'Adam Carolla Show' Cancels Rebuttal Interview with Vivid's Howard Levine

Howard Levine, national sales manager for Vivid Entertainment Group, told AVN he will not be a guest this week on the "Adam Carolla Show" on 97.1 FM.

Levine had been scheduled to call in for Monday morning's broadcast to specifically address the nature of Carolla and co-host Danny Bonaduce's Feb. 7 interview with Vivid co-chairman Steven Hirsch. The hosts posed questions to Hirsch about Vivid's acquisition of the Kim Kardashian sex tape that ended up placing Hirsch in a defensive posture.

The tone of the interview took a contentious turn when Carolla and Bonaduce began to grill the Vivid leader about the ethics of acquiring such a tape.

Producers at the "Adam Carolla Show" at press time had no comment about the decision to un-invite Levine. But Levine on Monday characterized Carolla and Bonaduce's interview with Hirsch as an "ambush."

"I was calling to tell them that their ambush attack on Steven Hirsch was completely unprofessional," Levine said. "Steven has done hundreds of radio shows, and he could've attacked back, but he wouldn't do that because he doesn't conduct himself like that personally or professionally."

Levine continued, "He called in to talk about the Kim Kardashian tape, not the nuances of the law surrounding it. Had he known that, he would've brought his lawyer on, or he wouldn't have done the interview because he signed a confidentiality agreement."

Levine also wanted to address one of the statements made to Hirsch on Feb. 7 in which the hosts suggested that he was not used to "speaking to intelligent people."

"Steven has had a great relationship with the media, and I wanted to let [the hosts] know that Vivid generates 100 million in revenue yearly, that Vivid has licensed itself into various categories, and that Steven has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Economist. ... He never made the National Enquirer."

Levine noted that Hirsch has also lectured at colleges and universities, including speaking to a graduate-level, film studies class at Cal State - Santa Barbara.

"To say that Steven wasn't used to speaking to intelligent people is ridiculous," Levine remarked. "I think they give themselves way too much credit for their intelligence. Steven Hirsch is credited with almost single-handedly moving the adult business into the mainstream, and Vivid always operates within legal boundaries."

The DVD that prompted the interview, Kim Kardashian Superstar, shows the Hollywood socialite engaged in explicit sex with former boyfriend, Ray J, who is a hip-hop artist. It has a street date of Feb. 28.

Levine reiterated that, "from the beginning, Steven has been open to talking to both Kim and Ray J" about the tape. The Vivid sales manager at first planned to refute parts of Carolla and Bonaduce's comments on Monday morning, and then Levine was informed that his interview would be rescheduled for today. Then Levine said that the show nixed the idea altogether on Monday afternoon. 

For more about Vivid's role in acquiring the sex tape, click here.