State Bar Cancels Ex-Porn Star’s Talk

The New York State Bar Association Family Law Section has rescinded its offer for Sydnee Steele to speak at its upcoming summer meeting. The problem? Ms. Steele retired in 2005 from an acting career in adult films, prompting some to “question the appropriateness of [her] presence” at the meeting. Joel Stashenko reports for the New York Law Journal:

“An appearance by an ex-porn actress at the summer meeting of the New York State Bar Association’s Family Law Section has been canceled. Patrick C. O’Reilly, chair of the section, said yesterday he did not know of Sydnee Steele’s background in the adult video industry when he arranged in January for her to speak at the meeting. He canceled her July 13 appearance in deference to some attorneys who questioned the appropriateness of Ms. Steele’s presence, Mr. O’Reilly said. The topic of Ms. Steele’s planned talk was to have been “Sex and love—making your time away from the office really count and how not to wind up as one of your clients.” Mr. O’Reilly said Ms. Steele was not to have appeared on any of the continuing legal education programs planned for the July 12-15 weekend in Manchester Village, Vt. “It was basically an entertainment presentation at 9:15 one of the nights,” he said. “Her spiel is about relationships and making the best of your relationships.” Promotional materials for the meeting referred to Ms. Steele as an “internationally published author, speaker, and sexual empowerment consultant.” More than 300 people registered for last year’s summer meeting, Mr. O’Reilly said. Ms. Steele, 38, has said she retired from the adult video industry in 2005 after making more than 200 films and now works full time as an author and relationship consultant.”

Most troublesome is the fact that Ms. Steele is deemed unfit to present a speech about relationships to the Association due to her past employment history—whether she had been previously employed in the pornography industry or not, this information is simply irrelevant in the assessment of her ability to do the job she was hired to do at the meeting. And, perhaps not so surprisingly, Ms. Steele’s response to the situation is strangely absent.