Why Holly Halston became an adult entertainer: “Everything I did was to support my family”

When a fire took away all of Jasmine Nadine Carte’s family’s possessions, she pursued a path to support her family in the aftermath.

Ink tattoo above her left elbow tells it all: Two dolphins banned together.

“Dolphins are mammals in our world that fornicate when not in heat, so they have sex with their partner for life. Not just to procreate, but for fun,” Holly Halston said. “I still believe in soulmates, and I still believe in good sex.”

Jasmine Nadine Carte, 44, officially retired from the adult entertainment industry under the name Holly Halston January 30th of 2017. In the past, she’s retired and made a comeback, but in 2017, it was for good. Her youngest of three daughters turned 18 February 13th that year. Two weeks before the date approached, Holly knew it was time to retire because the only reason she became a porn star was to support her daughters.

Hailing from North Hollywood, California, her first career was working with children in a daycare center with a degree in child development. Two weeks into her relationship with gay porn actor Troy Halston, the two got engaged and six months later, married with a baby on the way. Both had daughters going into the relationship and later added two daughters together. Shortly after the turn of the Millennium, they moved to Florida, but something catastrophic occurred. While moving, their U-Haul truck loaded with all their possession caught on fire.

“We lost everything,” she said. “We had three kids that needed clothes…we had to do something.”

That something was joining the adult entertainment industry and becoming an exotic dancer in 2001. The then 27-year-old began making a name for herself as Holly Halston. For a woman who never watched porn prior to entering the adult entertainment industry, the career transition wasn’t unusual because her projects came with a specific requirement. She’d only perform scenes with her husband Troy.

“Initially, I was working with my husband so it was amazing,” Holly said. “We were getting a chance to work together to do something that we do together…we got to be experimental with each other. I thought it was a good example for people.”

With a decision that was unheard of, she received flak from others inside the industry that suggested the two only pairing with each other would last no more than five films.

“Well 600 movies later, I think they were wrong,” Holly said.

Ahead of her times, Holly was a trendsetter for two things. Prior to joining the industry, she had the dolphin tattoo on her arm and in 2001 performers weren’t allowed to have tattoos; but she was given a pass, Holly says. With no restrictions on body ink, porn stars today are getting tattoos as signatures, says Holly. The second trend she set was being a MILF having gave birth to three children before entering the industry.

“I was actually the first real MILF in the adult industry before there was a label for MILF,” Holly said.

While Holly was a star in the industry, off the camera and away from set she was a normal mom, Holly says. After clocking out at work she was busy doing laundry and the dishes. Being such a typical mother, her neighbors were shocked when they found out she was a porn star.

“Because there’s a stereotypical thought, fantasy, that people make up in their head that individuals in the (porn) industry have orgy parties and they’re using drugs and getting drunk all the time. You know what, at times I wish my life could be a party like that, instead of cleaning toilets and staying up with children when you’ve had the flu after working shifts all night at clubs. I didn’t get that luxury,” Holly laughed.

The only part of that stereotype that was true in Holly’s life was her husband’s drug addiction; an addiction that caused a split in the couple’s marriage. Separated in 2006, Holly began working with other male counterparts, a transition that was unusual for her as she only had sexual intercourse with two people prior; Troy and the father of her first child. As a single mom, she continued to work in the industry becoming a household name on screen and an international feature dancer on stage. Holly used her career as an example to teach her daughters a lesson.

“It’s not what you do in life, it’s who you are in life,” Holly said. “I never did porn for myself. I always did it for my children.”

But did mother being a porn star bother her daughters?

“Are they okay with what I do? They’re okay as long as I’m happy and healthy, and I still cook,” Holly laughed. “They’re very appreciative of where they came from and what I did for them.”

In 2016, Holly returned to the industry after a three and-a-half year hiatus. The five-foot actress dyed her iconic blonde hair black. A year after her resurgence, she decided to retire for good.

“I loved meeting all the fans, performing on stages. I’ve enjoyed every single minute…but it wasn’t for fame, it wasn’t for fortune either, it was just to support my family,” Holly said.

Even after a career spanning 16 years, Holly has never watched herself on film nor tried to mimic any other actresses as a performer.

“I am such a perfectionist in life that if I were to watch any of my scenes, ever, I would have tried to perfect my performance,” she said. “Every single scene that I did was spontaneous and in the moment. A part from the cheesy, porn dialogue…it was all very natural.”

Holly approached each scene the same way, thinking if she was watching the film herself, “what would turn me on?” A decade later, after her separation with Troy, she hears from Troy that he’s recovered as he’s now remarried.

“We needed that 10 years,” Holly laughed. “I wish him the best, the girls and I have no anger toward him.”

Now that Holly is done with porn, she’s working on a book about her experiences in the adult industry. Rather than write an autobiography, which she finds “cliché” for retired porn stars, she’s looking to write fun stories about her journey. With her daughters all grown, Holly now has an empty nest.

“I’m…actually going to be in the moment in my own life rather than having to be in the moment in my children’s life,” she said.

Exiting the porn industry, she left a message to her fans. “To all the fans that watch porn, that see us performing, and it is a performance, it’s not real, without condoms. It’s a performance and we are tested and even then we really shouldn’t be doing that,” Holly said. “You really should wear a condom because there is nothing more important than protecting your body and your life. And not five minutes, an orgasm is ever going to be worth the rest of your life being ruined.

“Safe sex everyone and have fun. You only get one life so live it.”

Although Holly has set trends in the industry and was a household name she has never won the most iconic award in the adult industry, an AVN Award, which she’s only been nominated for. In her final interview she had one final thought on that.

“Fuck you to AVN,” Holly said. “For the awards they didn’t give me. I will leave this industry without the award at the end…we all knew who took it in the ass better than anyone.”

About the author

Freelance Journalist // Website

Gino Terrell is a 39-time journalism award recipient. In 2018, Terrell was nominated for two professional National Arts & Entertainment Awards via LA Press Club. In 2017, Terrell was notably named the National Association of Black Journalists Student Journalist of the Year. Terrell covered Minnesota’s arts scene under Twin Cities Daily Planet (2014-15). He also freelanced for MinnPost and interned at Pioneer Press, KSTP TV (the Minneapolis ABC News Affiliate), Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal and American Public Media Group. He once founded a national award winning student-magazine called Pipers In-Depth at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. You can find him on Twitter @Gin026 or Instagram @26_gino and by the hashtag #GTthatsDangerous

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