Gay Porn Actor on Trial for Extorting Palm Beach Millionaire Donald Burns (UPDATED)

Gay Porn Actor on Trial for Extorting Palm Beach Millionaire Donald Burns (UPDATED)
via Shutterstock.com

Correction, 8:30 a.m. July 10: An earlier version of this story misstated the role of Florida Red and Blue. The organization is pro-gay, and fought to stop Florida's gay marriage ban. We apologize for the error.  

UPDATE [Friday, 11:45 a.m.]:
Brank has been found guilty of extorting Donald Burns by a Los Angeles jury.

Original post:
Palm Beach tycoon and Republican political activist Donald Burns has been identified as the target of an alleged $1.5 million extortion attempt by a gay porn star named Teofil Brank — whose performer name is Jarec Wentworth — during his first day of trial.

On Tuesday, Burns admitted to giving Brank money to have sex with him at least four times. Burns also said he gave Brank $1,500 to $2,500 every time the gay porn actor introduced him to other male models and performers.

"It was partly a coping mechanism from the loss of my long-term relationship," Burns said in court when asked why he had paid Brank to help set him up with the men.

Burns, 51, had been rumored as being Brank's victim since the story broke back in April by the Smoking Gun

But Burns' appearance in a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles proved those rumors to be true. At the time of Brank's arrest by FBI agents, Burns had been identified only as "D.B." in documents related to the case.

Burns, who has a net worth of $250 million and owns a stake in internet phone company Magicjack Vocaltec, is cofounder of the Telco Communications Group and controls the Donald A. Burns Foundation. He has been a contributor to Republican causes and candidates, such as Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney. In 2008, Burns gave then-GOP Gov. Charlie Crist $500 and has also donated to Sen. Ken Pruitt and donated $1,000 to a “swift boat” group opposing Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004. 

However, Burns has also been known to cross the aisle, donating to Barack Obama, John Edwards and Ralph Nader. He also gave $400,000 to Florida Red and Blue, a group fighting a gay marriage ban in Florida in 2008.

Burns met Brank in 2013 when the tycoon expressed interest in investing in the gay porn industry. But in March of this year, Burns revealed to the FBI that he was the victim of a shakedown after Brank allegedly threatened to publish compromising photos of Burns on Twitter. Burns had already paid Brank $500,000 and gave him a $180,000 Audi R8. But Brank demanded more, including an apartment and cash. Brank was eventually nabbed in an FBI sting when an undercover agent met with the actor and delivered a car with a million dollars in the trunk. 

According to alleged text messages from Burns obtained by popular gay blog Str8UpGayPorn, Burns sought "private meetings" with specific gay porn actor models and offered to pay a “referral fee” to one actor named Nick if he could persuade another actor to join them.

Gay Porn Actor on Trial for Extorting Palm Beach Millionaire Donald Burns (UPDATED) (2)
via Str8UpGayPorn.com

According to court documents, Brank began sending threatening text messages to Burns in February.

"I do have a twitter and your photos," one text read. "Lies can be made or maybe it's the truth."

"You lied to me and treated me like shit," reads another one. "Now it's biting you in the ass."

The texts became increasingly aggressive over time, with Brank saying that money "won't wash away what people will read and see of you."

At one point, Brank tells Burns that he held all the cards and eventually demanded a "new car, a motorcycle and hands full of cash."

During the first day of the trial on Tuesday, Burns called the threats from Brank "chilling" and feared they would "spread like wildfire" once it was posted on his Twitter feed.

To back him off, Burns wired $500,000 to Brank's Wells Fargo bank account and then gave the actor his Audi R8 sports car. Brank then demanded a million dollars. Soon after, Burns notified the FBI of the extortion threats.

When authorities arrested Brank, they found a Colt Magnum revolver, six rounds of ammunition, and the Samsung smartphone belonging to the actor.

Since his arrest, fellow gay porn actors have taken to Twitter in support of Brank.


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