not reply to repeated outreach from The Day-to-day Beast. It is hence unachievable to determine regardless of whether they knew about Handel’s alter moi.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Assemblyman Tony Cardenas (far left), Los Angeles City Council President Alex Padilla (center speaker), and State Senator Richard Alarcon (Padilla has his hand on his shoulder).</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images</div>

Assemblyman Tony Cardenas (far left), Los Angeles City Council President Alex Padilla (centre speaker), and Point out Senator Richard Alarcon (Padilla has his hand on his shoulder).

Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times by using Getty Pictures

What is sure is that they acknowledged his aid in spite of his extremely publicized 1996 arrest in an underage prostitution sting, in which he and an additional of his company partners—a then-L.A. Creating and Security Commissioner—allegedly compensated for oral sex from a 17-calendar year-outdated female. Handel was in the beginning located guilty and was sentenced to jail time and probation, while he later obtained the conviction reversed on attractiveness.

A further beneficiary of Handel’s political and individual largesse, previous city and condition lawmaker Richard Alarcon—an ally-turned-enemy of the Acevedo-Cardenas-Padilla organization—maintained he was unaware of Handel’s twin id until finally rather not long ago.

“I had no concept in any respect, and you know, we worked on housing projects,” Alarcon informed The Everyday Beast, adding that he regarded the staff of lobbyists Handel labored with to progress his developments as “very respectable.”

Alarcon found himself entangled in the most the latest, and possibly most sordid, chapter of Handel’s tale, which played out in 2018 and 2019 and which kinds a central episode in Pariah.

By then, Cardenas was in the Property, Padilla was California’s Secretary of Point out, and Handel was enmeshed in the individual bankruptcy situation that would eventually culminate in his arrest. “Khan Tusion,” meanwhile, experienced mysteriously vanished from the porn entire world next the 2010 release of Midnight Prowl 17—coinciding with the steep decline of the San Fernando Valley scene for the duration of the web era but also, Heyne noted, with the rising accessibility of general public data on the web.

But it was at this instant that the sleazy underside of Handel’s daily life came closest to publicity.

In April 2018, an anonymous plaintiff submitted a civil fit in Los Angeles Top-quality Courtroom alleging an unnamed local formal had groomed and then groped her as a teenage lady. The criticism was lodged versus a “John Doe,” but Cardenas quickly came ahead to establish himself as the accused and to deny the allegations. His legal professional characterised the claimant as “the daughter of a disgruntled previous employee” and a prospective “victim of manipulation.”

The scenario started off to fall aside soon after Alarcon, who experienced challenged Cardenas for his seat in 2016, unveiled that a man he believed to be the father of the accuser had approached him giving grime on the incumbent in trade for a position. The plaintiff’s lawyer dropped the scenario in 2019, and she eventually withdrew the claim. The judge dismissed it with prejudice, which means it can by no means be refiled, and Cardenas cheered his “total vindication.”

But there was just one element in the match that appears to have hardly ever been contested, and which Cardenas’s crew explicitly declined to tackle when questioned by The Daily Beast—the accuser asserted that Cardenas had organized with Handel for her relatives to relocate from a trailer park to a four-bedroom residence the developer owned completely cost-free of charge.

Handel even appeared to validate the declare to the Los Angeles Instances, nevertheless he maintained he had set the family in the dwelling to hold it totally free of squatters in advance of its prepared demolition.

The developer’s “nom-de-porn” even showcased in a letter the accuser’s lawyer penned to the Office of Congressional Ethics.

“Mr. Handel was allegedly also known as ‘Khan Tusion,’ a hardcore porn producer,” the missive reads.

Fortunately for Handel, this assertion seemed to get misplaced in the welter of scandal about the scenario, and he saved himself out of the headlines till his arrest final yr.

He is because of to seem in federal courtroom in Los Angeles the morning of February 21, 2023.

But Heyne and Gardephe reported they found that the infamy of Khan Tusion’s identify, and the aura of anxiety bordering it, continue to lingers in the seamier corners of the Valley.

“People truthfully had been terrified to chat to us. It took a great deal of time,” reported Gardephe. “Their impact of him was that he was a powerful gentleman, that he experienced a ton of politicians as buddies.”

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