In times past, an extract of Belladonna (the plant) was used by Belladonnas (the human variety) in times past as eyedrops.

This was done as part of their makeup preparations. The atropine content of the fluid had the effect of dilating the pupil, thus making their eyes supposedly more attractive. It had the side effect of making their vision a little blurry and make their heart rates go up ever so slightly but that was little price to pay for big dilated pupils or so it seemed.

Dilated pupils are considered more attractive because pupils normally dilate when a person is aroused ...

I have heard (but do not know for sure) that the etymology of bella donna as coming from the Italian "beautiful lady" is not true, much like Marijuana doesn't really come from the Spanish Mary Jane.

One of the other possible explanations for the term belladonna is that it is a corrupted form of the Roman goddess of war, Bellona. The worship of Bellona was a rather secretive thing in ancient Rome, not officialy recognized. It involved people dancing around frenetically, while beating themselves with the flats of their swords, or possibly with the blades themselves. Such activity very well could have been fueled by taking the plant, which was after words called Bellona after the goddess. Belladonna could merely be a corruption of that.

Belladonna was the breakout album for Stevie Nicks' solo career.
Original Release Date: 1981
Wea/Atlantic; ASIN: B000002IB9

Songs on the album:
1. Belladonna
2. Kind of Woman
3. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around*
4. Think About It
5. After the Glitter Fades
6. Edge of Seventeen**
7. How Still My Love
8. Leather and Lace***
9. Outside the Rain
10. Highwayman

* Hit single, duet with Tom Petty
** First hit single from the album
*** Sit single, duet with Don Henley (of The Eagles)

At the moment, Belladonna is one of the most popular stars in porn. She's black-haired in most of her films, with thick, puffy lips, and a distinctive gap between her front teeth. Her body is covered with tattoos and piercings, the most notable of which is an enormous Sacred Heart tattoo that covers most of her left breast. To date, she's appeared in over 200 films and countless pictorials.

She's racked up award after award: at the 2003 AVN convention, she won Best Supporting Actress, Best Tease Performance, and Best Sex Scene. Elegant Angel has given her the prestigious title of Buttwoman. Her reviews consistently rate her as the best star in the business: She's "one dirty girl," one fan said, who "rocks with an intensity and personality that no one else can match." At adult-video conferences, her fans surround her, begging for an autograph, a feel, or a quickie in the closet--whatever she's willing to give. She's an incredible success, a woman at the very top of her field.

Her real name is Michelle. Ethnically, she's German, Scottish, and Cherokee Indian. She's the daughter of a man who's a Mormon bishop and Air Force captain. When she was 18, she left her home in Utah and went to Los Angeles to look for work as a nude model. The hard truth, though, is that Michelle isn't beautiful, and, like so many LA girls with dashed hopes and empty wallets, she descended into the world of smut. She chose the name "Belladonna" because someone told her it meant "beautiful woman"; she didn't know that it was also a poison. "I always hated porn," Michelle reflected in an interview with ABC News's Primetime. "I thought it was the most disgusting thing in the world."

"I have always been really sexual and an exhibitionist," Belladona says. "I was literally humping my girlfriends at five years old."

Michelle's first sex scene was supposed to be a straight boy-girl shoot with Chris Cannon, but when she showed up on the set, the director asked her to do an anal scene. The request shocked her, because Michelle had never really thought about anal sex before. But she gave in, worrying that if she refused, no one in the business would hire her again. She did it, and after it was over, she felt devastated. "I wasn't ready for anal sex," she remembers. "It was painful. But I can hide it really well."

"I hadn't had sex for a couple of months so I was really horny," Belladonna says, grinning widely. "I wasn't nervous at all." As for the anal, she says "it was really nice. I loved it."

Michelle's career started off fairly slowly. In fact, she briefly quit the business after she was cast in a brutal 12-person gangbang scene in which she was penetrated in every imaginable way. She took the $4000 she made and fled to her home in Utah. Nine months later, though, she returned to the business, tempted by signs that her career had begun to take off. A successful porn star, you see, can choose her partners, insist on condoms, and design her own scenes. (They can also make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.) She won a small part in a movie produced by one of the major studios, and began to feel at home. "The first second I walk in," Michelle says, "this girl grabs my breast, and I'm like, 'Wow,' that's like the best welcome...someone likes me, you know?" Porn veterans, however, had their doubts; Ona Zee, the owner of one video company, told Michelle that "there's a part of me that wants to say to you, 'Run for the hills, girl, do something else, because you can be something better.'"

Michelle didn't get a big role, but she also didn't run. Instead, she fell in love with Nacho Vidal, a porn star she met on set of a film shot in Prague. "The day we met, he said, 'You're going to be the mother of my children. I love you,'" Michelle remembers. "You know what I mean? I never had that before. I never had a guy be so in love with me."

Belladonna and Vidal set out to shoot a sex scene for Buttwoman iz Bella. In the midst of the scene, Vidal begins slapping her in the face, cursing at her, and choking her. She makes it through, wipes her eyes, and sits down. "I took a beating today, and it was great," she says, trying to smile.

With the success of the Buttwoman films, Michelle's standing in the business skyrocketed. She ditched Vidal ("there is no Nacho...ever, EVER again!" she said). But it's still tough: "I've had to have sex with guys who just stink like mother-fuckers," she says. "I never want to say anything....I figure that next time they'd shower before their scene, but that never happens."

Belladonna's now known best for her enthusiasm for anal sex. She says that she always enjoys her scenes. "I have two different ways of getting off," she says with a lecherous smirk. One involves knowing that people are watching her. The other involves challenging herself. "I like to try everything I can in this business," she says. That's how she ended up doing the double-anal scenes that are now her trademark.

"Someone asked me to do it one day in a scene," Michelle says, "and I had never done it before so I couldn't say no, you know?" Though she pretends to enjoy the sex, she says in the Primetime interview that "my whole entire body feels it when I'm doing it and ... I feel so gross." She tries to compensate by imagining herself outside her body, dissociating herself from what's happening to her. In her mind, she recites the same mantra over and over again: "Hey, I only have this much time left. Don't worry about it. Get the check. Gonna go deposit it in your bank." Why does she put up with it? "You get addicted to the money," she says.

One interviewer asked her why she smiled all the time. She started to cry. "Because I like to hide--hide everything, you know?" she sobbed. "And I'm not happy...I don't like myself at all."

"I am not happy about Primetime," says Belladonna, "but I would love to see the whole story air one day so everyone can see how much I had to say that was FOR the porn industry. If you know me you know that I LOVED shooting!"

Would Michelle recommend this career to anyone? "Well, I would...if they have done everything else they want to do in life." What about her future? "After three years it's almost like, 'Can my body handle this?' I have to prepare a lot for my anal scenes and I think my body is just getting a little tired." In fact, there are rumors that she won't last another year.

Belladonna now has a contract with Sineplex to produce and direct her own movies. "This new contract is almost unbelievable! I even get dental and health insurance!" Flush with success, she has a message to all of her fans: "Thank you for enjoying my body for all this time!"

"I think that the female has the decision of the way she wants to be treated in this business," Belladonna says. "I mean, you can make people treat you exactly how you want to be treated because you are your own boss, and your own representation. I personally don't think people get treated badly, because I know a lot of people in this business...and I never hear about anything like that."

Basic stats:

  • Measurements: 34C (natural)-24-34
  • Height: 5'4" (162 cm)
  • Weight: 127 lbs (57 kg)
  • Birthdate: 5/21/81
  • Birthplace: Biloxi, Mississippi


The comments attributed to "Michelle" generally came from the PrimeTime interview, except for a few moments in the porn site interviews where her Belladonna persona seemed to slip a bit.

The comments attributed to "Belladonna" come from the porn site interviews, except for a few moments in the PrimeTime show where she was interviewed on set and was clearly trying to adopt the Belladonna persona.

Bel`la*don"na (?), n. [It., literally fine lady; bella beautiful + donna lady.] Bot. (a)

An herbaceous European plant (Atropa belladonna) with reddish bell-shaped flowers and shining black berries. The whole plant and its fruit are very poisonous, and the root and leaves are used as powerful medicinal agents. Its properties are largely due to the alkaloid atropine which it contains. Called also deadly nightshade.


A species of Amaryllis (A. belladonna); the belladonna lily.


© Webster 1913.

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