Culture

After August Ames’ Suicide, Jaxton Wheeler Explains ‘Cyanide’ Tweet and What He Meant

Jaxton Wheeler
Pansexual porn star Jaxton Wheeler is pictured during his video interview with Newsweek. Newsweek

Pansexual porn star Jaxton Wheeler just wanted to clear up misconceptions about the LGBT community when he fired off tweets about August Ames. Instead, he found himself accused of pushing the adult actress to suicide.

On December 3, Ames ignited a social media firestorm when she tweeted her refusal to make an X-rated video with a male performer who did gay scenes and essentially accused gay actors of being unclean.

Almost immediately after, an onslaught of cyberbullying and accusations that she was homophobic followed—and that included a message from Wheeler. "The world is awaiting your apology or for you to swallow a cyanide pill. Either or we’ll take it," he wrote. 

Jaxton Wheeler Pansexual porn star Jaxton Wheeler wanted to dispel misinformation about the LGBT community. Courtesy of Jaxton Wheeler

Two days later, Ames was found dead in her California home. The Ventura County medical examiner said she had killed herself.

Wheeler spoke with Newsweek via video interview on Sunday to explain himself. He never wanted Ames to die. He didn’t even know her personally. All he wanted to do was dispel misinformation about sexual transmitted diseases. When he said, "Swallow a cyanide pill," he meant it in the same way as "eat a bag of dicks." 

“I made a horrible comment in my way of trying to say we just wanted an apology," he said. "I feel like the shittiest person in the world."

With the exception of his one tweet, "99 percent" of what Wheeler, 30, wanted to do was bring awareness about stigmas against gay performers. "I test the same as women do. I usually test more than they do," he said. "We have a stigma over here. We have to make sure we’re extra squeaky clean." 

Ames’ statement implying gay performers were unclean offended Wheeler. "Don’t make it seem like the gay side, and the bi side and the trans side are the ones you have to look out for," he said.  "When she said, 'fuck y’all,’ it was like, 'fuck your plight.'" 

Wheeler was unaware of the demons Ames, née Mercedes Grabowski, battled. She fought depression and bipolar disorder.

"I’m sure the other models had no idea what was going to transpire from this," Wheeler explained about the online hate Ames received. "Her death is a tragedy and it’s gut-wrenching." 

The adult star was shocked when he found out about Ames had died. And moving forward, he wants to hold himself to a "better standard." 

"I’ve been on and off crying," Wheeler said about the 23-year-old’s suicide. "I do not support cyberbullying at all. I [especially] do not support cyberbullying to a point where someone would take their own damn life." 

If he could say something to Ames’ family, it would be that he’s sorry. "There’s nothing I could say to help them right now," Wheeler explained. "But just know that as a community we’re going to use this as something positive, and this is just another missed opportunity for growth in this industry, period." 

But moving forward, Wheeler does wants the misconceptions about STDs in the LGBT community to be quashed.

"I’m going to sit here and collaborate with people in the [porn] industry to come up with better ways of tackling this," he said. "Even in her memory, if we can save this from ever happening again, it’s well worth the discussion and figure out how we do this."

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