Industry News

Adam & Eve was Raided 25 years ago


Hillsborough, NC — Adam & Eve and<>
(<>) are known as America’s
most trusted source for adult products. It’s hard to imagine now, but 25 years
ago this week, the then small but thriving mail order company was raided by 37
armed law enforcement agents.

On May 29, 1986, and backed by the Reagan administration’s Meese Commission,
prosecutors declared Adam & Eve president Phil Harvey a peddler of obscenity.
The surprise raid, in which 118 employees were detained, searched, subpoenaed
and held for questioning, yielded no evidence of illegal activity. It did,
however, lead to eight years of legal battles, nearly a million dollars in legal
fees and historical changes in the justice system itself.

A lot has changed since the raid of 1986, but many longtime Adam & Eve employees
remember the fear surrounding the events that took place that day.

Peg Eaton, who has been with the company 30 years, recalls it this way: “It was
a scary event…very intimidating. The officers searched our pocketbooks and
briefcases and took our pictures. When I told the agent I didn’t want my picture
taken, he said they could come to my house to get a picture. They wouldn’t even
let our attorney into the building to talk to us.”

Adam & Eve marketing director Cindy Lutz remembers the solidarity she felt,
standing side-by-side with co-workers over the copy machines they rented so that
authorities wouldn’t take the only copies of company records after the raid. “I
had a tremendous faith that we weren’t doing anything wrong,” she says.

Vice President of Adam & Eve, David Groves, says, “It was a horrible ordeal for
the employees. After being searched, interrogated and subpoenaed, a lot of
people went home scared to death… afraid they’d be arrested and lose their jobs.
But when they came to work the next day – and almost everyone did – that fear
turned to anger. They wanted to fight back.”

Today, Adam & Eve is recognized as a leader in adult business. Along with its
respected product review process and involvement with noted sex therapists, Adam
& Eve employs 375 at its headquarters in the Meadowlands Business Park in
Hillsborough, North Carolina. Despite the government’s attempts to shut it down,
Adam & Eve has grown and flourished. It recently celebrated its 40th
anniversary, and has received numerous national and international awards
(including being named “Business of the Year” by the local Chamber of Commerce
in 2005).

For more information on Adam & Eve and<>,
please contact director of public relations Katy Zvolerin at 919.644.8100 x 3121
or [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>

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