Ex-Porn Star Sasha Grey Defends Work With Compton School Children

Photos posted online show actress reading to students at local school

By Olsen Ebright and Beverly White
|  Saturday, Nov 12, 2011  |  Updated 2:19 AM EDT
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Sasha Grey made the trip to Emerson Elementary School as part of the Read Across America program.

Beverly White, David Gregory

Sasha Grey made the trip to Emerson Elementary School as part of the Read Across America program.

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Former porn actress Sasha Grey is refusing to back down from her work with education-focused initiatives after photos showing her reading to Compton school children were posted online.

"I am an actor. I am an artist. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a partner. I have a past that some people may not agree with, but it does not define who I am," Grey wrote in a statement released Friday.

"I believe in the future of our children, and I will remain an active supporter and participant in education-focused initiatives," she wrote.

The full statement is posted on TMZ.com.

The gossip website posted pictures Friday showing Grey at Emerson Elementary School in Compton on Nov. 2, reading children's books. The appearance was reportedly part of Read Across America, according to TMZ.

One mother, who did not want to be identified, said the reading was not a problem.

"It doesn't bother me as long as she wasn't revealing a whole lot of anything. She was properly dressed," said the woman, whose child was in the classroom for the event.

Other parents disagree.

"People like her should not be around children. It's a lack of respect to the children and society," parent Teresa Martinez said.

"It should have been someone making the distinction as to what kind of actress she was before she read to my child," parent Tiana Harris said.

Members of the Compton School Board say they've gotten an earful since the news of Grey's appearance went viral.

"Many parents have contacted me and expressed their anger and their rage. Others have expressed need to give the young lady a second chance," board member Micah Ali said.

Grey, who announced her retirement from pornography earlier this year, has found mainstream success, including acting roles in "Entourage" and Steven Soderbergh's "The Girlfriend Experience." Her book "NEU SEX" was published earlier this year.

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