Questions & Answers must be considered opinions only-
Interview with Pete Housley
When did you get hired at HH, and what was your job title?
I joined the Hellhouse team in May 2008 as a contract employee, with the title of Chief Operating Officer, soon after leaving another disaster of a company Vavoom Media Group (which is a whole different story).
How did you get along with Ty Gonty?
Initially Ty and I got along swimmingly, as I was learning how Hellhouse operated. But it wasn’t long into our relationship that we started bumping heads. Ty was of the mentality to grow as much as possible as quickly as possible so that we could locate additional investors. He was consumed with what the industry thought of him and Hellhouse Media and not the long term viability of the company as a whole or even individual projects. We disagreed numerous times on hiring people, projects, attending events and conventions – all of which were focused on simply what industry people like AVN, Xbiz, etc and investor potentials perceived the company to be.
Were you getting a regular paycheck?
I was contracted to be paid a fee for my work. The timeliness, frequency and amount varied widely
When did you realize that people where not getting paid as they should have?
Very soon after I joined the company in the contract role Ty had me interfacing with investors. Ty is a master at what I call the “Shiny Object Move”, he used me to bolster current investors who were then only concerned, he did the same with a number of other industry names throughout the project.
How did Ty Gonty explain to you & others why you were not getting paid?
Ty had numerous excuses for not paying people, sometimes the bank accounts were frozen, other times we were waiting for wire transfers, checks to arrive, or some dirt bag affiliate didn’t pay us — on and on… Often he would blame one member of the team for not “approving” to pay another – I was often the fall guy for that move.
When did you leave HH?
I finally gave up bothering to fix problems with Ty in November 2008, we talked frequently for the next few months as he had a huge keen interest in my own project PornStarTweet. We at one point even came to a payment agreement for the nearly $25,000 he owed me in back contracts, which never came to pass. In late 2009 he contacted me about doing some work under a new “CEO/Owner”, I declined. We have not spoken since.
How much money were you owed at that time?
Have you gotten any of the money you are owed by HH since you left?
Have you taken any action to try to collect the money you are owed?
No I haven’t. I have been very focused on growing my own product PornStarTweet over the past year.
Do you know approximately how many people, and how much money is owed all together?
Frankly, Ty never disclosed any of that information completely to me. He did a number of small and large deals all over the country, basically all stealing from Peter to pay Paul. In the end that practice is the one that caught up to him in both Pennsylvania and Washington State who both have legally taken steps against him soliciting investment funds. Ty constantly posted ads on Craigslist.org and other opportunity sites soliciting investments for projects – he would take investments as small as $500 for a percentage of a DVD production or website; and as much as $200,000 for multiple projects or series of projects.
Did you know that Ty is planning on leaving the country?
I have heard some rumblings about some RV trip/Reality TV Show… He’s also “invested” in a Elementary School project called “Hip-Hop Handbook”, and a movie deal called “Crowbar” — likely about 30 other projects that seem fun and solid on paper.
Do you have any advice for the people owed money by Ty & HH?
Sincerely, at this point people can contact the State of Washington Department of Financial Institutions and see what, if any actions they’re taking. To my knowledge Ty is broke and will never pay anyone anything unless of course in doing so he might secure some additional investment dollars. I personally have written this, like so many other losing projects off. Some people actually made some money off Ty for doing very little – those people still think they’re owed but in reality they did pretty well.
Anything else you would like to mention that I didn’t ask you?
In all fairness to Ty I’m not so completely sure that he’s a really bad guy with bad intentions at the core — I think he found himself so frequently trying to play catchup that lying and deceit simply became a business tool long ago, even before Hellhouse. It’s truly sad because their are some great people out there trying to put together solid projects that can’t find financial support because of these types of people — hell I’m one of those myself.