The Santa Monica Public Library has a lengthy code of conduct that it expects visitors at all five of its branches to follow. It specifically calls out everything from being noisy (obvs) to “using books as a footstool or pillow,” to monopolizing more than one of its electrical outlets at a time. It also prohibits any of the lewd behavior mentioned by Section 647(a) of the California Penal Code, which means you’re not supposed to touch anyone’s genitals, buttocks or breasts in the library, nor can you “attempt to arouse or sexually gratify” yourself or anyone else while you’re on the property.
That’s a long way of saying that an adult film performer who calls herself “Ellie Eilish” shouldn’t apply for a library card anytime soon, no matter how much she wants to check out Where The Crawdads Sing.
According to CBS Los Angeles, Eilish was the on-camera participant in a 10-minute long porn video that was filmed in the Santa Monica Library’s Ocean Park Branch during its regular business hours. The video, which was posted in December but has since been removed from most porn-hosting sites, also allegedly featured Eilish flashing her genitals to the camera “outside [on] Santa Monica streets and even outside John Muir Elementary.”
“[It’s] silent and, like, judgement free,” Eilish marvels as she and her unidentified male cameraman-slash-sex partner walked toward the library. “Just knowledge.” The two of them then proceed to have sex on the library’s carpet, she expresses her absolute delight at seeing some Jazz Age fiction on the shelves (“FITZGERALD!”), and she gives the man a blow job. (He responds by saying “Mission accomplished,” which is the most offensive part of the entire recording.)
A local resident named Janet McLaughlin told the news outlet that she was prompted to get the city’s attention after “another concerned parent” sent her the video clip. “God forbid, a child walked in the library and walked right in on the middle of it. That’s my biggest concern,” she said. “Children don’t need to be exposed to this. If you want to do porn, stick to the hotels.”
According to the penal code cited in the library’s Code of Conduct, anyone convicted of engaging in lewd conduct could face a misdemeanor charge—and that’s what the city allegedly told McLaughlin. “They say that […] unless they witness it themselves, there is nothing they can do about it,” she said.
In a statement to VICE regarding the video, the City of Santa Monica stated: “This video is deeply disturbing. Lewd acts in the public library are a violation of library rules and against the law. Staff did not have knowledge of the incident when it took place. The Santa Monica Police Department is investigating.”
Sex acts performed in public are a popular genre on adult video sites; as of this writing, there are almost 55,000 videos in the “Public” category on Pornhub, which far outnumbers the offerings in the Bondage, Role Play, and Webcam categories.
But making those videos in actual public places can have consequences for the performers and for the filming locations. The 35th Hometown gas station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin could be stripped of its license and permanently closed by city officials after amateur porn actor Frederick Allen recorded himself having sex right there in its snack aisle.
“Keep in mind, it was right next to the chips, and across from the sunflower seeds,” District 7 Alderman Khalif Rainey said during one licensing hearing. (The next hearing has been scheduled for April.)
In a statement to the Santa Monica Daily Press, the city said that it was “deeply disturbed” to learn about the library porn shoot. “Sex in public spaces is against the law and the Santa Monica Police Department will be looking into this incident,” local officials said.
Sorry Ellie. Hope you have a Kindle.