News & Politics

Q&A With "The Pornographer’s Daughter" Author Kristin Battista-Frazee

The McLean resident's memoir offers a surprising take on pornography.

After her father, Anthony Battista, was indicted for distributing the 1972 porn-film classic Deep Throat and her mother attempted suicide, Kristin Battista-Frazee’s life might have become a parable of innocence lost and the inability to “unsee.” But in her memoir, The Pornographer’s Daughter, the McLean resident has a surprising take on her parents’ marriage and pornography.

The Pornographer’s Daughter by Kristin Battista-Frazee.

Why write this book?

I was fascinated by the challenge of telling what was for so long unmentionable, a story my parents skirted because of my age then and family and friends avoided because it caused so much trauma for my mother.

You say you have no problem with pornography, despite the events of the book.

Pornography is an expression of adult sex—on film, in the case of Deep Throat. My parents made clear it was not something bad. The peace I’ve made with what happened is largely because of my mother’s not having any problem with pornography. She was troubled by my father’s long absences, his behavior with other women after he began running a strip club, and his ignorance of her concerns and needs.

What I did hear from them was how unstable their relationship was, due to their youth and unmet expectations. When that imbalance met the crisis of my father’s indictment, trouble was inevitable.

What does your father do now?

He said after the trial, “If they wanted me to be a stockbroker, they shouldn’t have arrested me.” He bought an adult book-and-video store in Florida and wound up owning several.

The business has changed. It used to be male-dominated, but now he stocks lingerie, vibrators, and Fifty Shades of Grey.

This article appears in the September 2014 issue of Washingtonian. Find Bethanne Patrick on Twitter at @thebookmaven