Hyapatia Lee: Secrets and Lives – Podcast 44

Hyapatia Lee: Secrets and Lives – Podcast 44

Hyapatia Lee was always an instantly recognizable figure in the adult films and magazines of the 1980s; she was a strong and striking presence with an unusual Native American persona, which it turned out was more than just a character – Hyapatia is one-quarter Cherokee which was and is a proud part of her heritage.

Hyapatia LeeBut her wholesome image masked a troubled life; she grew up raised by her grandmother and thinking that her mother was actually her sister. She suffered abuse and rape, and, in part as a response to these terrible events, developed dissociative identity disorder – commonly referred to as having multiple personalities.

She dreamt of singing and dancing on Broadway – but instead became a stripper and then an actress in adult movies. She was one of the first genuine stars and contract girls – first with Harry Mohney’s Caribbean Films and then with Vivid.

She starred in a string of hugely successful films, including ‘The Ribald Tales of Canterbury’ which she also wrote and was one of the most expensive pornographic movies of the era.

At the same time she had a parallel career as a singer with her own band – and recorded a couple of CDs.

But controversy was never far away, whether it was her continuing mental illness, her marriage to her manager and frequent co-star Bud Lee, or the rumors that she faked her death to leave the industry or to increase merchandise sales.

To set the record straight, she published an autobiography in 2000 – but the Hyapatia Lee story didn’t stop there. In 2013 she appeared under her real name on the reality TV show ‘Gigolos’ as a client for one of the male leads and at the age of 53 engages in an unsimulated sex scene. Today she lives in Colorado growing marijuana and writing for the pro-cannabis magazine ‘High Times’.

On this episode, Hyapatia Lee joins April Hall to look back at her eventful life.

This episode running time is 114 minutes.


Buy Hyapatia Lee’s autobiography here.

Visit Hyapatia’s website here.

Hyapatia Lee photos:

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  • Posted On: 23rd November 2014
  • By: The Rialto Report
  • Under: Podcasts


  1. Howie Gordon (Richard Pacheco) · November 23, 2014 Reply

    A beauty of body and spirit that would make your heart pump a little faster. The adult industry was graced to have her.

  2. Why · November 23, 2014 Reply

    Why did she act like she was going to die on her website?

  3. Cathy Gigante-Brown · November 23, 2014 Reply

    A bit speechless after this one. I had no idea what had been going on in Hyapatia’s life during the time I’d been writing Vivid scripts for her. I’m so glad she’s in a good place now, working with wonderful people and doing something she likes. That she made it through that dark tunnel and through some pretty horrific experiences, the least of which had to do with the adult film industry. As usual, beautiful choices of music, especially the closing piece.

  4. Glen K · November 23, 2014 Reply

    Blown away as usual by both the thoroughness and sensitivity of the interview… not easy when you’re dealing with subjects like suicide attempts, child abuse, and rape. Fortunately Hyapatia’s survival instincts and humanity shine through, and this is a moving and ultimately uplifting story.

  5. Chris Clarke · November 23, 2014 Reply

    Phew – what a listen, And the irony is that adult films were probably the most stabilizing force in Hyapatia’s life – when all else was difficult. Just the kind of surprising and incredible stories that we’ve come to expect from this wonderful, human, startling Rialto Report.

    History is finally being written (or spoken) by those who have had no voice for too long – and its worth the wait.

    • April Hall · November 24, 2014 Reply

      Thanks Chris for the feedback. It flies in the face of convention that Hyapatia came to terms with her sexuality through porn. That’s why it’s always great to get to the sources and let them speak for themselves!

  6. Ron S · November 24, 2014 Reply

    Another warm and genuine interview. Thank you Hyapatia and good job April.
    Would be interested to hear more about the Harry Mohny/Gail Palmer/Caribbean Films side of the industry. Maybe as Rialto interviews more people from the West Coast?
    Oh, and Hyapatia’s music choices were like I was listening to my own iPod. Suzi Quatro? Excellent!

    • April Hall · November 24, 2014 Reply

      Such a great idea – we’d love to tell the Caribbean story! And so pleased you liked the music!

  7. Henry Manning · November 24, 2014 Reply

    A beautiful amount of clarity and humanizing an iconic figure

    • April Hall · November 24, 2014 Reply

      You’re so right Henry – Hyapatia continues to tell her story in ways that make her humanity shine.

  8. K marshall · November 25, 2014 Reply

    Haysuess Christay! Deeper into dark-
    ness. The other side of the Moon.
    Damage control a constant. Thank
    you April, for this Joseph Conrad of
    Porn journey. Feel as though the last
    chapter is on hold….we may never
    hear all of the Rashomon- like tale.
    Our own instincts must come to
    bear here. RR provides us with the
    tools to make up our minds with quite
    a provoking interview. I imagine that
    there are those, like myself, who will
    be left…wondering.

  9. Mark · November 27, 2014 Reply

    hypatatia was in 2 really classic adult films that are big favorites of mine. the first is ‘the young like it hot’ and the second is ‘the masseuse’. i found her very enchanting in both films- both strong, extremely feminine, elegant and exotic. thanks for this podcast and congratulations again to this impressive and always very entertaining podcast series and website.

  10. S. · November 28, 2014 Reply

    What an incredible and incredibly strong woman, and such an excellent podcast this one.

    So thoroughly compelling, moving and inspiring. I wish Hypatia all the best, for many, many years to come.

    I am happy she sounds so together… she conjures up earth, fire and iron, strength, resilience, and sheer brilliance and perseverance… through it all.

    And April, I ‘m sending you a cyber kiss, on the chick, you excelled in this interview. Less Chandler, more cotton ball vocally, your two lovely facets. <3

  11. S. · November 28, 2014 Reply

    Also, if anyone from NASA (with or without the “a” after the “n”) is listening: put podcast on the trailing robot that you sent to Mars, and stick big fucking emitting antennas on it. Aliens might somehow get Kardashian signals instead and destroy us for no reason. Seriously, do it.

  12. rod · November 29, 2014 Reply

    Best natural breasts ever to grace the big porn screen. Beautiful, sexy woman- unlike most of the stars in retro photos you post her old photos are as fresh looking and erotically hot in 2014 as they were way back when. Interesting and somewhat depressing back story but she seems to be a survivor and someone who has found some peace after all the pain.

  13. Peter · November 30, 2014 Reply

    This was a tough listen, but a very important story because sadly, hers isn’t unique. April handled it with exactly the right amount of respect, maturity and insight, she needs to be commended as well.

    • April Hall · November 30, 2014 Reply

      Thank you for your comments and for listening Peter. Hyapatia is incredibly brave and the good news is she seems to be in a great place right now. That is one hell of a woman!

  14. PistolPete92 · December 5, 2014 Reply

    Lately, SERIAL is all the rage in the podcast community.
    But in comparison, this episode (among others of TRR) deserves an award for journalism.
    Great interviewee/interviewer dynamic!
    Very illuminating. And profoundly moving. TRR needs a larger audience, damnit!

    • April Hall · December 6, 2014 Reply

      Thank you so much Pete! We find good ratings on iTunes help so if you haven’t gone there and left a star rating, we’d appreciate it if you would.

  15. Rob · May 4, 2015 Reply

    What an enthralling interview with such a courageous, intelligent and resilient woman. I loved the way she cared about her fans.

    I wish her all the best for the future.

  16. Hyapatia Lee · July 19, 2015 Reply

    To say “thank you” wouldn’t come close to the appreciation I have for all the wonderful comments left by so many people. All my love, Hyapatia

  17. Flyover · May 3, 2016 Reply

    She actually did a tremendous amount of acting in and after college. There are lots of great cast photos on-line and she looks beautiful and happy and surrounded with people who looked like they too were having the time of their lives.

  18. jimjptt · February 26, 2017 Reply

    Hyapatia Lee is damn beautiful!

  19. Punchy the Clown · September 21, 2017 Reply

    She does an outdoor scene with Megan Leigh that is just on fire. One of the best girl/girl scenes ever.
    Long live 1980s porn superstars and starlets!

  20. Jane · November 14, 2017 Reply

    What a moving interview with a special woman. As one who has battled mental illness, she is an inspiration. I remember watching her films back in the day, but she is even more beautiful today. What a great spirit.

  21. Thomas Walsh · July 19, 2020 Reply

    Follow her on Twitter converse with her she is so amazing, the books she has written and the tv shows she writes and produces are quality work.

  22. don · August 31, 2021 Reply

    Hyapatia Lee reminds me of Annette Haven in terms of her beauty, presence, confidence as well as being absolutely stunningly beautiful. Really happy to find out that she is going really well and I also follow her on youtube which she updates regularly. Awesome job as always guys!!!

  23. Bill Bevilee · July 1, 2022 Reply

    I just wanted to thank Hyapatia for her kindness to my wife. It was years ago, she was on tour dancing at various clubs and afterwards conducted Question and Answer sessions with the audience. My wife and l were huge fans of hers for years, so we went to The Red Garter Lounge on the night her tour was there. I rememberr purchasing the vcr copy of ” One Wife to Give ” and her autographing it for us. My wife asked a lot of questions and Ms Lee was very engaged with her answers. It made my wife feel better about herself, and l can attest to that conversation helping our marriage and private life. Just speaking candidly with her demeanor was so uplifting to my wife and I.
    My wife and I dated 4 years, saw Hyapatia twice emceeing At the Nudes a Poppin festival in Roselawn, In. We were married 27 years at my wife’s passing. (now 6 years ago). She was only 59. I cherish every moment and memory with her, and again wish to thank Ms Lee for being the wonderful person she naturally is. God Bless You !

  24. Leej · October 21, 2023 Reply

    Is Hyapatia of legal age in the Miss Nude America photo…lol
    Juxtaposing Lynn LeMays script interview and Lees oral interview there is quite a dynamic difference.
    Another great story and interview.
    Thanks for sharing Hyapatia Lee.10/21/23

  25. Blade Spade · November 7, 2023 Reply

    H/L was very erotically stimulating to me as a teen and she still is now if I see an old vid of hers. Guaranteed boner, and filled with lust that must be discharged. Modern porn lacks eroticism completely. Nothing but blaring ads and millions upon millions of disgusting, horrifying videos along with malicious bugs and viruses. I agree with the above comparison to Annette Haven. HL was so sensual, so powerfully sexual and totally present. I discovered H.L.’s Youtube channel. Good for her and all. She is a Scorpio born on 11 / 11. (Scorpio is very much attached to sex / pluto). As I close in on 50 now, I am shocked and saddened by the cycle of nature that very rarely gets discussed bc it is taboo. And that is the crone phase of femininity. Attractive Women yield so much power over men, who knows how much if ever they fully realize it while they can. But then around 50 this sexual power is completely gone and fades away, (not their fault btw) and the spell is broken, time to move on to another phase of life. (Pass the bon-bons and the romance novels). I could name many women, there really is not a single exception that I can think of. Too bad bc they are widely available in great numbers in the 50+ category. But my still amorous male nature would rather watch vintage porn than go to the grey down under. Anyway praise be to Hyapatia Lee …

  26. David · November 19, 2023 Reply

    I discovered this podcast about 6 months ago and have been working my way through the series.

    After listening to about 30 episodes, I’ve decided to buy a bottle of good bourbon & pour myself a shot every time the person being interviewed mentions a book they have written, are in the process of writing, or plan to write. 🤣

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