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Wisconsin university chancellor fired over ongoing porn career with wife as ‘Sexy Happy Couple’


The longtime chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has been fired from his position after his porn career with his wife came to light.

Dr. Joe Gow, who had served as chancellor since 2007, was terminated from the role on Wednesday by the Universities of Wisconsin System Board of Regents and placed on paid administrative leave “effective immediately,” the school system said in a news release.

However, as a tenured faculty member, Gow will eventually return to work in a faculty role. Earlier this year, he had announced that he wanted to transition back into teaching as a communications professor. 

The termination comes after university officials learned that Gow and his wife, former UW-La Crosse professor Carmen Wilson, had been making pornographic videos together and published two books together about making adult films.

While the couple used a pen name (Geri and Jay Hart) for their two published books on Amazon — “Married with Benefits: Our Real-Life Adult Industry Adventures” and “Monogamy with Benefits: How Porn Enriches Our Relationship” — they weren’t very secretive about their adult entertainment endeavors.

They used their real photos on social media profiles where they went by the moniker “Sexy Happy Couple.” Their social media pages also advertised their videos as available on PornHub and OnlyFans.

On their Amazon profile, they described themselves as a married couple “who serve in executive positions at two well-known organizations in the U.S.” On Twitter, their bio read: “Passionate plant-powered couple cooking, conversing, and shooting with top adult video stars. Visit our LoyalFans and OnlyFans sites for fully explicit scenes!”

They also have a YouTube page under the same name that appears to show cooking videos with adult film stars. Their books were published in 2016 and 2018 and the videos on their YouTube page date back to two weeks ago.

Gow told NBC News on Thursday that the books and adult films were done as private citizens — and none of their public works mentioned the university or Gow’s professional career.

Gow said his termination is a violation of his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and expression.

“I think it’s very shocking that the Board of Regents would completely disregard my First Amendment rights and my wife’s First Amendment rights, and also their own policy on freedom of expression and freedom of speech,” he said. “This is very unexpected.”

The discovery of their X-rated online career was met with fury by some in the university.

Universities of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman condemned Gow’s behavior. “In recent days, we learned of specific conduct by Dr. Gow that has subjected the university to significant reputational harm,” Rohtman said. “His actions were abhorrent.”

UW System Regent President Karen Walsh said Gow showed a “reckless disregard” for his role.

“The outrage over his behavior is evidenced by the unanimous vote by the UW Board of Regents to terminate him as chancellor. We are alarmed, and disgusted, by his actions, which were wholly and undeniably inconsistent with his role as chancellor,” she said.

Gow said he was not given due process and learned of his termination in a letter that made reference to “behavioral expectations” for chancellor.

“They did not indicate what policy I had violated, they did not give me a hearing, an opportunity to explain things. I just received a letter that said, ‘This is the way this is gonna go, and you’re no longer chancellor,’” he said. 

“We’re just kind of making sense of all this. I’ve had some outreach from people that specialize in free speech issues and they said they can help if we want to go that route, so we’ll see where we go from here,” Gow said. “Clearly anyone that cares about free speech in society on the university campus should be quite troubled by this.” 

Rothman said he filed a complaint with interim Chancellor Betsy Morgan asking for a review of Gow’s tenure status, and said an outside law firm has been “engaged” to investigate the matter. Gow called the request for the review “very, very troubling”, saying his actions are protected by tenure.

This isn’t the first time Gow’s got into trouble for an interest in X-rated film.

He landed in hot water in 2018 after he invited porn actor Nina Hartley to speak on campus as part of a free speech week event. He was reprimanded and denied a raise that year, but he maintained he was embracing free speech by inviting her, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.


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