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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

CNN citizen reporter - fired after after school digs up past as gay porn star

Shawn Loftis during an iReport segment he filmed for CNN while near his home in Miami Beach

One of CNN's most popular citizen reporters was fired from his substitute teaching job after school officials unearthed evidence that he used to be a gay porn star.

They didn't have to dig deep.

Shawn Loftis ditched his porn career in the spring of 2010 to focus on teaching, but he is still widely known by his X-rated alias, Collin O'Neal, the Miami New Times reported.

His hard-core performances won him several awards, and a Wikipedia page lists his porn accolades and some of the videos he's appeared in.

A print-out of the page was included in a memo that a Florida middle school principal sent to Loftis, calling him down to the office like a bad pupil to discuss his non-compliance with the school's code of ethics.

Loftis was suspended from his substitute teaching position in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools in January; his teacher's certification was revoked in April, despite his insistence that his porn days were over.

Loftis' porn shtick was to film in exotic locations around the world and slide sight-seeing and history segments into the dirty flicks. He took a similar travel-focused approach to his citizen-reporting gig with CNN.

Through iReport, the news giant's site for citizen journalists, Loftis posted about stories such as crocodile sightings in Australia and jammed-up security checkpoints at airports.

He told the Miami New Times that CNN was well aware of his porn star status: "They don't mind at all," he said.

Loftis thinks the Miami-Dade County Public School system should have taken the same approach. He filed a complaint about his case with the American Civil Liberties Union, but it failed to get him back into the classroom.

But, on the bright side, at least he had a fall-back option: he's now back to making porn flicks.

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