Porn Star Turned Entrepreneur: Club Jenna Takes Off

“The most important thing to me right now is to become the biggest star the industry has ever seen,” Jameson said.

It was 1994. Jameson had become addicted to cocaine and LSD. In her attempts to be a model, she stopped eating and watched her weight drop to 76 pounds. To top things all off, her first serious boyfriend left her. But Jameson suspected that her boyfriend had been cheating on her long before he left her, and she wanted her revenge. What would be the best way to get even with her ex? Star in a porn movie, thought Jameson.

Jameson was cast by Randy West in “Up and Cummers 10,” which was followed with a sequel, “Up and Cummers 11.” The industry was quick to take notice of the new young blonde. To capitalize on her new publicity, Jameson got her first breast implants later that same year. From there, her career began to take off.

Jameson moved to Los Angeles to start modeling again. She had gotten over her addiction and regained a healthy amount of weight while staying with her father. After making another movie, “Silk Stockings,” Jameson was quickly snatched up and signed to an exclusive record with Wicked Pictures. Here, she was paid $6,000 for each of her eight movies that year. “Wicked launched me into superstardom,” says Jameson, “but I was determined to become my own boss.”

In 2000, Jameson and her then husband Jay Grdina, a porn studio owner, decided to start their own business. They created Club Jenna and launched ClubJenna.com as their first venture. Because it offered more than most other porn sites – diary excerpts, relationship advice – it became profitable in just its third week.

Later that year, Club Jenna began to branch out. First, it took over the administering duties of other porn stars’ web sites and, later, began producing its own porn films. The company’s first film, “Briana Loves Jenna” cost $280,000 to produce, and earned over $1 million in its first year, making it the best selling and best renting porn video of the year. On average, future Club Jenna videos would achieve sales of 100,000 copies, whereas most other porn films sold just 5,000.

In 2004, Club Jenna brought on other actresses to star in its films alongside Jameson. Distributed by Vivid Entertainment, the world’s largest adult film company, Club Jenna videos account for over half of the company’s profits. Merchandising, the department overseen by Grdina’s sister, brought in the rest.

Club Jenna continued to diversify with a line of sex toys, perfume, handbags, lingerie, shoes, a sex simulation video game, and “moan tones” (cell phone ring tones). She also launched Club Thrust, a website aimed at her gay male fans. More recently, Jameson also purchased a strip club in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Jameson’s autobiography, “How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale,” tells the story of this porn star turned entrepreneur’s life in all its detail. Although Playboy Enterprises acquired Club Jenna in 2006, she remains an integral part of its operations.

Jameson is now known the world over not only for her appearances in adult films, but for her success in the mainstream. She has starred in Howard Stern’s “Private Parts,” voiced an animation of herself on “Family Guy,” and debated the merits of porn at the revered Oxford Union. In the end, Jameson won the debate 204 to 27.

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