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Michael Lucas, the flamboyant Russian-American porn mogul, will soon be heading mainstream with a walk-on role on ABC’s hit Ugly Betty. Not cast in the traditional sense, and no, I do not mean on the director’s couch either, Lucas simply bought his way onto the show.

At a recent charity fundraiser for the Stonewall Foundation, Lucas paid $18,000 for the chance to share screen time with America Ferrera and Vanessa Williams, who also was once famous for taking off her clothes.

Lucas’ recounting of the story, below, is hilarious. I am excited and curious to see what they do with his role and whether they play up or play down his checkered past. Knowing Ugly Betty’s creators’ irreverence, my money’s on the former.

From Michael:

The live auction started with a walk-on role in Ugly Betty. And I immediately knew: I have to get this.

Of course I wanted to give money to Stonewall. But I also saw a chance to shake up television a bit: the first porn star cameo ever on a family program. Let’s not confuse gay-friendly networks with porn-friendly networks. The main channels are extremely pornophobic. The question posed to my industry is always the same: Will the porn industry and its members ever be accepted by the mainstream? And the usual answer is: not in the next fifty years. Porn stars are very much in demand but the media still like to see us kept in our box. So I saw an opportunity here to speed up the progression.

The fantastic Peppermint was the auctioneer. Bidding started at $1,000. When it reached $7,000, I joined the race and it went to $10,000. Then it became a duel between me and another gentleman. When the auction reached $14,000, Peppermint noticed that my fellow bidder didn’t want to go higher. She asked the audience if friends or supporters wanted to add to the bid. He got another $1,000 and then I got up and asked if I had any backers. My husband Richard Winger, a member of Stonewall’s Board, gave $1,000. Then the race continued, each of us acquired some friends (thank you to all of mine) and the auction closed with my winning bid of $18,000.

It felt great to give all that porn money to Stonewall. And it also felt great to put out a challenge to mainstream TV. How will ABC deal with a porn star on one of its prime time programs? I am curious to see how this will play out. Now, I am not suggesting that my little walk-on will change the world. But I hope it will be one step taking us out of the privacy of people’s bedrooms and onto a larger stage. And I hope the American public will enjoy seeing a porn star as a real person, not just as a hot body.