Belladonna (actress)

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For other uses, see Belladonna (disambiguation).
Belladonna 2010.jpg
Belladonna attending the Exxxotica Adult Entertainment Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California on July 10, 2010
Born Michelle Sinclair
Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.
Ethnicity German/Scottish/Cherokee[1][2]
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)[3]
Weight 127 lb (58 kg; 9.1 st)
Spouse(s) Aiden Kelly[4]
No. of adult films 341 as performer, 89 as director (per IAFD as of February 2015)[5]

Belladonna, was the pseudonym of former pornographic performer Michelle Sinclair. She was one of the best known adult industry stars and her early career was followed for a documentary and interview with Diane Sawyer as part of a Primetime Thursday report on pornography that showed the adult industry in a way Sinclair thought was misleading. However, she later acknowledged that there had been an absence of women on the sets to explain what was expected and how to object to things she was unhappy with. Since retiring in 2012, Sinclair has worked as an actress in Hollywood movies. Her highest profile role to date was in Inherent Vice.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Sinclair was born on a military base in Biloxi, Mississippi, second of eight children in a Mormon family, with German, Scottish, and Cherokee Indian ancestry.[1][2][3][7] Sinclair described her early teenage years as turbulent, she dropped out of high school and moved out of her parents' house at 15.[7][1][8] her first jobs were for 7-11, Victoria’s Secret, Sears and Subway.[9][8] She married and collaborated with her husband in a adult production company, but they split up around the time she left the industry, which she described as a tough decision from a financial standpoint.[4] In 2014 Sinclair came to notice in the cast of a major Hollywood movie, and in interviews declared herself in a relationship and happy with her new life. She has a daughter.[10][11] Apart from a continuing movie career Sinclair's interests include Pilates, yoga, traveling and hiking.[12]

Porn career[edit]

Her porn career began in 2000, when aged 18, she entered the adult industry after an agent came to Utah, where she was dancing in a club.[8] She flew to Los Angeles with the intention of joining the industry.[3][3] The pseudonym "Belladonna" came in part from a friend in Utah named Bella; later, an early agent suggested Bella Donna as it means "beautiful woman" in Italian.[13] Her motivation to join the adult industry was mainly financial.[9]

Belladonna quickly became a popular performer and was known for no-limits scenes that included BDSM and group sex. She eventually appeared in over 300 adult films, including titles such as Service Animals 6 & 7, She-Male Domination Nation, Bella Loves Jenna, and Weapons of Ass Destruction,.[12][12][12][3][9][14] In a 2007 interview with the Salt Lake City Weekly,[14] Sinclair expressed some regret about aspects of her career in pornography, particularly her early notoriety for performing acts and scenes that many other performers regarded as extreme or taboo. Lamenting that as a teenage performer she had lacked guidance from women more experienced in the adult industry, Sinclair described suffering a period of clinical depression, but stressed that she took responsibility for all her decisions.

Belladonna attending the Los Angeles Erotica 2009

Her career in the pornography business was followed for two years by a crew from ABC Television, culminating in a January 2003 interview with Diane Sawyer as part of a Primetime Thursday segment on pornography.[12] At one point in the interview Belladonna broke down in tears, when Sawyer asked her, "You keep describing these awful things that happened to you. Yet, you keep smiling. Why?" Belladonna's smile wavered and her eyes watered up. "It's so I don't start crying," she said.[12] Part of the footage for the segment was an interview with Belladonna's sister, who had moved out to Los Angeles at Belladonna's urging, and who had gotten a job at Red Light District Films. Belladonna's sister revealed on-camera that despite her claims, Belladonna was actually quite depressed, and had recently been hospitalized.[15] The publicity provided by the interview boosted Belladonna's career.[12]


She has appeared several times in the reality television series Family Business, which focuses on the life of porn director Adam Glasser a.k.a. "Seymore Butts". In 2004 she was one of a number of porn stars photographed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders for a "coffee table book" on the adult industry, XXX: 30 Porn-Star Portraits; she also appears in the HBO documentary Thinking XXX about the making of the book. Belladonna was featured on the cover of metalcore band Asking Alexandria's sophomore album titled Reckless & Relentless, where she is seen sitting in a dirty, dark room.[16] She is also later featured in their short film Through Sin + Self Destruction. In June 2010 it was announced that she would be part of the cast of the upcoming horror movie Stripped.[17]


In August 2007, Sinclair decided to semi-retire from performing with other people over concerns of STDs, specifically herpes. She thought she had contracted herpes in 2002, however it was later discovered that it was a skin rash rather than herpes.[18][19][20] In 2008, she came out of retirement, but did not film hardcore scenes with men.[21][22] In 2011, she was named by CNBC as one of the 12 most popular stars in porn.[23] CNBC noted that while she had stepped back from acting to pursue directing and producing, she has maintained a loyal fan base, and has been nominated for 42 AVN awards and won 10 in the course of her career. In July 2012, she announced via Twitter that she was "no longer interested in having sex on camera" and would be pursuing her other interests.[6]

Mainstream movie career[edit]

In 2014, Sinclair made her feature film debut in the low budget horror The Ladies of the House.

Later that year she appeared as a minor character in Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice. On being told she was being considered, Sinclair was enthusiastic about working with the director but became reluctant because in addition to dialogue the role entailed (simulated) sex. After reconsidering she successfully read for the part, and in the event the sex scene was not used, although she retained appreciable screen time in the final cut.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c SteveC (2003-09-21). "In Deep with Bella Donna". FoundryMusic. Archived from the original on 2005-04-26. Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  2. ^ a b Biography for Belladonna[dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d e interview #2 (March 2003) at
  4. ^ a b Jason Coleman (June 8, 2007). "A Day With Belladonna (Part 1)". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  5. ^ Belladonna at the Internet Adult Film Database
  6. ^ a b Peter, Warren (2012-07-02). "Belladonna: No More Sex on Camera". AVN. Retrieved 2012-07-04. 
  7. ^ a b "Catching Up with the Actress Formerly Known as Belladonna". VICE. 
  8. ^ a b c "Interview #1 (January 2002)". Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  9. ^ a b c Exclusive Interview at Freeones on September 11th 2007
  10. ^ "Belladonna Delivers Girl". AVN. 2005-01-14. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  11. ^ Georgina Robinson (2008-03-03). "Porn's dirtiest girl cleans up". Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Belladonna QA at Good Vibrations, April 2007
  13. ^ Evan (February 2004). "The Essential Belladonna Interview". Archived from the original on 27 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  14. ^ a b Stephen Dark (April 12, 2007). "Sex Machine". Salt Lake City Weekly. Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  15. ^ [1][dead link]
  16. ^ "Fallen Blue interview with Asking Alexandria". Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  17. ^ "Popular Porn Star Gets 'Stripped' for 'Texas Chainsaw' Producer". 8 June 2010. Archived from the original on 11 June 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  18. ^ "The end of an era...". Retrieved 2007-08-28. 
  19. ^ "Belladonna retires from performing". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  20. ^ Taormino, Tristan (2007-09-11). "Pucker Up: Danger on the Set: A porn star's early retirement has industry insiders talking STDs". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on 15 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  21. ^ "Second chances...". Enter Belladonna. 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  22. ^ "Pirates, A Joone Film". 2010-01-21. Archived from the original on 12 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  23. ^ "Morris, Chris, "The Dirty Dozen: Porn's most popular stars" CNBC (January 5, 2011)". CNBC. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 

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