West Hollywood activist and Democratic donor Ed Buck, who came under fire after two black men died from crystal methamphetamine overdoses in his home within 18 months, now faces additional allegations of human trafficking and revenge porn, according to new documents filed in a wrongful death suit against Buck.

The recent developments concern an on-going case filed against Buck by LaTisha Nixon, the mother of Gemmel Moore, a 26-year-old black man who died in Bucks West Hollywood apartment on July 27, 2017. Moore, who lived in Harris County, Texas with his mother and siblings, had taken a flight from Houston earlier that day, and traveled straight to Bucks apartment. He died hours later. Moores body was found beside multiple syringes with brown residue, a scale, several lighters and torches, a straw with white residue and burn marks, plastic bags with whiter powdery residue and a clear plastic bag containing a crystal-like substance, according to the complaint and an autopsy report.

Bucks attorney, Seymour Amster, has vigorously denied responsibility for Moore's death in court documents, and refrained from speaking in depth about the latest allegations by phone. We will reserve our comment to our court filings, Amster told The Daily Beast, and we will be aggressively litigating this. Buck has 14 days after the amendment filing date of July 3 to respond in court.

Moores visit to Bucks apartment was the most recent of several interactions between the two men. According to the complaint, Buck had solicited Moore for sex multiple times, always insisting upon injecting Moore with crystal meth and requiring Moore to view hardcore gay male pornography which played loudly on a large flatscreen television set, while engaging in sex acts. Moore had allegedly never used the drug before interacting with Buck. In Moores last journal entry, dated December 3, 2016, he wrote, If it didnt hurt so bad, Id kill myself, but Ill let Ed Buck do it for now.

The latest amendment added two charges to the 12-count civil complaint: human trafficking and distribution of private sexually explicit materials. The added causes of action claim Buck knowingly utilized interstate commerce for the purpose of recruiting, enticing and transporting Moore from Texas to Los Angeles, for the purposes of commercial sex acts. They claim Buck paid for Moores transportation and promised to pay Moore for his time. The complaint also alleges Buck violated Moores right to privacy by distributing a sexually explicit video recording of him to one of several unnamed defendants in April of 2019.

According to Jasmyne Cannick, a Los Angeles journalist and advocate in Moores case, the revelation of the revenge porn allegation came after a series of interviews with other black men, who corroborated Moores story. Throughout the course of really almost two years now, I have had dozens of young men reach out to me with information, photos, videos, their receiptsliterally and figurativelyon Ed Buck, Cannick said. We amended this particular lawsuit to include human trafficking and revenge porn based off of very credible information that we received from other victims. Im not going to give you an exact number, but its been at least a dozen.

We amended this particular lawsuit to include human trafficking and revenge porn based off of very credible information that we received from other victims.
Jasmyne Cannick, journalist and advocate

Following Moores death in 2017, Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department opened an investigation into Moores death. According to the complaint, the Sheriffs department interviewed multiple black men who recounted similar experiences with Buck. In July of 2018, District Attorney Jackie Lacey declined to file criminal charges against Buck.

The wrongful death suit also names Lacey and Hum as defendants for failure to prosecute. In an earlier complaint, Nixons attorney had accused Lacey and Hum of violating Moores civil rights. In the latest complaint, they amended the charge to racial discrimination. They claim the attorneys office sanctioned deliberate indifference to Fourteenth Amendment equality protections by refusing to impartially prosecute white people for their felonious criminal acts against black victims.

The case was originally filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, but moved to federal court in May. Nixons lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Moore was the first man to die in Bucks home. But in January, a 55-year-old man named Timothy Dean died under similar circumstances. Dean, a West Hollywood resident and fashion consultant at Saks Fifth Avenue, had no prior history of drug abuse or alcoholism, according to the Los Angeles Times. An autopsy report ruled Deans death an accidental drug overdose. Following Deans death, activists held a press conference outside Bucks West Hollywood home, and delivered a petition to D.A. Lacey demanding an investigation into the donor.

We believe Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and the Sheriffs Department is not doing enough to look into the connections between the deaths of these two men, the petition reads. It got more than 30,000 signatures.

A Sheriffs Department investigation into Deans death is on-going. In a statement provided to The Daily Beast after this story was first published, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office wrote: "Last month, the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department presented a case involving the death of Timothy Dean. Our office today asked for further investigation that includes forensic analysis, interviewing additional people and reviewing medical records."

Moores attorneys have pointed to Bucks long history of big dollar donations to prominent California politiciansincluding a $100 donation to District Attorney Lacey in 2012. Lacey claims she returned the money, and denied allegations of preferential treatment. Nothing could be further from the truth, Lacey said in an open letter from March. Every life, regardless of a persons age, race, economic status and even whether they use illegal drugs, has value. If that life is lost because of the unlawful actions of another, rest assured that my office will do everything possible to bring the perpetrator to justice.

According to CBS Los Angeles, Bucks largest donation to date involved a $300,000 gift to a California political action committee called Animal PAC, a group formed to represent animal welfare interests throughout California. He also donated $1,400 to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2016, $18,700 to former California state Senate leader Kevin de Len across several campaigns, $19,400 to Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu, and $2,700 to Congressman Adam Schiff in 2016. All claim to have returned the money or donated it to non-profits.

Between 2012 and 2016, Buck donated $12,500 to former West Hollywood Mayor John Duran. Duran was forced to resign his position earlier this spring, following multiple allegations of sexual assault from members of the Gay Mens Chorus, including allegedly slipping his hand into the waistbands of two singers. Duran apologized for his behavior, telling radio station KNX-AM (1070), Lets face it, Im the only, I think, sexually active member of the City Council…Thats part of the price I pay for just being an out gay man in West Hollywood whos very sexually active. Duran allegedly spent some of Bucks money, and donated some to charity.

For anyone thats been following this, the behavior that Ed Buck participates in is behavior that hasnt stopped, Cannick said. Thats why someone else died at his house.

This article was updated to reflect a statement from the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office.

Related posts