A California university professor died during a bondage session at the home of a Hollywood executive that went horribly wrong.
Doran George, 48, was found dead inside the home of Skip Chasey, an executive for Hollywood’s William Morris Endeavor agency and known in the BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Dominance and Submission) community as “Master Skip,” on Nov. 19, 2017.
George, who was born Duncan Gilbert and did not use gendered pronouns, had been wrapped “head to toe in plastic wrap and gaffer’s tape, with small breathing holes at the nose and mouth,” according to an autopsy report obtained late last week by Variety.
“The decedent’s partner observed that the decedent was not reacting properly,” the report states. “The partner checked the decedent closer and realized that the decedent was not breathing. The partner called 911 and began cutting off the plastic and tape.”
George, who had a 16-year relationship with a man named Barry Shils that allowed for sexual activity outside their partnership, had become a regular playmate of Chasey's over the course of seven months preceeding his death.
When parademics arrived, they were unable to revive George.
The coroner’s office was unable to determine the cause of death and Chasey has not been charged with any wrongdoing, reports Variety.
Chasey’s lawyer, John Duran, told Variety that the two were participating in consensual activity and noted that the coroner did not conclude that the wrapping was the cause of George’s death.
“It’s been very sad and traumatic for Skip,” Duran said. “It’s someone he had an ongoing relationship with. Nobody expected it to end this way.”
According to a remembrance note published by UCLA, George had a successful career as a child in musical comedy in the United Kingdom before joining the Culture and Performance Ph.D. program at the university’s Department of World Arts and Cultures in 2008. They developed expertise in areas of LGBTQ and Disability Studies, earned their doctorate in 2014, taught several classes and were “highly respected, revered and adored" by peers and students alike.
"Those of you who had the honor of taking this course or being in one of Doran’s discussion sections know that their heart was as big as their laugh, and that their dedication to social justice was informed by their own queer immigrant experience," said Alicia Gaspar de Alba, a UCLA professor, in a separate note to colleagues.
The room in which George was found — replete with padded floor tiles, a metal cage and a padded examination table — was described as being “outfitted as a BDSM style dungeon” in the autopsy report.
The incident received renewed attention when it was discussed on a podcast called The Grey Zone.
For its part, the William Morris Endeavor agency has no plans to take action against Chasey.
“While we were unaware of the circumstances surrounding this personal matter until now, we understand that the police file is closed and no charges were brought. If other facts develop, we will re-evaluate the situation and determine any appropriate action to take,” the agency said in a statement to Variety.
Their partner has been left with a sense of guilt over what took place.
"In my grief, I’m hitting myself — like it was like watching my lover shoot heroin and not saying anything," Shils told The Hollywood Reporter. "Never in my wildest dreams did I think he was going to end up dead."