James Marvin Souter, Jr.|
South sold insurance in Dallas for a few years and moved to Los Angeles in 1968. He opened a fashion modeling agency first, then formed the World Modeling Talent Agency in Sherman Oaks, California in 1976. The agency represented many performers and models who worked in adult movies and magazines.
World Modeling became infamous for unknowingly representing a then underaged Traci Lords. Through South's agency, 15-year-old Lords started nude modeling; she had introduced herself with a fraudulent identification card on the name Kristie Elizabeth Nussman that made her 22 years old. Lords became the September 1984 Penthouse "Pet of the Month," for which she earned $5000, and first performed in pornographic movies in October 1984.
Following the May 1986 revelation that most of Lords' porn work was illegal, South was arrested on March 4, 1987, and was among those later charged by the U.S. government with pandering and child pornography. The charges were eventually dismissed after the discovery that the government had issued Lords a passport under the name Kristi Nussman.
In an interview, South said, "The only reason [the charges were dropped] was that the federal government that saw the very same ID I saw gave Traci a passport to go to Europe to make an X-rated movie." That movie, Traci, I Love You, which was made in Cannes soon after Lords' 18th birthday, is her only legal porn film in the United States.
In interviews and her book, Lords held him in perpetual contempt for what she sees as his (and others') unapologetic role in her sexual exploitation. She stated that she named him "Tim North" in her autobiography not for legal reasons but as a means to protect people from him, and to avoid giving him and his company any publicity, which could draw young women into the sex industry. Lords wrote that South gave her cocaine and champagne during her first nude photo shoot at World Modeling, a charge that South denies.
In 1991, porn producers discovered that Alexandra Quinn, a World Modeling talent, had entered porn in 1990 at age 17. Quinn pretended that she was born in 1968, the same year as Traci Lords' birth. Unlike the Lords case, Quinn did not generate a scandal with media coverage, nor did anyone face legal action.
World Modeling went out of business in November 2006 because of declining profits. Over a year later on December 5, 2007, South announced the reopening of World Modeling with a change of direction as well as an intent to reduce the number of young women he represents.
South's female clients could earn up to $1,500 for a day's work (usually two scenes). Exotic acts, involving multiple partners or "bizarre fetishism" could fetch $3,500. South did not work on percentage basis, but was rather paid $65 a day per performer by the film's producer. In rare cases, when having negotiated an exclusive deal, he would get a cut from the profits.
South claims he maintained a strict "no dating" policy with his clients, preferring his relationship with his talents to be strictly professional. South married his wife in 1975. He has two sons.
- Konik, Michael (April 1997), "The Industry - Agent X", Los Angeles, USA, pp. 38–45
- Lords, Traci (2003-07-08). Traci Lords: Underneath It All. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-050820-5.
- Krajicek, David. "About Sex". The Crime Library. Archived from the original on 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2006-06-12.
- Alilunas, Peter (2016). Smutty Little Movies: The Creation and Regulation of Adult Video. University of California Press. p. 248. ISBN 978-0-520-96536-2.
- Ford, Luke (1999). A History of X: 100 Years of Sex in Film. Prometheus Books. pp. 181–185. ISBN 978-1-573-92678-2.
- White, Ryan (2014). True Crime: Timeless Classics. Nischal Hegde. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-312-43496-7.
- Kapelovitz, Dan; Partridge, Giddle (September 2002). "Agents Pornographeurs: The Men Behind The Muff". Hustler. Larry Flynt. Archived from the original (reprint) on 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2006-07-20.
- Bowman, David (2003-08-01). "Traci talks". Salon.com. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
It pissed me off, I can tell you. Because some girl out there who is confused will be able to find this idiot, and he is a menace.
- "Traci Lords". msnbc.com. 2003-12-08. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
- Martinez, Carlos (2006-10-31). "World Modeling Closes". AVN. Retrieved 2007-06-12.
- Warren, Peter (2008-12-05). "Jim South Reopening World Modeling". AVN. Archived from the original on 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
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