WASHINGTON -- Her voice breaking, Linda 'Lovelace' Marchiano, star of the enormously profitable movie 'Deep Throat,' told a Senate panel that pornography degrades and victimizes women.
Marchiano said Wednesday her ex-husband and manager, Charles Traynor, used threats and beatings to force her to appear in the film that made her famous.
She claims he held her captive for more than two years before she escaped in 1972, remarried and began living on New York's Long Island with her two children.
'Every time somebody sees that movie, they're watching me being raped,' she said. 'That movie was made against my will.'
Marchiano was called to testify in the Senate subcommittee on juvenile justice studying sexual exploitation of women and children byfamily members as well as strangers.
Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., hopes to investigate the impact of pornography and determine whether curbing sexually explicit material infringes on First Amendment rights.
'What about my rights as a human being?' asked Marchiano, her voice breaking. 'People are still making money off (the movie). And my children and I are suffering because of it. What about me?'
Marchiano, who has written a book, 'Ordeal,' about her life as a porn star, claims she reaped none of the $600 million profit from the movie and Traynor married her to keep her from bringing criminal charges against him.
She said her attorney told her it would cost about $500,000 to obtain an injunction to stop showings of 'Deep Throat.'
'I don't have that kind of money,' she said.
'I can look back at it now and say, 'Boy, was I dumb,'' she said. 'My story is a common one. I was young and naive.'
She and other witnesses said sexual exploitation of women often can be traced to abuse as a child. John Rabun, deputy director of a federally funded center for missing children, said pornography frequently is used to instruct children in sexual positions as well as break down their defenses.
'It's a gradual, methodical wearing down of the inhibitions instilled by their parents,' Rabun said.
But pressed by Specter to say if pornography contributes to or actually causes sexual abuse, Daniel Campagna, a criminal justice professor from Boone, N.C., said, 'I do not know anyone who can say with substantive proof that it is.'
Some witnesses have said widely circulated magazines like Penthouse should be banned and Specter asked if that would not violate the publishers' freedom of speech.
'No rights are absolute,' said Judy Goldsmith, president of the National Organization for Women. 'What has happened is that the rights of pornographers have exceeded the rights of particular women and children.'