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Design Star's Mikey V reportedly starred in 1996 gay bondage film

mike tattoos

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Years before interior designer Mikey Verdugo appeared on HGTV's Design Star, the Hollywood police officer apparently had a brush with video fame -- in a 1996 bondage flick called Rope Rituals, according to several gay bloggers who are now coming out of the woodwork.

From Charles Winters at Gay Socialites.com:

"I am starting to think that gay porn is a prerequisite for reality TV. Adding his name to the porn past hall of fame, Mikey Verdugo from HGTV's "Design Star," is evidently into bondage! The folks over at Dude Tube dug up some NSFW photos and some video of Mikey's porn performances. The "Design Star" cutie definitely knows how to work his tool, but who knew that he was into bondage?!"

Other websites this week also reported Verdugo's alleged porn past, including Gay Porn Blog.

On Wednesday, I left several phone messages for Verdugo, 34, a patrol officer who joined the Hollywood department about seven years ago. He didn't call back.

Hollywood police spokesman Lt. Manny Marino said he couldn't comment on the allegations or whether Verdugo could be fired if he appeared in the film.

"Obviously, we've never had anything like this," Marino said.

HGTV is conducting its own investigation, said Lynn Davis, the network's public relations director. "Our investigations and conversations about this are confidential," Davis said.

Here are the pictures posted at Gay Socialites.com. At left is Rope Rituals star Jeremy Wess; at right is Verdugo in a publicity shot from Design Star:


So, are Jeremy Wess and Mikey Verdugo the same person? Both faces look the same. And so do their tattoos:

1996 tattoo

Above is Wess' tattoo from 1996. Below is Verdugo's, from his current MySpace page.

new tattoo

Already, there has been much controversy about the postings: A few comments from Gay Porn Blog:

How exactly do you OUT someone who has done gay bondage porn??? LOL. Give me a break.

Posted by: Larry In Dallas at July 15, 2008 1:24 PM


The man is trying to make something of his life. The one who outed him just kicked him on his knees. He fell. I wish he will rise up and try again. Prayers go with him.

Posted by: Gressus001 at July 15, 2008 7:37 PM

Verdugo, a Hialeah High grad, has been the subject of much publicity since his recent appearances on Design Star. The Miami Herald profiled him June 8. On Sunday, judges voted Verdugo off the show, in which he competed for the chance to host his own show.

In October 2007, Broward-Palm Beach New Times published a story about Verdugo's problems within the Hollywood Police Department after he came out of the closet, following a domestic disturbance involving two gay men -- Verdugo and his partner, also a Hollywood cop.


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Big deal...most gay men have sex with over 1,000 different partners in their lives...what difference does it make if this guy did a few were in front of a camera? With that kind of depravity, nothing should be shocking.

Was he breaking a law, or are we just gossiping?

I'm very straight guy oriented,
but I don't see any problem for this guy past..
I understand to enter in the porno industry
you must be 18 and over, and sign your contract...
to perform in a video of any kind is legal in this
country right! Therefore the guy didn't do nothing
wrong...I understand if you hold a public or government related job, yeah! that could lead to something.....

He is HOT.....

Dude, you have too much time on your hands. You couldn't find something legit to right about. There is so much suffering going on in the world and this is where your focus is...on this guy's past? Why not focus on the fact that he turned his life around and is making positive moves? You're lame.

To The Hollywood Police Dept/Internal Affairs:

Consider this: The President can get his private part sucked in present times and does NOT get impeached and yet Officer Verdugo may lose his position on the Police Force and is being scrutinized for something he may have done years ago, at a legal age?? Are you kidding me?
Talk about being prejudicial and being unjust! This fine young man, no matter what his past is, has become a benefit to your department serving his community. Lets judge someone as we know them and not on what might have been.

No again, he's a victim of being gay. He has been using that excuse for years at the police department. He should man up, never mind, he should b*t*h up and take responsibility for his actions. I wonder why the other gay officers in the PD don't have a problem or use the excuse of being gay?

What someone did in there past I feel is there business. I dont think he should be fired. What does his bedroom skills or lack of... (havent seen the video) have to do with his work performance. He is trying to live his life a move forward. Why are we so stuck on the negitive of someones life. Now some big mouth gay men have brought up his past and now his life may have to pay for it.

It would be interesting to know what his history within the Hollywood Police Department has been over the past 7 years. Has he had problems with Internal Affairs in the past? Is he a good officer?

So what! Good for him. Glad he's out there protecting me...Honored!!!

What a small minded society we live in. Leave Mikey V. alone. All you fu*ki*g homophobes have too much time on your hands. Instead about worrying about what he did or did not do when he was of legal age, you should be concerned about the fact that we need more cops on the street like Mikey V!!!

Ok first of all any person who actually studies the tatts can see they are not a like they try and make it seem as if it was covered up but the arches and curves and all are different and not from bigger muscles but from being two absolutely different tatts ass holes.

The tattoos are obviously the same Markie. The angles are different due to the position of his arm. Everyone who knows Mike knows that it is him in the video. Think about it....if it wasnt him wouldnt he make a statement and deny that it is him?

Why does it matter if it is him tatts? I agree that we should let him be and stop always trying to change a persons livelyhood for what we dont like or wouldnt do. Let him make money and feed himself if its not on the police force then somewhere else. Would you rather see him continue to do bondage movies or living on the street. This is America, land of the free right? Leave him alone we all make mistakes, him being gay is his problem not ours, he was probably young and needed the money and made a bad choice by doing the porno film, it happens. I dont think he should loose his job and just have nothing because of it. What about straight people who do the same thing should they loose their jobs because of it, not be able to feed their kids and keep their lights on? We want to be free to be on the internet and condem someone but we dont want that same someone to be free to make mistakes. Think about it.....

So what!! What he does in his private life when he was a kid has no bearing on who he is now and what he is trying to accomplish in his life, these losers that have nothing else to do but bring people on the rise down need to be smacked down and not in a good way!!

The police dept should have nothing to think about nor put him on leave. He was hired with a background check, he did not kill someone, do drugs, steal, he is gay and likes bondage so fricken what, it is ok for swingers why not him. it is his personal life, if he was a bad cop, then your talking another story. Mikey keep your head up, I think you are great and who cares if your gay, your still damn fine and a great designer. All power to ya!!!


goodness he is an interior decorator, were you expecting him to be straight ?

What an ass to even write this story and make his life hell....... the writer of this article should be the one getting fired.

forget tatoos, look at noses they are different.

Pretty low class article written by a low class journalist. Why don't you report on issues that actually matters to our society rather than this 3rd grade gossip BS.

Leave the guy alone and get a life. Im sure he really appreciates you contacting his PD and getting him suspended.

Seriously the Herald should fire this guy

To "Sir Frederick R. Freep | July 16, 2008 at 09:04 PM": What depravity are you speaking of?






Did he omit the job from his application with the LAPD? If so, how did he explain the gap in employment? How did he answer the question; "Have you ever gone by any aliases?" I'm afraid he hasn't got a prayer.

"Big deal...most gay men have sex with over 1,000 different partners in their lives...what difference does it make if this guy did a few were in front of a camera? With that kind of depravity, nothing should be shocking."

Please do tell, where do you get these absurd statistics?

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