D&D Celebrity Satine Phoenix & Husband Jamison Stone Accused Of Abuse Towards Freelancers

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D&D influencer Satine Phoenix, and her husband Jamison Stone, who run tabletop gaming company Apotheosis Studios, have been accused of abusive behavior towards freelancers and contracted workers.

Satine Phoenix is a well-known D&D personality and creator, and was the D&D Community Manager for about a year back in 2018. Both she and Stone have appeared in many events and streaming shows, and have worked with WotC, Geek & Sundry, and other companies. Recently their Kickstarter campaign Sirens: Battle of the Bards raised over $300,000. At GaryCon, a US gaming convention, the couple held a public wedding.

sirens.jpg

Accusations were initially leveled last week against Stone by tattooist Chad Rowe, who tweeted about the abusive way in which Stone, as his client at the time, treated him. The artist was "insulted, berated, and talked down to as if I was a lesser person". Other reports started to roll in as people shared similar experiences, with people revealing how they had been bullied by them, and how the pair frequently portrayed themselves as 'better' than those they worked with. At the time of writing there have been many such reports including one from voice actress and designer Liisa Lee who was subjected to underhanded business practices by Phoenix and her then partner Ruty Rutenberg. Others indicated difficulties in getting paid for work done for Stone and Phoenix or their company.

Lysa Penrose reported on problematic interactions while Phoenix worked at WotC, who was the primary point of contact regarding a report of abuse. Penrose reports that Phoenix failed to pass on the reports of abuse, and continued to publicly associate with the abuser.

Jamison Stone has since resigned as CEO of Apotheosis Studios (though the pair do own the company) and issued a long apology which has been widely criticized. Phoenix released a statement about a week later. Screenshots leaked from a private channel indicate that they have adopted a strategy of shifting the blame onto Stone, so that Phoenix's public image remain intact, with Stone writing “I also am ensuring behind the scenes ... we shield Satine as much as physically possible from damage.”

D&D In A Castle, which is an event which hosts D&D games run by professional DMs in a weekend break in a castle, has dropped the pair from its lineup, as has Jasper's Game Day, an organization which works to prevent suicides. Origins Game Fair, at which the couple are celebrity guests, removed Stone from its guest list, but not Phoenix, stating that "staff assessed that there was no immediate risk of physical harm".

According to ComicBook.com. former collaborator of Phoenix, Ruty Rutenberg, is suing Phoenix, alleging misappropriation of $40,000 of stream network Maze Arcana's money.
 

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Russ Morrissey

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Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Yes, after she was already a very well known online DM and D&D related personality.

It’s more accurate to say she was part of the show, having been part of the game that inspired it in the first place, having already been quite well known and well liked in the LA D&D scene (Taliesen Jaffe has commented on this last part).
And she wouldn’t have gone any farther than D&D With Pornstars without charisma and drive of her own. Like Vivka, she got herself to where she is, insofar as anyone gets anywhere on their own.

Or she’s gotten herself another abusive narcissist for a partner and is noseblind to the stink, but either way her own behavior is hers.

I do recall people saying she was late to the party when Mandy came forward with her story and finally made people stop turning a blind eye to Zak S’s abusive behavior.
My mom went from an abusive relationship to an abusive relationship*. I don't know Satine personally or her situation, or how much culpability she has here if any, but only to comment that it's not unheard of a person going from one abusive partner to another. I do know she has overcome a dark chapter in her life previously. Is she also guilty? Possibly. I don't think it's up to me to make that judgment either way. I can only go by what they say, and what the people victimized have said. And I admit my bias from seeing my mother's situation over the years.

*Edit There was a phrase I read a few years ago that really hit me. Paraphrased, "we turn away good people for us in our relationships because they don't allow us to experience love in how we know it." I.e., if we grew up in a dysfunctional environment and only saw toxic relationships growing up, that's what we define as "normal" and what we are familiar with. And subconsciously, that's what "love" feels like to us.

I am NOT saying she has no responsibility here, only that I don't know, and I can see it either way.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
You recall correctly. She was one of Zak's most ardent defenders until it became untenable for her (until she started to get serious blow back).
At best, she ignored red flags because he was a friend and colleague and former partner that she didn’t want to see that way, which is bad enough. More likely, she cynically calculated the effect on her career and reputation.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
At best, she ignored red flags because he was a friend and colleague and former partner that she didn’t want to see that way, which is bad enough. More likely, she cynically calculated the effect on her career and reputation.
I wanted to give a charitable interpretation at the time, because hey, narcissistic predators actually c have a remarkable ability to pull the wool over the eyes of trusting people.
 

jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
I wanted to give a charitable interpretation at the time, because hey, narcissistic predators actually c have a remarkable ability to pull the wool over the eyes of trusting people.

If she hadn't done the same thing for multiple creepers, multiple times, over the years I, too, may have been charitable. However, she's run defense for some of the industry's most disgusting personalities, multiple times. So, no. She gets no charity from me.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
She was more than late to the party. She was an ardent defender of Zak (and other horrible people in the industry). Look, it's clear you don't want to acknowledge this, but it is what it is.
Absolutely nothing I’ve said indicates any such thing. Try keeping your anger directed toward actual bad actors, bud.
Enough of the stories are about Satine herself and her independent behavior, unfortunately, that she seems to be an active part of the abusive cycle here.
Sure, like I said. Her actions are hers, either way.
My mom went from an abusive relationship to an abusive relationship*. I don't know Satine personally or her situation, or how much culpability she has here if any, but only to comment that it's not unheard of a person going from one abusive partner to another. I do know she has overcome a dark chapter in her life previously. Is she also guilty? Possibly. I don't think it's up to me to make that judgment either way. I can only go by what they say, and what the people victimized have said. And I admit my bias from seeing my mother's situation over the years.

*Edit There was a phrase I read a few years ago that really hit me. Paraphrased, "we turn away good people for us in our relationships because they don't allow us to experience love in how we know it." I.e., if we grew up in a dysfunctional environment and only saw toxic relationships growing up, that's what we define as "normal" and what we are familiar with. And subconsciously, that's what "love" feels like to us.

I am NOT saying she has no responsibility here, only that I don't know, and I can see it either way.
Yep, exactly.
 

jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
Absolutely nothing I’ve said indicates any such thing. Try keeping your anger directed toward actual bad actors, bud.

You do see to be making multiple excuses for her and trying to offload all of this onto her husband, though? I recommend reading all of victim statements on Twitter.
 

Shakeshift

Adventurer
I feel that Satine is a collaborator, especially considering they are married. It's hard to feign ignorance of the behavior of someone you're married to.

My guess is that Satine is going to eventually break from him, sever all personal and professional ties with him, and give a big story about how she was being gaslighted by Jamison the whole time, and tell everyone how she was being manipulated. Satine'll hope that everyone forgives her, and she'll just try to pretend the whole thing was someone else's machinations. Personally, I do not believe her. Not for one second.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I feel that Satine is a collaborator, especially considering they are married. It's hard to feign ignorance of the behavior of someone you're married to.

My guess is that Satine is going to eventually break from him, sever all personal and professional ties with him, and give a big story about how she was being gaslighted by Jamison the whole time, and tell everyone how she was being manipulated. Satine'll hope that everyone forgives her, and she'll just try to pretend the whole thing was someone else's machinations. Personally, I do not believe her. Not for one second.
I think there is some truthiness to that: I doubt she is or was knowledgeable or party to all of his misbehavior. However, she certainly seems to be part of the toxicity.
 




Parmandur

Book-Friend
I think it’s worth mentioning given that Satine has been using her porn star name and persona to promote a game that is marketed at children.

Maybe I’m just a prude, but I’ve never been comfortable with the idea that some kid could watch official WotC-produced videos with Satine in them then Google her name to see what else is there and accidentally stumble across her adult film work. That doesn’t seem appropriate to me, and I’ve always been more than a little disappointed with WotC for being OK with it.

It just seems to me like nothing good has ever come out of D&D’s association with the adult entertainment industry.
Sort of a toxic and manipulative environment by definition.
 

thirdkingdom

Adventurer
Publisher
I think it’s worth mentioning given that Satine has been using her porn star name and persona to promote a game that is marketed at children.

Maybe I’m just a prude, but I’ve never been comfortable with the idea that some kid could watch official WotC-produced videos with Satine in them then Google her name to see what else is there and accidentally stumble across her adult film work. That doesn’t seem appropriate to me, and I’ve always been more than a little disappointed with WotC for being OK with it.

It just seems to me like nothing good has ever come out of D&D’s association with the adult entertainment industry.
Regardless of what actual bad things Satine has done, sex work is not one of them, and she should not be judged for it.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
You do see to be making multiple excuses for her and trying to offload all of this onto her husband, though? I recommend reading all of victim statements on Twitter.
I recommend not letting your suspiciousness cause you to make foolishly unprovoked accusations, take a breath, and maybe stop interacting with me if you can’t do so without making such accusations for no reason.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think it’s worth mentioning given that Satine has been using her porn star name and persona to promote a game that is marketed at children.

Maybe I’m just a prude, but I’ve never been comfortable with the idea that some kid could watch official WotC-produced videos with Satine in them then Google her name to see what else is there and accidentally stumble across her adult film work. That doesn’t seem appropriate to me, and I’ve always been more than a little disappointed with WotC for being OK with it.

It just seems to me like nothing good has ever come out of D&D’s association with the adult entertainment industry.
This goes well beyond prudishness.

There is no reason for someone involved with D&D to hide having done sex work.

Using accusations against someone to challenge the presence of anyone in the space whose ever done porn or other sex work is wildly inappropriate.
 


Dire Bare

Legend
I think it’s worth mentioning given that Satine has been using her porn star name and persona to promote a game that is marketed at children.

Maybe I’m just a prude, but I’ve never been comfortable with the idea that some kid could watch official WotC-produced videos with Satine in them then Google her name to see what else is there and accidentally stumble across her adult film work. That doesn’t seem appropriate to me, and I’ve always been more than a little disappointed with WotC for being OK with it.

It just seems to me like nothing good has ever come out of D&D’s association with the adult entertainment industry.
Satine Phoenix is her stage name, she used it when she did porn, and continues to use it today. It is her chosen name. Shaming her for her past in the adult industry is uncool. Heck, if she were still involved in the adult industry, shaming for that would be uncool also.

Kids don't need to google Satine Phoenix's name to stumble across porn. In fact, finding porn via a google search isn't much of a thing anymore, google's search engine is much more "family friendly" than it used to be.

Phoenix deserves to be called out on her toxic behavior in the TTRPG community, both her own choices and her enabling of Stone. But to clutch your pearls over her past in the adult film industry is . . . well, it's awful.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Sort of a toxic and manipulative environment by definition.
The porn industry certainly has it problems, and there are plenty of toxic individuals within it. As does the mainstream Hollywood film industry, and the music industry, and sadly, the TTRPG industry . . . .

But the idea that the entire adult film industry is toxic and manipulative is false, a misconception based on sex-shaming.

Can we stick to the very real behavior problems exhibited by Phoenix and Stone without devolving into prudish sex-shaming?
 

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