Porn Actor Wilfried Knight Dead in Apparent Suicide
Gay porn actor Wilfried Knight reportedly committed suicide on March 5. He was 35.
According to a press release by XBIZ, an adult entertainment industry news site, porn studios Falcon Studios and Raging Stallion Studios have conformed that Knight took his own life last week. Though the details of his death are currently unknown, Knight did lose his husband of nine years, Jerry Enriquez, to suicide earlier this month.
In recent weeks, Knight took to his personal blog where he wrote lengthy posts sharply criticizing Enriquez's employer for its treatment of his partner. In another post, Knight wrote that he and Enriquez married in Canada and that he does not have any inheritance rights regarding a house Enriquez owned in Atlanta. According to the entry, Enriquez's family is taking everything.
According to Queerty, Knight's close friend Michael Mew, also confirmed the porn actor's suicide in a statement.
"It is with heavy heart that I announce the passing of Wilfried Knight on Tuesday, March 5th, 2013," he said. "The last thing he would want is everyone to think he was a porn-star cliché. He was not: He was not a drug or steroid abuser, and he did not drink like crazy. He was a funny man with a kitschy sense of humor, who was more at home in the outdoors; on a mountaintop or volcano with his trusty pit-bull he affectionately called Pig Daughter."
Mew goes on to say that Knight's husband took his life two weeks before the porn star did and that he "decided to follow him; taking his own life in the same hotel where they were legally married in up in Vancouver, Canada." Mew also points out that Enriquez worked at yoga apparel store Lululemon as the manager of their IVIVA clothing line.
"They both were very private people in a lot of ways. After about a year, Jerry was let go by Lululemon," Mew says. "Wilfried told me about the questionable treatment Jerry received from Lululemon of which he wrote on his blog. Without a job or work visa in Canada, Jerry and Wilfried would not be able to stay in Canada and they could not return to the U.S. together." He adds that Enriquez took his life on Feb. 21.
Michael Lucas, the porn entrepreneur, took to his Facebook page to note that "beneath his tough exterior Wilfried was, like many guys in the adult-film industry, a sensitive and intelligent man. And like many guys in the adult-film industry, he struggled to maintain his external image and his sense of self-worth."
Lucas hired Knight for several of his films, including "Kings of New York," "Barcelona Nights" and "Dangerous Liaisons." Lucas bemoaned the "good support systems in place for people in our industry."
Chris Ward, the president of Falcon/Raging Stallion, commented on Knight’s death and said, "Wilfried’s death is a blow to our studio and to our industry. There was no nicer man. We have all lost someone very special. I can only say that personally I am devastated. Wilfried was a friend and I shall miss him. All of us at Falcon and Raging Stallion Studios hope he is at peace, and our thoughts are with his family and friends. I know that his good friend and director, Tony Dimarco, is also greatly saddened by this tragic loss."
According to Al’s Gay Porn Stars, a website with hundreds of gay porn stars’ profiles, Knight was raised in France and worked as a personal trainer in London. He got his start in porn in 2004 when he joined Michael Lucas’ production company, Lucas Entertainment. The site also says he has a degree in law and studied in France, Belgium and Greece, was once married to a woman, and "took time off porn for awhile to concentrate on other work, studies and fighting cancer." The site adds that Knight returned to porn in 2010 and was named performer of the year at the GayVN Awards that year.
XBIZ points out that the actor appeared in more than 10 Raging Stallion movies in the last 4 years, including "Cowboys, "Giants," "Tales of the Arabian Nights," and "Focus/Refocus." Additionally, Knight was the first-ever joint Lucas Entertainment and Raging Stallion exclusive.
"He is described as being a consummate performer and a joy to have on set, which was why he was chosen to appear in the studio’s major releases," XBIZ writes.
He also took home the 2011 Grabby for Best Versatile Performer and XBIZ notes, "At 6’2" tall and nearly 200 pounds, Knight had a huge presence, a gracious air, and a caring disposition, the studios said. His charm and humor did not go unnoticed. All of these traits are what made him a superstar of the industry."
Knight’s death follows several gay porn stars who have died over the past year. In February 2012, gay porn actor Dror Barak aka Roman Ragazzi apparently committed suicide at the age of 38 and in June 2012, gay porn superstar Erik Rhodes died in New York at 30 of a heart attack. In December, Josh Weston died from HIV related complications at the age of 39 on Feb. 5, Arpad Miklos was found dead of an apparent suicide at the age of 45. A few days later on Feb. 11, gay porn actor Man Karim died. He was 52.