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Mother of WeHo overdose victim amends lawsuit

LOS ANGELES — Attorneys for the mother of a man who died at the West Hollywood home of prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck in 2017 filed an amendment to her wrongful death lawsuit, alleging the political fundraiser lured her son from Houston to Los Angeles for the purpose of engaging in “commercial” sex acts, court papers obtained July 8 show.

The amended civil lawsuit accuses Ed Buck of human trafficking and engaging in “revenge porn” by making and sharing a video of his alleged “meth-fueled sexual encounters” with Gemmel Moore.

The civil case was initially filed in Superior Court but moved to federal court in May. Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Assistant Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum are named as co-defendants for allegedly violating Moore’s civil rights in their refusal to prosecute Buck.

Moore, 26, was the first of two men to die at Buck’s West Hollywood apartment in less than 18 months. He was found dead of a crystal meth overdose in Buck’s home on July 27, 2017. The coroner ruled the death accidental.

On Jan. 7 of this year, a second man died of methamphetamine toxicity at Buck’s home in the 1200 block of Laurel Avenue. The death of Timothy Dean, 55, of West Hollywood was also ruled accidental.

Defense attorney Seymour Amster has denied that his client — who allegedly was present at the location when both men died — had any involvement in either death.

Prosecutors last summer declined to file charges against Buck regarding Moore’s death, citing insufficient evidence. As for Dean’s death, the District Attorney’s Office has said that the death remains under investigation.

The July 3 amended complaint alleges that Buck “regularly solicits sex from black men in exchange for temporary housing and/or monetary compensation.”

Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, said she and her son had been living with her in Texas, but Buck bought him a plane ticket to return to Los Angeles, which he did the day he died.

Buck has been a prominent donor to Democratic candidates and office holders. He has also been active in LGBTQ political circles and once ran for the West Hollywood City Council.

The lawsuit seeks damages against Buck on allegations of wrongful death, human trafficking, sexual battery, drug dealer liability, premises liability, negligence per se, intentional infliction of emotional distress and hate violence.

In addition to seeking general damages, the lawsuit also seeks an undetermined amount of punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.