More Allegations Surface About WeHo Political Donor and Activist Ed Buck

Another allegation has come forward that West Hollywood political donor and activist Ed Buck hired young African-American men to do illegal drugs in his Laurel Avenue apartment.

Jasmyne Cannick, a black communications and public affairs strategist, published the allegation with photos online today. Cannick earlier had published photos of pages from the journal of Gemmel Moore, 26, the young man found dead from drug use in Buck’s apartment last month. The L.A. County Coroner’s office originally ruled the death was an accident caused by the use of methamphetamine. Reporting by Cannick and others has prompted the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department to open an investigation into Moore’s death.

ed buck, methamphetamine
Photo from “Blake” showing him with Ed Buck (on left) in Buck’s Laurel Avenue apartment (Courtesy of Jasmyne Cannick).

Cannick, who shared today’s story with WEHOville, has interviewed other young black men who said that Buck paid them to do drugs with him. Her story today features an interview with a young man for whom she uses the pseudonym “Blake.” Cannick reports that Blake said he got $300 from Buck in exchange for spending three hours with him doing drugs on their first encounter. In Cannick’s story, Blake alleges that Buck also had injected him with methamphetamine, a practice that users of the dangerous drug call “slamming.” On one occasion, Blake said, Buck paid him $500 to inject the drug.

Blake said he hooked up with Buck because he was homeless and needed money. He also claimed that Buck denigrated him by calling him “nigger.”

Members of Moore’s family and black activists came together Friday at a vigil for Moore in West Hollywood. Speakers at the vigil denounced what they described as racism in the gay community, citing the initial decision not to investigate Buck, who is a well-off white man in his 60s, in Moore’s death.

Buck has not responded to requests for comment from WEHOville. However, his lawyer, Seymour Amster, said in an earlier statement that Buck said had nothing to do with Moore’s death.

“It is unfortunate that the sheriff’s department is reacting to unsubstantiated allegations,” Amster said. “This is a tragedy, not a crime. He had no involvement in Gemmel Moore’s death. Unfortunately, he opened his home to an individual who was troubled.”

“Whatever Moore did, Mr. Buck was not around when he did it. He was in the apartment at the time of his death. We’re not sure where Mr. Moore took whatever he took to cause the overdose.”

Buck is known for his successful promotion of a fur ban in West Hollywood, for his promotion of John D’Amico’s successful first run for a seat on the West Hollywood City Council and his donations to local, state and national Democratic Party candidates including Hillary Clinton.

Mike Bonin, an L.A. City Council member, said at the Friday vigil that he would press for an investigation into Buck’s possible involvement in Moore’s death. To date, no members of the West Hollywood City Council have spoken out about the allegations against Buck. However the Stonewall Democratic Club’s Los Angeles chapter did ask that Buck resign from its steering committee.

  1. This sounds like the Bill Cosby of the animal rights community. No one will believe it until more victims come forward. FYI, people blaming the victim are callous AF. He had a family. He was someone’s son. This is a tragedy. Condolences to his mother who is grieving right now.

  2. You know what DS, your dialog intimating that I had reduced people to ice cream and that it is a foundation for racism is such inflammatory nonsense, I can only imagine that you are one heck of an angry person – read the rest of the note. I come from a family of freedom fighters and our collective stands against any and all bias ended in my mom’s life as the head of fair housing during the Clinton admin – her boss was Roberta Achtenberg, the first openly lesbian cabinet member in history. During her tenure, she helped her secretary trans from a man named Van to a trans woman named Vanessa, and protected him like she was his personal rottweiler. At her memorial – Vanessa sat on one side of me and Monique on the other, holding my hands and holding me together. Now, I didn’t even think about saying something like ‘Oh no, girls, you are both chocolate and I only hold hands with Vanilla – so stop this non-sense. Racism is bad enough without persons like yourself crying racist at every turn and manufacturing it where it doesn’t exist.

    Now, to the case at hand – if men are working as escorts, and money exchanges hands, that is just part of the scene. Drugs are frequently involved. People who are offered money can call it for doing drugs or for having sex or for whatever. The plain reality is that no one has claimed being locked in or handcuffed and forced to take money while anyone else administered anything. As a recovering addict who has been and seen hundreds of others in Blaming mode for doing something that they simply cannot themselves take credit for. I did it – and it was nonsense, as many others who aren’t ready to take responsibility for their own actions do all of the time. The sad part of this is how unhappy the deceased man was and that he had no one – not his family, no one he felt he could turn to for help. I remember having had my heart broken once that really hurt, and I had all sorts of fantasies that I never acted out about jumping off of a building with a note on my chest blaming the other guy for my death. DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA – when I sobered up – I got help. You’d be surprised how often that desperate fantasy occurs in people on drugs who have reached that point of ‘pitiful, incomprehensible, demoralization’ – that is a quote from the big book of AA.

    To Mr. Seekerofrighteousness – that’s a long one. Anyway, sure Ed Buck should have gotten help on his own and has displayed continued unwillingness to stop his antics. That’s why I hope that this shocks/scares him to finally do so. By the same token, all of the people who are blaming him for their drug use need to man-up and do the same. The sad thing about addiction is that if it was that simple, no one would have a drug problem, and everyone would be sober. Sadly, everyone has a different point at which they reach their ‘moment of clarity’, and since we can’t control others behavior, we can’t tell someone to get sober and think they will do it.

    I love that Jasmyne Cannick is a ‘strategist’ – so she had obviously developed this ‘strategy’ for demonizing Mr. Buck. Her approach is so far from objective because being objective and fair is not her forte’, quite the contrary. I just say – look at what I’ve already beaten to death about blaming and paying escorts. I don’t care what color the men who allegedly accompanied Mr Buck while they each slammed each other with meth, they need help and support just as much as anyone in this tale. Having gotten themselves to the point that they were homeless and willing to sell themselves and do whatever, is evidence that they are pretty desperate – unhappy – lonely men, in need of support. If Ms. Cannick really cares about ‘Blake’ and any others who make similar claims, she would drive them to the center and help them get help, not exploit them to make ‘news’. I am probably going to get in trouble for this next statement, but, I can’t help but wonder if Ms. Cannick paid those young men for the information that they gave her.

    I promise not to make any more comments on this topic.

  3. Hey, Anon. It’s definitely odd for someone to say the N word.. and I’m unsure of why that would even be on his mind to come out especially since he seemingly has a fetish for young poor, desperate black men. Because notice that he needed ALL of those things for his trysts. These weren’t strong, educated, well-off black men.. these were desperate and vulnerable ones.

    Yeah, the guy needs help. We all see that. But needing help doesn’t excuse evil behavior and taking advantage of others for your own sick pleasure. I’m willing to bet that the two of these guys were doing this drug together and Gemmel overdosed and now Buck is trying to say he played no part in it because “his life would be ruined.”

    Buck is just another case of a disgusting privileged man taking advantage of people. Yeah they maybe would have done those drugs elsewhere but they didn’t… they did it with him. He holds some level of responsibility if he A) gave them the drugs or B) administered the drugs to him in any way. The only people who would take up for Buck are people who are probably a lot like him.

    1. If these allegations are proved to be true, the guy needs more than help. He needs a jail cell where he can cuddle up to Bubba. NOTE: Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. I’m WAITING!!!, Los Angeles Country Sheriff’s Department!

  4. Your personal responsibility meme of “not yielding to ‘temptation'” sounds like self-flagellation, to me.

  5. Buck attorney stated: “Unsubstantiated”. Well, duh!!! That may change after investigation. Typical attorney-speak. As for Anon saying guy needs help, well, has anyone ever heard of personal responsibility…not yielding to “temptation”?

  6. Comparing human beings to “ice cream flavors” is pretty disturbing and the foundation for racism. If you want to do better, then rather than talk about “preference” for skin color or race — don’t and just live your life and stop fetishizing or cataloging people based on that attribute like 99.9% of people don’t for hair color, dominant hand, etc visible traits that are irrelevant in courtship.

    It seems appropriate that the sheriff’s would have classified the death as an accident. It does seem as if this situation was a “slamming sex booty call” gone bad and the victim clearly knew there were risks involved in his continued relationship with Buck.

    However, Buck’s lawyer’s response screams “smoke” as it looks to be a complete and utter lie. Until Buck can answer the victims family with the truth of what went on this controversy will continue to swirl and the “racism” aspect is very important.

    West Hollywood needs to continue to have a dialogue with its City leaders on the dangers of implicit bias such as considering different races “flavors” like some sort of perverse menu of treats, using racial slurs, standing up for ALL human rights, subjugating vulnerable people regardless of race.

    I doubt that friends of Buck were unaware of his fetish and am unsure any of them would feel the need to push back or speak up about it.

  7. I was attacked by Buck in a dog park and that had nothing to do with ice cream flavors. He is naturally hateful and sarcastic. I have the police report plus the TRO court documents. I won a TRO against Buck.

  8. I am white. I have been to Mr. Buck’s home and drugs were involved – not mine. I will stop there as it was a while ago, and I just want to take the racist piece out of the picture. People have preferences as far as sexual partners go, usually based on the fantasies we developed as young men. Mine were for white men. That doesn’t mean I am in any way prejudiced against anyone. It’s like preferring one ice cream flavor over another, it isn’t about what color they are. I don’t scorn others who like other flavors better than my favorite. It just is. Making this about race is such nonsense, it irks me to my core that people have to go there to make their point. It also creates more of a problem than we already have. Now stop it already, okay.
    Let’s get real here, one of the primary features of using meth involves auditory hallucinations, so whether Buck used the N-word or not is not guaranteed. In the heat of whatever scene was going on, which when injecting meth is involved,can be intense and get ‘out of hand’, so I believe that judging anything by one’s behavior during something like that is nonsense. We don’t have ‘the other side of anything here, so stirring up the pot is a bad move on anyone’s part.

    My heart goes out to Mr. Gemmel’s family and friends, as meth taking his life is nothing short of tragic. Loss of one more creative, energetic member of our community is more evidence that we as a city need to do more to combat drug use and support those needing help to stop using this and all drugs.

    Did anyone ever think that Buck needs help? This is not a new issue for him, and like all of us who have our demons, they take time and work to address. I hope that this is the wake up call that he needs to really get the help he needs.

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