"50 Shades of Grey" made a splash when British author E.L. James unleashed it on the literary world in 2011. It's been widely reported that "50 Shades of Grey" got its start as Twilight fan fiction under the name "Master of the Universe" and was posted on numerous sites for such a genre. However, the story stirred so much controversy that James removed it and posted it under her own website and renamed the characters.
Her work caught the attention of a small publisher in Australia, and was reworked under the now-famous title. After becoming wildly popular online, Vintage Books took on the series and released it worldwide. The books became dubbed "Mommy P*rn", thanks to their popularity with women over 30.
Just as "Twilight" stirred teenage girls and made them desire their own Edward Cullen, "50 Shades" has seen women over 30 to fantasise about their own Christian Grey; a billionaire who is into BDSM. The "50 Shades" series has garnered controversy and debate from the BDSM community, accusing the series of misrepresenting the culture, and causing dangerous situations with couples trying rough play without knowing exactly what they're doing.
The books have caused many to question whether the BDSM lifestyle is actually safe, while many critics accuse the plot of the book of being unrealistic. In fact, there have been worrying reports of women who've gotten hurt in search of their own erotic fairy tale romance with a Christian Grey-type figure.
Here are some real life Mr. Grey's who either live a similar lifestyle to him, both professionally and in the bedroom. Some people on this list have styled themselves after the Grey fashion in search of BDSM partners, spawning frightening crimes. And guess where the blame falls? On some books and a brand new movie.
7 Brayden Olson
Brayden Olson is a 27 year old Seattle-based entrepreneur, who has been discovered to be so similar to Christian Grey in style, car, and more that thousands of women want to fly to Seattle to meet him. Yes, he has actually gone on a few dates with some of these women.
Olson told Business Insider that the similarities between himself and Mr. Grey have been shocking (even down to one of the cars Grey drives in the book and movie), but he won't reveal whether he's into the same bedroom activities as Mr. Grey.
Olson stated that he does donate to domestic violence charities. Olson has seemed to have grown tired of the constant similarities, and has even changed aspects of his personal life. For example, instead of pursuing his flying hobby, he has moved on to scuba diving. And ladies, Olson hasn't found his Anastasia Steele yet.
6 Alessandro Proto
Alessandro Proto is an Italian real estate agent, and he is the actual real-life inspiration for Christian Grey. Proto met E.L. James in 2010 when she was taking a tour around Italy and working on a piece on international celebrities. Proto even showed James his car, which was an Audi - the same sort as in the famous books and movie. From naming his business after himself to staying away from the press and creating a mystery around his identity, Proto has the Christian Grey thing down pat.
Proto claims that he does not engage in BDSM and considers himself to be old-fashioned in the bedroom. But that hasn't stopped thousands of women making indecent proposals to him on a weekly basis. He also admits that he couldn't get through the first few pages of the book.
5 Edward Bagley
Here is where the world of Christian Grey has the potential to go a darker path. Edward Bagley and his wife made headlines in 2012 when they were accused of participating in acquiring sex slaves and human trafficking after one of his female victims came forward and pressed charges. After investigating the Bagleys' home, police discovered chains, ropes, and various forms of leather from whips to belts. Edward insisted that they were used for sexual practices and admitted that he was a part of the BDSM lifestyle.
Since this case came up a year after "50 Shades of Grey" was released into mainstream publication, people thought that Edward was simply being persecuted for his lifestyle because he and his wife lived in the Bible Belt. However, once the case made it to court, Bagley pleaded guilty to training sex slaves and kidnapping women, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
4 John Hopkins
45 year old John Hopkins held a 27 year old Wisconsin woman captive for eight days after he told her she could live with him for free if she cooked and cleaned for him. He first met the victim on Craigslist and even paid for her plane ticket along with picking her up from the airport.
However, once the woman arrived, Hopkins told her that she had to call him "master" and that she was now his slave. He tied her to the radiator, bound, and gagged her while repeatedly sexually assaulting her.
The victim was allowed to go out once a day, but then would be handcuffed immediately upon returning home. On one of these outings, the victim was able to call her mother, who then called 911.
3 Mohammad Hossain
In February 2015, Mohammad Hossain was arrested for bringing a 19-year old woman to his dorm room, where he proceeded to tie her up, stuff a necktie in her mouth, beat her with a belt, and had sexual intercourse with her. As soon as she was able to leave, the victim called police and they arrested Hossain in his dorm room.
His defense stated that the sex was consensual and the couple were simply acting out scenes that they had seen in the film version of, "50 Shades of Grey".
The charges against Hossain were dropped on March 19, 2015 due to "lack of evidence." But this case is causing everyone to question what exactly that fine line is between abuse and consensual rough sex. And how often will the accused start using "50 Shades" as a defense tactic?
2 David Rodriguez, Jr.
David Rodriguez, Jr., his wife Christine Harper, and friend Amber Lomas, met a transgender woman on a BDSM website and lured her into their home. After she arrived, David and Christine convinced her to move in with them.
Then, they proceeded to hold her prisoner, while tattooing her and listing her as a sex slave. They forced the victim to sleep in a wooden box barely large enough to fit her body. The victim was chained outside because she wanted to leave, and then kept in chains indoors while going through various forms of torture and BDSM acts without consent.
It wasn't until two years later when the victim managed to escape in one of Rodriguez's cars and was able to go to the police. The three BDSM slave masters then turned themselves in and were charged with kidnapping/false imprisonment, battery, and human trafficking.
1 Seth Mazzaglia
Seth Mazzaglia is currently serving a life sentence for sexually assaulting and murdering a young woman by the name of Elizabeth "Lizzie" Marriott in 2012 after she rebuffed his sexual advances. Seth's girlfriend, Kat McDonough, was a co worker of Lizzie, and invited her over to their place to watch a movie.
But Kat admitted it was a ploy to get Lizzie to the apartment because Seth wanted her to bring another girl over for sex. When Lizzie continuously refused Seth's advances, he took the BDSM rope that he used with Kat and strangled her until she stopped breathing. He then proceeded to assault her lifeless body while shouting out expletives. The couple then dumped Lizzie's body into the river and it has never been found.