LOS ANGELES - Has the Curse of the AVN Awards taken on a new form?
AVN's Best Actor and Best Actress of 2009 have each been hospitalized in recent weeks. AVN spoke to Evan Stone and Jessica Drake about their bizarre injuries.
"I came into Cedars-Sinai to do some microscopic surgery, because I had a back problem from a motorcycle accident," Stone told AVN from his hopsital bed. "And then, probably because my constitution was low, my appendix flared up. I was on pain medication, so I had no idea what was going on; I thought the pain in my stomach was referred pain from my back."
Stone's pain went from bad to worse - and then he started feeling better. He had no idea that his appendix had burst.
"All that infection had got on the inside, so I finally told my girlfriend, 'Take me to Cedars-Sinai right now!' They wheeled me into the emergency room; the ER doctor looked at me, took X-rays, and next thing you know, two surgeons walked in the room and said, You're coming with us. I've been here for five days."
So ... was it the Curse of the AVN Awards?
"It's funny you should say that," Stone replied, "because I was on top of the world. 'Oh, this is great! I won; Pirates II is like the biggest movie ever' - I was on top of the world, and then all this stuff happened, and it makes you realize just how quickly it can all go away, and that indeed, we are all just human after all."
Jessica Drake had a much less dire medical problem than Stone's. But it may have had a closer connection to her AVN award.
"Jessica was wearing these really bad shoes the night of the Awards," said Brad Armstrong. "They were bugging her. Backstage, when she was jumping up in the air with her trophy in her hand, she thinks something happened."
It was a stress fracture on her left foot that eventually put the Wicked Pictures actress on crutches.
"At first, she was just thinking her foot was really sore," Armstrong explained. "She went to the doctor's office, and they said, 'Oh, just ice it,' and do this and that, and then it kept getting worse. She thinks she actually did it that night, because she can't figure out when the fracture occurred. There was no specific incident, and it just kept getting worse and worse and worse. The stress fracture was compounded by some nerve issues between the two bones in her foot - there's some kind of nerve damage there, and she can't feel two or three of her toes. So it was definitely the Curse of the Awards."
Jessica is now wearing a boot-like cast held in place by Velcro straps, so it's removable for bathing. It's expected that she'll recover within the month - and the injury hasn't stopped her from Twittering and doing the occasional live chat.
"Oh my God, I had no idea Jessica broke her foot; that's horrible!" Stone exclaimed. "What's next? Something happens to Joone and Brad Armstrong? It's like the Mummy's Curse; remember, when they broke into Tutankhamen's tomb, this guy died, his dog howled, then another guy died and another guy died - like four guys died after that."
Fortunately, there have been no deaths associated with the Awards ... but it probably couldn't hurt if winners were more careful for a while.
"Don't worry," said Armstrong. "I'm on watch."
Jessica Drake herself got back to us Wednesday afternoon, apologizing profusely for failing to drop in when she hobbled into AVN's offices on crutches Tuesday for a meeting
"I don't think it's a curse at all, by the way," she said.
Jessica was eager to fill us in on what actually happened to her in Vegas.
"It's not just one action that caused it," she said. "We were busier at this show than we ever have been before, and I literally wore high-heeled shoes from 10 o'clock in the morning every morning until something like 3 or 4 o'clock the next morning. We signed during the day; we did dinners at night, and we hosted a party every night we were there.
"My doctor said that what happens with a stress fracture is, basically, it has a lot to do with your leg muscles, so once you've been on your feet for so long, your leg muscles aren't absorbing the shocks anymore and your foot takes it all really suddenly, so as best as I can figure, that's what happened. But I also have something else going on with a nerve cluster underneath my foot; that's why I'm still on crutches; that's why I still have a cast on, because that part of it's not getting any better, and I got cortisone shots, which actually made it worse."
"We stayed an extra day in Vegas and then I drove home, of course," she said, "and we stopped at the outlet shops like we always do and I was limping, and Brad goes, 'Hey, you're limping.' And I said I just needed to rest them for a few days and get a massage. Well, I ended up massaging them myself, they hurt so bad, I didn't want anybody else to do it, and two days later, the right one was a lot better, but the left one was worse, so I woke up the next morning and my toes were all purple and swollen; the circulation was being cut off. My doctor didn't think it was as bad when she originally saw me; she thought my biggest problem was the stress fracture. I didn't think I broke it at all; I thought I just bruised the bottom of my foot or something. But she took X-rays anyway, and me, being the exhibitionist that I am, shot the X-rays, took pictures of the whole doctor's visit and put it up on my website. I guess one of my members is a doctor; he took a look at my X-rays via my website and said, 'Hey, if you want any advice, just let me know. I won't charge you.' He was really cool, and I'm still talking to him, but of course, I go to my podiatrist here too."
But being an "A" type personality, Jessica bristles at the need to keep still and rest the foot.
"I'm kind of bitter about the whole thing because I don't like to be on the injured list," she said. "It really makes me mad that I had to cancel a movie I was supposed to do and somebody else got to do it, so I decided to have a good time with it instead and just laugh at myself because it's all I can do."
"Brad shot a movie, a big Asian movie," she continued, "and oh my God, I love Asian girls so much, and one of the days, I couldn't even be on the set because we were at a location with too many stairs. Usually, I'm his Assistant Director; one Production Assistant for him; I'll do anything on a set at any time; I run everywhere, and now I can't even get from Point A to Point B. I limp; I drag my foot behind me."
And having an injured foot is particularly galling for the lithe blonde, because any search for "Jessica Drake" and "foot" on the Internet will turn up dozens, if not hundreds of links.
"My whole life, pretty much, I've worn high heels, since I discovered high heels when I was probably way too young to be wearing them," she said. "I just love them. I love the look of them; I love the way they make me feel, just everything about them. I've worn them my whole life, and for this to happen because of a high-heeled shoe, I'm mad! Are you kidding me? I've already gotten a bunch of those little foot cushions and stuff for the bottoms of them. I'll modify them but I'm gonna keep on wearing them. I went to go tan today and I had to stand on one leg because I go to a stand-up tanning salon."
And for the foot fetishists in the crowd, yes, there are .
"I just take picture of my cast, my foot, up against different backgrounds; like I took my foot to Starbucks the other day, so I shot a picture of my cast up by the Starbucks logo; it was pretty funny."
Jessica's fan club members can get up close and personal with that cast tonight (2/18) at 8 o'clock when the starlet has .
But Jessica's tried to be philosophical about the whole thing.
Quoth Jessica: "I will say this: If it is a curse, I will gladly take a broken foot next year if I win again."