If you’ve heard the name Montana Fishburne, it’s likely for all the wrong reasons. Unfortunately, the daughter of Oscar-nominated actor Laurence Fishburne has been making tabloid headlines since starring in a Vivid Entertainment sex tape in 2010. Montana’s life could be considered a cautionary tale in the post-Kim Kardashian era of chasing fame by any means necessary. « Kim Kardashian’s sex tape was released, but she still got past that, » Montana told The Hollywood Reporter. « Even though she got all that negative attention for it, she still has all these other ventures going on now. That is what I want to emulate: having a tape come out and still being seen as a positive person. Not just, ‘She’s a porn star.' »
Years later, Montana has not managed to keep up with Kardashian. In fact, the only things they have in common are those notorious tapes and their famous last names. Montana has achieved internet fame (and/or infamy) but at the cost of so much, including her relationship with her legendary dad. Let’s take a closer look at the tragic life of Montana Fishburne.
Montana Fishburne took a page out of Kim Kardashian’s past
When Montana Fishburne made headlines in 2010 for breaking into the entertainment industry, it probably wasn’t what her Oscar-nominated dad, Laurence Fishburne, had in mind. « After I turned 18, I started to seriously think about the best way for me to enter [the business], » Montana told The Hollywood Reporter. « I was impressed with Kim Kardashian’s success after her tape was released by Vivid and decided to call the company to see if I could arrange a meeting. » The result: Montana Fishburne: An A-List Daughter Makes Her XXX Debut.
While Kardashian has said that she regrets her sex tape, Fishburne is proud of hers. « Being in an adult film is not a big deal to me, » she told People. « It’s something I always wanted to do. I have always been comfortable in my body and with my sexuality. » Montana was comfortable with her choice, but she told The Hollywood Reporter that her parents felt differently. Her father « told me he was embarrassed by me. My mom just says, ‘I love you’ … She wants me to be happy and doesn’t want me to get dragged into the dark side of porn. » Montana hopes her dad’s feelings will change. She told People. « Eventually, I hope he will be proud of me. »
Montana Fishburne was arrested on prostitution charges as a teen
Her adult video debut may not have marked the first time Montana Fishburne got paid to do the dirty. According to E! News, she was arrested in 2009 for « alleged prostitution, » but pleaded no contest to criminal trespass. The then-19-year-old was reportedly « ordered to complete an AIDS-education class » and « sentenced to two years’ probation and 15 days in jail, but was able to do community service instead of jail time. »
In an interview with WJLB’s Coco, Foolish & Mr. Chase in the Morning (via Radar Online), Montana denied her connections to the street. « I [was] never a prostitute, » she told the Detroit radio show. « I’ve been hearing some girl named NeNe talk about me — I don’t even know her. » NeNe was a source the National Enquirer tapped who claimed Montana had been « on the stroll » with her in Los Angeles for more than a year.
Montana Fishburne became a stripper at an infamous club
Self-proclaimed « video vixen » and best-selling author Karrine « Supbreatherhead » Steffans (pictured) apparently tried to be Montana Fishburne’s mentor. According to Madame Noire, Steffans asked Fishburne, who had become a certified personal trainer, to contribute fitness tips to Steffans’ lifestyle blog I Am So F’n Gorgeous in 2014. « When I met her, I instantly wanted to protect her, I wanted to help her claw her way out of the ditch she’d dug for herself, » Steffans said. « I told her it would be a long road back and no one will ever forget, but if she just did the work, she could switch the focus and one day be known for so much more. »
While Montana did make a career change, it probably wasn’t what the writer of Confessions of a Video Vixen had in mind. That same year, HipHollywood reported that Fishburne was working the pole at V Live, a controversial strip club in Texas. According to the Houston Chronicle, the popular joint was « the venue for various shootings and robberies » and was shut down in 2016 because it allegedly owed « nearly $200,000 in taxes to the state of Texas. »
Montana Fishburne faced charges for beating up her boyfriend’s ex
Did Laurence Fishburne teach his daughter the same fighting moves he showed Keanu Reeves as Morpheus in the Matrix? According to TMZ, Montana Fishburne was charged with battery because she allegedly « beat the hell out of her boyfriend’s ex » in 2010. E! News reported that Montana was arrested for « allegedly breaking into the home of the victim … forcing her into the bathroom and beating her repeatedly. » A spokesperson for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office reportedly could not identify the weapon used in the attack, so perhaps Montana was doing some Matrix martial arts. (Okay, enough with the movie jokes.)
According to Today, Fishburne was represented by celebrity attorney Shawn Holley (pictured.) Holley has overseen cases for Lindsay Lohan, Justin Bieber, and Kanye West) and pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon and to trespassing. She was reportedly ordered to pay $9,000 in restitution to the victim, placed on three years probation, and sentenced to 90 days in jail.
Montana Fishburne was a one-time fugitive
According to The Blast, Montana Fishburne became a fugitive in 2018 after a Florida judge issued a warrant for her arrest, accusing the Hollywood bad girl of violating her probation by « blowing off a drug test » and traveling out of state without permission. Radar Online reported that Montana pleaded for the judge not to lock her up, claiming she already told the court she would be leaving town to visit her mother (Laurence’s Fishburne’s ex-wife, Hajna Moss) in New York and had passed all her required drug tests.
According to Radar Online, a Broward County judge took Montana’s side, dismissing the warrant stemming from an infamous DUI arrest (more on that in a minute.) The Blast reported that Montana’s lawyer backed up her sobriety claim, stating that she was « still enrolled in an out-patient addiction recovery treatment program and regularly provides urine samples » since her arrest.
Montana Fishburne did the celebrity rehab thing (twice)
Montana Fishburne may not have achieved mainstream success in Hollywood, but her legal woes did prompt her to follow in the footsteps of countless celebrities by attending a high-end rehabilitation facility. According to the Daily Mail, Fishburne entered the « resort-style » Wavelengths Recovery facility in Huntington Beach, Calif after getting caught with her pants down during a DUI arrest. The luxury detox, residential, and outpatient treatment facility is famous for catering to A-list clientele and reportedly costs about $30,000 per patient.
That wasn’t Montana’s first brush with rehab. E! News reported in 2010 that Laurence Fishburne’s daughter was « inspired » to check into a « 30-day inpatient program specializing in anger management and other behavioral issues » after the aforementioned case involving the alleged beating of her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend. Her attorney, Shawn Holley, told E! News at the time that her client was on the road to recovery: « I couldn’t be happier with her progress. »
Montana Fishburne popped a squat during a DUI arrest
Tragically, Montana Fishburne’s filmography also includes a DUI arrest video. According to the Miami Herald, the self-described « ratchet » was pulled over in March 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. after she allegedly rear-ended a vehicle that had slowed down to avoid a previous crash. Florida Highway Patrol reportedly arrived on the scene with its dash cam rolling as Fishburne stripped down to her « V-string panty » and hopped the interstate’s guardrail to pop a squat as traffic whizzed by. « What are you doing? » Trooper Juan Pinzon reportedly asked her in the grainy video footage. Fishburne responded: « Is that OK, can I pee? » Pinzon’s reply: « Well, you’re already doing it. »
The Miami Herald reported that Fishburne blew more than twice Florida’s legal limit in a Breathalyzer test but declared she wasn’t « that drunk. » She never dropped her famous dad’s name, but she did try to work her charm. « Honestly, I’m more upset about not being able to spend the night in my bed, » she reportedly told the trooper. « Can’t you just escort me home? » she asked, claiming « that’s exactly what [police] do » in Los Angeles. Pinzon, who deserves an Oscar for his patience, replied, « No ma’am, that’s not how we do it. »
Montana Fishburne’s relationship with her dad, Laurence Fishburne is strained to say the least
Laurence Fishburne has a signature cadence that speaks volumes on-screen, but when it comes to Montana Fishburne, he is often at a loss for words. In an interview with HipHollywood, the What’s Love Got to do With It star dodged questions about his daughter’s lifestyle. When asked if he was keeping up with Montana’s controversial headlines, the actor replied, « I don’t know, I haven’t heard. » When his interviewer suggested he must be wearing « blinders, » Laurence politely said that he tries not to talk about his personal life.
Montana told TMZ that her famous father wasn’t interested in talking to her either. She claimed he told her: « I’m not going to speak with you ’till you turn your life around » and alleged that her adult video pursuits had « embarrassed » him. « You used your last name, » she recalled him saying. « No one uses their real name in porn. »
Laurence Fishburne’s peers expressed support for his daughter
Some of Laurence Fishburne’s acting peers have lent their support to his family. « It’s unfortunate because you want your children — you only want the best for them. You don’t want them to identify with just their sexuality, » Cedric the Entertainer told HipHollywood, adding, « You know, somebody gotta be a porn star … It’s a big industry. »
Terry Crews has high hopes for Montana Fishburne’s future, despite her past career choices. « I’m not going to say it’s not a bad thing, because it is, » he said, via Vibe. « And I’m sure it’s breaking Laurence’s heart. But the thing is, Montana’s life is not over and this story is not done. People are pretty much writing the end of it right now. God has a plan. Whatever the devil is trying to destroy her with, I know for a fact that anything can be turned around — anything. » The way Crews sees it: « Stranger things have happened, Montana might end up in a missionary. »
Though Montana’s past is riddled with controversial circumstances that some would consider tragic, we hope Crews is right and that positive developments are in store for Laurence Fishburne’s daughter.