Mark Ebner woke up on Friday and was startled to see news about Dillon Jordan, a 49-year-old movie producer who was arrested on charges that he had used his movie company as a front for a wide-ranging prostitution ring.
“It was like Christmas in July,” Ebner told Variety. “They finally got this guy.”
Ebner is a journalist who has written extensively about the underbelly of the entertainment industry on his website, HollywoodInterrupted.com. In 2009, he published a book called “Six Degrees of Paris Hilton,” and it originally had a chapter that was all about Jordan and his alleged work as a pimp. Ebner had gotten access to Jordan’s hard drive, which he said included chat logs that showed Jordan was involved in prostitution.
But Ebner said his publisher, Simon & Schuster, did not want to include the chapter. So Ebner decided to publish it on his website as a way to promote the book.
Jordan was incarcerated in Cuba at the time. But he got out, and in December 2010 he sued Ebner and private eye Danno Hanks for defamation and invasion of privacy.
The lawsuit alleged that Ebner had “made up facts,” and “manipulated and sensationalized facts to wrongfully depict plaintiff as a child pornographer and ‘Hollywood Pimp’ in order to boost sales for his book.” The complaint continued: “Ebner knew that plaintiff was not a child pornographer or a Hollywood Pimp.”
The complaint acknowledged, however, that Jordan had been held in Cuba for nearly eight years on a solicitation charge.
According to the complaint, Jordan ran a business called Diablo Entertainment, through which he promoted clubs and planned private parties. He was “well known in the Hollywood community and was friends with several high profile celebrities,” the complaint states.
Jordan went to Cuba in 2002 to help a client plan a party, and was arrested, according to his complaint. The suit says that he was not told why he was being held until several years into his incarceration, when he was informed that the charge was “solicitation.” He was released in 2010.
Ebner said he was eager to defend himself in court. He had a lawyer who was working on the case for free, but he was struggling to afford the filing fees.
“It was a headache,” he said. “He became a rash that wouldn’t go away.”
So Ebner agreed to a settlement. He said he admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to delete the chapter from his website and pay $1,000 to resolve the case.
After that, he said he continued to follow Jordan’s career as Jordan transitioned into independent film. In 2018, Jordan produced two films — “Skin,” and “The Kindergarten Teacher,” which starred Maggie Gyllenhaal. In 2019, he produced “The Kid,” which starred Ethan Hawke and was directed by Vincent D’Onofrio.
“Anybody that called me to vet him, I warned them off,” Ebner said. “What else could I do?”
Ebner said that some people would be baffled that Jordan was able to produce movies, given his background.
“Welcome to Hollywood,” Ebner said.
Ebner said that he and Hanks had presented their information on Jordan to the FBI years ago, but the agency never did anything with it.
So he was pleased to see that Jordan was arrested Thursday at his home in San Bernardino County on charges of money laundering and prostitution. The indictment, unsealed on Thursday, alleges that Jordan maintained a roster of women around the country, and that he arranged for them to meet clients for sex both in the U.S. and abroad.
The grand jury also alleged that he used his events planning business and his film production business to receive payments and pay expenses for the prostitution ring. He made an initial appearance in court in Riverside, Calif. and was released on a $150,000 bond and ordered to surrender his passport. He is scheduled to be arraigned by remote appearance in federal court in Manhattan on July 29.
His attorney, Peter Swarth, did not respond to requests for comment.
“I am honestly relieved this guy got jammed up, because he’s a menace,” Ebner said. “I’ve known it the whole time, and now I’m saying I told you so.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Ebner’s publisher deleted the chapter about Jordan for legal reasons. It was for editorial reasons.