WARNING: Explicit language
A US porn star who sparked an online firestorm over tweets about working with men who had appeared in gay adult movies has died, news.com.au reports.
August Ames, 23, who starred in more than 270 films and twice won at the Adult Video News Awards, passed away in Camarillo, California on Wednesday, the Ventura County Medical Examiner confirmed.
Police told local media her cause of death was still being investigated but was not being treated as suspicious.
In a statement, her husband and director Kevin Moore said: "She was the kindest person I ever knew and she meant the world to me. Please leave this as a private family matter in this difficult time."
Ms Ames, originally from Canada, was earlier this week branded a "homophobe" after revealing she had pulled out of an adult film after finding out her co-star was a "crossover".
"Whichever (lady) performer is replacing me tomorrow for @EroticaXNews, you're shooting with a guy who has shot gay porn, just to let cha know," she wrote. "BS is all I can say. Do agents really not care about who they're representing? I do my homework for my body."
After being accused of "discriminating" against the gay community, she added: "Sorry, it was just my opinion. My body, my rules. Honestly I'm sorry if I offended anyone."
The tweet drew the ire of many of her colleagues, with both male and female actors weighing in. "It's extremely unfair to be black listed because a ridiculous naive stigmatism created by unethical homophobes," Eli Hunter tweeted.
"I have been doing films for over 8 years and have never contracted anything because my health and safety comes first. So yes, offence taken."
Nick Capra said she "may be the stupidest woman I've come across in 15 years of this industry". "Next time use your brain when openly being a c*** on Twitter," he said.
Sinn Sage described safety concerns as "bulls***". "Before your shoot [with] said performer, for a [big] shoot, he would have to get tested, by the same testing companies we all use," she tweeted.
"When the results are clear, you are clear to f*** him. AND you can ask to use a condom if you want. So there is literally no reason to discriminate."
Jaxton Wheeler said the "world is awaiting your apology or for you to swallow a cyanide pill". "Either or we'll take it," he tweeted.
In response, Ms Ames tweeted that she was "not homophobic". "Most girls don't shoot with guys who have shot gay porn, for safety," she wrote. "That's just how it is with me. I'm not putting my body at risk, I don't know what they do in their private lives."
She later added she didn't "have anything to apologise for". "Apologising for taking extra steps to ensure that my body stays safe?" she tweeted.
"F*** you guys attacking me when none of my intentions were malicious. I f***ing love the gay community! What the f*** ever! I CHOOSE who I have inside my body. No hate."
In her final tweet, sent on Tuesday night, she wrote, "F*** y'all."
Fellow performer Anikka Albrite wrote on Wednesday, "Omg, I can't believe she's dead. You people should have known better than to berate her over her personal thoughts!
"Shame on all you for beating it into the ground. Online harassment is a real thing & it claimed another life. Someone who I liked & would have even called a friend!"
Australian porn star Madison Missina weighed in on Thursday, saying "sadly the bullying within the industry has taken another life".
"August Ames was bullied horrendously for the past 24 hrs for standing up for her rights to choose who she works with," she tweeted. "Sadly she's taken her life."
WHERE TO GET HELP:
If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.
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