Will Juan Melecio's Controversial Past (as Adult Performer Antonio Biaggi) Dash His Political Hopes?

Monday June 15, 2020

Newly announced candidate Juan Melecio is facing scrutiny for racist comments, both online and in legal documents.

Melecio submitted his paperwork on Monday to run for a commission seat in Wilton Manors, in Florida's Broward County, it was reported yesterday.

He projected a positive, upbeat message that was reported favorably in the press. His past as an adult performer (under the name of Antonio Biaggi) hasn't been a negative, at least judging from initial coverage; what is impacting him are past tweets (from Biaggi) and a racially charged incident that resulted to a lawsuit.

"In 2016, Melecio was sued by a black police officer in Richmond, Virginia, who accused him of making racist remarks, including allegedly telling the officer to 'go pick cotton you n-----. LMFAO,' federal court records show," the South Florida Sun Sentinal reports.

"The officer, Centell Colonzo McNeil, filed a defamation lawsuit, alleging Melecio falsely accused him on social media of threatening him. Melecio said the case was settled after McNeil apologized and Melecio paid his attorney fees.

"Neither McNeil nor his attorney could be reached for comment. A woman who identified herself as McNeil's mother at his home said there was a gag order on the settlement and the family would not comment," continues the Sun Sentinal report.

The website Hornet offered this account of McNeil and Biaggi's exchange:

"Richmond police officer Centell McNeil accidentally called Biaggi on Facebook when he tried calling a friend to inquire about the use and customization of a rifle he had purchased. It's Virginia, after all.

"After apologizing for making the incorrect FaceTime call, McNeil claims that Biaggi propositioned him by asking, 'let me suck your dick.' Then, Biaggi allegedly told McNeil to 'go pick cotton you n***er.'"

Biaggi denied the confrontation, according to Sun-Sentinel; but in 2017 he posted a similarly racist tweet in response to a tweet critical of Beyonce:

First, his tweet about Beyonce:

Followed by this tweet to a critic:

As a candidate Melecio hasn't been specific about LGBTQ issues. In a recent interview with the South Florida Gay News, he addressed "recycling and compost" as his major issue and how he wanted to create "a Walk of Fame for LGBTQ and people from our community that have done exceptional things" in Wilton Manors.

When asked if he would serve all the city's interest, not just that of the gay population, he responded:

"Most of my friends are heterosexual women. I know people from all walks of life. I'm not here to work just for the gays, I'm here to work for everyone in our community no matter their gender, race or economic status."

He also launched a GoFundMe page with this message:

"I'm Mr. Melecio and I'm running for city commissioner of Wilton Manors .the money it's 100% for my political campaign and only for my campaign. What ever money it's left I will donate to a animal charity. I'm committed to work for my City and local businesses alike. Protecting the environment and creating a better and more beautiful city that attracts tourist."

Comments on Facebook