Interviews

Guilt by Association: Sully Savage and the Long Shadow of Jaxton Wheeler

In an emotional interview, exclusive to MikeSouth.com, model Sully Savage opens up about “hard truths and things that have been wearing down my mental health”.

There is seemingly no limit to the harm and devastation that vicious people can wreak upon those around them. The more loving, trusting and supportive the victim, the greater their punishment. 

In this instance the vicious one is Jaxton Wheeler, whose readers will recall as the ‘pansexual douche’ who figured prominently in the social media mob that bullied adult star August Ames right up to the time that she took her own life. 

However this story is not about Jaxton; it concerns his (now ex) wife, Sully Savage, and how she has been made to pay for Jaxton’s sins — blackballed, and named persona non grata throughout broad swaths of the adult business for the dubious crime of having been manipulated, bullied and suckered by Wheeler. But Savage is a survivor, and, as this interview shows, has paid for her second chance many times over.

I spoke with the extraordinary Sully Savage at her home in Las Vegas.

“This has been wearing on me ever since it happened,” Savage told me, “and I’ve had to remain quiet through all of it. I’ve gotten blacklisted, I’ve been kicked out of events, and I didn’t really have much to do in the situation. It’s killing me to not have been heard, when a lot of these people have no idea who I am. Some people in the industry did know me before Jaxton, and the kind of person that I was then and throughout, and I felt like it was really unfair. So, at this point, I’m here now, I’m away from him, and I’m still getting bullied for it.”

Let’s go back and talk a little about you, and your background.

I’m from Virginia. I moved to Floria and started my career in the [adult] industry there, as a fetish model. I got picked up by Kink.com to shoot for “Everything Butt”. I didn’t get to actually shoot that scene, but I met Jaxton at the Armory. I was dating someone then but once met ex and I broke up, Jaxton came to see me in Florida and came on Demon Seed Radio with me, and we got together — kind of, because he was living here in Vegas. Then he moved to Florida to be with me the night that has friend Alexander Gustavo killed himself [in December 2016]. He dealt with his best friend killing himself and finding him in Jaxton’s bed. [Jaxton was] with the guy’s girlfriend and her son. 

What was your impression of Jaxton and his level of stability at that time, and what would you say was the role you took on in the relationship?

I’m very empathic; I tend to find people that need more emotional help and I’m giving in that aspect. With him I really didn’t know what to do other than to just be there for him. He’d already booked the flight to Tampa before he found his friend; I told him he should probably stay but he didn’t want to. Honestly, moving from there and then being with me, and I really wasn’t familiar with who he was, or how he was going to be — he was charming in the beginning — so, he was very hard to deal with. 

You mean emotionally?

In every way. He’s arrogant, he’s kind of an asshole, he’s on steroids — so he’s always been rather difficult to deal with. And going through that, he always used his friend’s suicide as an excuse — to keep me and to treat me like shit at the same time.

Do you think he used Gustavo’s suicide in other ways as well, such as professionally, for sympathy or attention?

Of course. Paxton has to be the center of the universe all the time. Even if you look at his Twitter now, he still is “I am God! I am the biggest alpha in the industry!” 

Was that arrogance attractive to you then?

When I first began interacting with him, he didn’t really act that way. When you first meet people they don’t show you who they really are.

I always say that the first year is the ad campaign.

Yeah, so when he was supposed to come down [to Florida] it wasn’t so much for us being together, it was more so that we were going to work together. We were going to cam and film. I had an open room and I was living by myself at the time. It wasn’t really supposed to be anything else because I was still kind of seeing somebody. After his friend killed himself it flowed into something more serious because I was suddenly closer to him, as someone who was dealing with something so tragic. And it flowed into something more.

Weaponized grief, in a sense.

Yeah, in a way. It wasn’t supposed to be anything, until after he moved in. He ended uno getting rid off his place in Vegas and we got a place together three or four months after he moved in with me.

When you two were living in Florida he was commuting for his work.

Yes. 

Were you?

For the most part, Jaxton really didn’t let me do anything, porn-wise. I wasn’t allowed to do boy/girl. He wasn’t really ever okay with me doing girl/girl either; I was only really allowed to do fetish . . . or work with him. I never understood it because I was already doing porn when I met him; I was already doing boy/girl.

Well, when your brand is “I’m the biggest alpha!”, how would it look if your significant other maintained a healthy porn career?

I’ll go ahead and say it: he’s a bully. He wasn’t trying to help me, he wasn’t ever trying to do anything for ‘us’. 

Jaxton Wheeler / August Ames

Let’s go back to December 2017, when the August Ames tragedy happened. Was Jaxton at home with you?

At the beginning of that Twitter debacle, he was not in town. He was in New York or in Vegas. I remember because I’m the one who brought out to his attention, because a fan of his had direct messaged me on Twitter. I had no idea how he was going to handle it. 

I know how he speaks, and he does come off vulgar and nasty, and he could get his point across better if he wasn’t throwing “cunt” in there. 

There’s passion, and then there’s vitriol.

Yes.

Obviously I don’t blame Jaxton for August Ames’ death, but there was a vicious mob that he was a part of and perhaps it was his level of vitriol that brought his tweets to the fore in the public consciousness. Certainly he seems to have been going for that. Were you in communication while he was doing the tweeting?

Not a whole lot, no. He didn’t keep me involved with certain things. He’d just go on his rampage, and it’s his limelight. For the same reason I was never involved in the Jon Ronson piece [The Last Days of August]. I should have been spoken to, but Jaxton kept name out of everything. Whether it was good light or bad light, he wanted to be in it.

Do you think that Jaxton presented himself accurately to Ronson?

I believe Jaxton showed his true colors during that interview, yes.

After the two days so of Twitter battle Jaxton came home, before it was discovered that August had taken her own life.

Yes, he came home the early morning of the day we found out. After we found out that she had passed, I thought it was a prank. I didn’t think it was real. We were out having lunch together, and I was scrolling through my Twitter and saw it. 

So, had he still been tweeting about her while traveling?

I think he had stopped for a while, but when he saw her final tweet, the “Fuck y’all” tweet, that set him off again. 

I reached out to another performer once I found out [about Ames’ death], and she said, They’re blaming your husband. Did you see what he said?” And I was like, “No. WHAT did he say?”

So, you hadn’t seen his tweets?

I had not seen what he’d said. His Twitter rants — I tried to stay away from all that negative drama. 

In reality you two were not even in the same city when Jaxton was doing most of his tweets. What was your response wen you saw his tweets?

I was angry at him. I saw his tweets and I said, “You told her to take a cyanide pill?!? What the fuck is wrong with you?” I felt sick to my stomach. Coming from him, it’s not like I couldn’t believe that would be something he’d say, but I was fucking disgusted with him. What he said, in any case, was disrespectful. He’s not respectful, not even to me. 

After that everything changed. There were a lot of people that wouldn’t even talk to me. My house was very, very dark for two months. We had a lot of people coming after us, we got doxxed on the internet, his house here in Vegas, his mom’s house got doxxed, where his children live. I was very scared for my children. He called a lawyer that he had out here, and he basically told Jaxton that there’s a biker gang that knew [August] that were going to come after him and that the lawyer could not help him. Paxton called the FBI.

Sully Savage, Las Vegas, June 2019

 

When out was all over, Jaxton didn’t exactly become a changed man.

No. 

At any point did Jaxton apologize toy for having dragged you into this drama?

Oh no, he doesn’t think this has had any negative effect on me at all, Anytime that I’ve tried to talk to him — like, look man, I can’t get work, a lot of my friends won;t even fucking talk to me cuz I’m still with you — to him it’s, “Nothing happened to you. They dragged me.” I wasn’t allowed to speak about it; I wasn’t really allowed to feel like I lived in it. 

That January he was tossed out the Hard Rock here in Vegas.

He’d already been told he wasn’t allowed to go to AVN. But I guess they didn’t say anything about GayVN. He just happened to be in the hotel; he wasn’t trying to get in to the event. He had friends who were there.

I went to AVN, but I stayed away from the convention for the most part. I spoke with Chris Strokes, who was a good friend to August. Meeting him I was really scared, but he had no idea who I was. He was upset and crying, and I really wanted to be able to comfort him, I wanted to be able to talk to him about her and, like, learn about her . . . [choking up] myself, and it was really hard. I ended up telling him who I was later that day. 

So, you’re living this life where Jaxton has become a pariah, and you’ve been dragged down because of your connection to him. This starts to have financial repercussions as well. 

I pretty much stopped getting any kind of filming work. Nobody said anything; people just kind of stayed away. At the same time, I do understand why; I know a lot of people were told that they would get blacklisted if they worked with him, and people were scared for their paychecks. I get it. Things have picked up a little for me, but i still have that dark cloud over me where people think that I had something to do with this, or that I agreed with him, or honestly that I even continue to stand by him.

For a very limited amount of time did I feel like I was supporting him, or being supportive of him. On Twitter I only chose to support the facts and then I shut up.  The rest of it — him running his mouth and the things he said to August’s brother (I wasn’t there for that, either), things he might’ve said to her husband [Kevin Moore] — I feel for them. I can’t really apologize for his actions, but I feel like shit that people think that I may have stood by that.

People will say that you obviously knew what he was like, yet you stayed together.

We got stuck together. We’d moved into that house in Tampa. I have my kids. After all of that happened there was a limited number of things I could do. All the while I’m still trying to pay half of the bills, and support my children. So, there wasn’t a whole lot of me being able to ‘get away’. And yes, I wanted to make it work and I made excuses for him in my mind. But a lot of my friends who I have spoken with over the last year and a half knew that I was trying to get away, or that I knew that I needed to. 

But you were feeling . . .

Trapped. I don’t have much of a family . . .

And suddenly, because of his actions, a lot of the people close to you are not alienated from you.

And now I don’t have my children either, because of him. Not that they were taken away or anything, because I’m a really good mom, but I had to remove them from my home because of him. So that I could also get myself away and take care of myself.

When did the point come when you felt like you could make the break?

In December, I found out on Christmas morning that Jaxton had been cheating on me, [since] two months after the August Ames thing happened. A lot of people say, “But he’s a porn star. How do you cheat when you’re in that kind of relationship?” Well, we have agreements, and we have boundaries. I knew what my boundaries were, and I never broke them. A lot of people don’t know that I found out that Jaxton had been cheating on me in April, and I also tried to commit suicide. Because I was under so much dealing with that and dealing with him and dealing with myself and my kids. Finding that out was almost the end of it for me. 

After you tried to kill yourself, was he still cheating?

I didn’t know. I found out that he had brought some girl from Twitter into my house. “It was only one time…” And again, where am I going to go? What am I going to do? I was lost.

Then on Christmas morning, I found out that Jaxton was cheating on me again, and it was with, I guess, the same girl that I had found out about the first time. 

How did you find out?

Somebody told me. I found out on Twitter; somebody messaged me early Christmas morning., It was the first thing that I woke up to. Luckily my kids were with their dad for Christmas. Jaxton was home with me when I found out. He was in bed with me.

There were pictures, there was a lot of proof. And I kicked him out.

How did that go?

He didn’t have much to say. It was a lot of him crying and a lot of him begging me, and I was done. I was over it. But me being the person that I am, I did take him back — being stupid. But, when it comes to marriage, I wanted it to work. I didn’t want to get married again, I put a lot of faith in it. He signed a contract with me in order to come back to my house. He kind of upheld it for about two months; there was a lot of him not wanting to do the things he had agreed to do. I said fuck it. I’m only here because I have to be here, but my goal is to get out. I hid money, I started contacting people, I had to get my children out of that house. I had to organize so much while still being under the same roof as him, and dealing with him.

Was there ever a time where he promised he would change, and fix things?

Jaxton’s a lot of talk. He’s very manipulative. He says he’s going to do a lot of things, but once he doesn’t do it and you try to say something to him, he just gets angry. He’s a bully.

He can’t be wrong about anything, he’s smarter than everybody. He’s hard to talk to, hard to deal with; everything was a fight. 

Was he insistent that you not do boy/girl, etc… for your entire relationship.

Yes. I was only allowed to do fetish, like wrestling. 

Did you address this when times got tough financially?

Oh, he didn’t care. He would have preferred I escort. Which didn’t make any sense.

Well, for someone who wants everything to be for show out makes a lot of sense.

I have my own career too and I guess he didn’t want me taking away any of his limelight? I don’t really know how he thinks.

How did the scandal affect his work?

He got fired from everything that he was booked for, immediately. He got banned from most events. A lot of his fans would still pay him, camming and stuff. 

When it all calmed down he got hired by ManyVids to go to Canada and shoot for them, but when they ended up doing Suicide Prevention Month, and used August’s image to support that, they fired him. They canceled him the day he was supposed to fly out. They started avoiding him, and then they canceled him. 

That hurt him. And after that it got worse — his anger — because it all came back and smacked him in the face again. He wanted to go after her husband, the industry, MindGeek; he wanted to tear everything down. And it made things worse for him because he just would not shut up. 

Well, Buck Angel found out the hard way that Jaxton is an albatross, someone you definitely don’t want supporting you or your arguments. 

Paxton will jump into anything he thinks will give him clout. A lot of the time he doesn’t even know what the fuck he’s talking about, and he will join in on a conversation just to be heard. And he’s say things that sound good to him, whether they’re true or not, as long as he’s going to get some sort of attention out of it. He’s a sociopathic, narcissistic asshole. That’s Jaxton, [laughs]

Now that I’m working — and I am doing boy./girl, and doing whatever I want — he’s still on Twitter making comments like, “If you’re fucking my ex . . . I’m still the biggest baddest alpha blah blah blah…” A friend of mine messaged me and said, “Toxic masculinity called and it wants its definition back.” That’s literally what he is. He’s a toxic person. He’s charming, sure — at first. But I worry about any girl after me. People should know how he is. He hurt me, he abused me, he fucked with my mental health constantly. 

Did he ever apologize to you for what you’ve gone through.

[laughs] Never. No. To him, it was all about him. He thinks that I was lucky to have him. And he hasn’t changed at all. If anything I feel like he’s just fueling his own fire. It’s just making him worse. He’s more full of himself now. 

What do you want people, and especially people in the adult business, to know about you, and what would you like to say to them?

First, I do want to apologize to August’s friends and her family. I don’t know if any of them want to talk to me, but I will leave that on the table. 

Next, I have 100% disassociated myself from Jaxton Wheeler. I’ve taken him completely out of any product that I have for sale, I’ve taken myself out of his music video, I don’t want any further association with that man. And I don’t want to talk about him. I just wanted to get this off my chest. 

For me, I’ve got a gypsy tour that I’m trying to plan out. I want to get a really nice RV or tour bus, gut it, and gypsy it out — make it nice and cush — and use it to cam when I’m on the road, and stop in different places to hit up fetish events. Talk to real doms and subs, people in the fetish community, about our lifestyles. And honestly I want to get out of this negative shadow that’s following me around.

I’ve been shooting a little bit; people have been wary. I never really had a chance to do anything in porn so I’m not sure where my offers would be, but I’m available for boy/girl, girl/girl, and fetish. 

Follow Sully Savage on Twitter

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