The Curious Case of Gay-Porn-Star Identical Twins

As boys, Keyon and Taleon Goffney shared little but a birthday. It was what they did together as men that did them in

The flashbulbs were oddly silent as the four models sat inside a photography studio, waiting for their moment to arrive. Never mind that the studio was in Delaware; this was high fashion meets old money. The models had been carefully selected by casting agents representing the London-based bank Barclays to star in a print campaign pitching the Barclays-branded Visa and MasterCard to a prospective corporate client—Ralph Lauren. For the models, it was a chance to be seen by the Ralph Lauren tastemakers, perhaps even the patriarch himself, a possible stepping-stone to becoming a face of the prestigious fashion company. Yet well past the scheduled start time, Barclays' creative director was calling a casting agent in a panic. "Keyon isn't here!"

Keyontyli Goffney is striking in a way that makes both women and men take notice—he's black with a trace of Thai, and has brown eyes, angular cheekbones, and a lean, chiseled body. At 26, he had the portfolio of an up-and-comer, including a Nike ad. He had also done extra work on television: as a lifeguard in a Lifetime miniseries starring Rob Lowe, on Law Order, and as a dancer next to Tom Brady in a Saturday Night Live sketch. But Keyon wasn't content to be a backdrop for Gisele's quarterback husband; he wanted to be the next Tyson Beckford, to achieve his own stardom by doing Polo ads. The Barclays campaign could be that elusive big break, and he was missing.

The casting agent phoned Keyon's talent rep, who was stunned to hear her client was a no-show. Soft-spoken and polite, he was generally punctual. The rep tried every number she had for him and got only voice mail. Days passed before Keyon finally called to apologize. His grandmother had fallen ill, he said, and he had to take care of her. It was hard to argue with putting family first, but was there really no one else who could tend to his grandmother so he didn't miss the biggest job of his career?

The following week Keyon's rep received an e-mail from Barclays. She clicked on a link to a news story and saw photos of her client and his identical twin brother, Taleon. It turned out that while the casting agent had been scrambling to find a replacement that February day in 2008, Keyon had been busy at a shoot of a different sort. Beside his mug shot was a headline identifying him as one of the "Twin Brother Bandits." He had been caught in the middle of an alleged rooftop burglary and was a suspect in dozens of similar break-ins across three states.

Instead of getting a good night's rest on the eve of the Barclays–Ralph Lauren gig, police say, Keyon was sitting in a blue Passat, anxious for his brother to emerge from a beauty shop deep in South Philadelphia, in the gritty Italian Market made famous by Rocky. According to the police, Keyon clutched a direct-connect cell phone and scanned the darkness for "Jake," the code word he and Taleon had come up with to refer to the cops. As Keyon stood watch, his brother, dressed in black, scaled a wall of Yo! Beauty Supply with a sack of cutting tools. He sawed through the roof, lowered himself into the building, and, police say, hacked open the ATM. Moving swiftly, he slipped into the wings joint next door and, within minutes, allegedly cleaned it out, too.

Police from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware had set up a task force to stop the mysterious rooftop burglars who were targeting businesses in all three states. A stakeout team had been following Taleon for weeks. As they surrounded the building, police say, Keyon two-wayed his brother: "Cops are all over the place!" So much for the code word. The model was yanked from his Passat and handcuffed just after he heard his brother's response: "Oh, shit."

Taleon escaped and resurfaced several hours later at a parking garage where police were waiting—they'd seen him drop off a car there earlier and figured he would try to speed out of the city. Just 50 yards from his ride, Taleon was dragged to the ground by officers. They chained his ankles and wrists.

The Goffney brothers were taken to a district headquarters. Taleon didn't talk during his interrogation; he'd been through this before. Keyon, however, didn't have a rap sheet. He told the police he was a model, explaining that he needed to make it to a big photo shoot. "We don't think that's going to happen," they said.

Gorgeous twins partnering up for Mission: Impossible–style heists may sound like the premise of a Hollywood action thriller, but the Goffney brothers' tale is more the stuff of David Lynch. In the days that followed their arrests, photos and video surfaced showing the siblings engaged in hard-core gay sex, including a three-way with triple-X woodsman Marc Williams, star of such hits as BlackBalled 5.

Aside from good looks and a last name, the twins didn't have much in common. Growing up, Taleon was the well-built jock; skinny Keyon liked French class and sang in Guys and Dolls. But both young men understood the struggle to get by. As late as 2004, when Keyon's modeling career was barely under way, he was still working odd jobs to help pay the bills. For Taleon, who had already done a prison stint for robbery, honest work was apparently hard to find. Taleon's attorneys did not make their client available to comment, but according to Keyon, when Taleon's boss at a fitness center found out he was an ex-con, he got canned. He ended up selling kung fu DVDs at a mall kiosk. Meanwhile, Keyon's job prospects began to change.

One night at a Manhattan dance club, a talent scout for Flava Works, a gay-porn outfit based in Chicago, approached him. No auditions, no casting calls—just a flight out for a few days of work and more money than he would normally earn in a month. Before long he had performed in four hard-core videos, making $500 to $1,000 for each.

Back in Philadelphia, at a club in a district known as the Gayborhood, Keyon met another scout, a freelancer connected with BlackMen.net, a website specializing in "Pure Black Male Beauty." He offered Keyon more money—if he could convince his brother to come along. There weren't many identical twins in "erotic modeling," making the Goffneys a rare and lucrative find. Unlike Keyon, Taleon was straight, but the deal was too good to turn down, and they figured no one they knew would ever see the footage. "You're getting $500, $800 checks," says Keyon. "That's why we did it. We needed the money."

Keyon insists he and his brother didn't realize what BlackMen.net had in store for them until they arrived in Atlanta. The website's owner—a guy who calls himself Xavier McDonald and speaks with a friendly southern twang—says the brothers knew what they were getting into. McDonald treated the Goffney boys to dinner at an upscale restaurant before the first shoot, in a room at their hotel. The plot was simple: Keyon invites his brother to watch a movie with him; they get aroused and start masturbating. For his generosity, McDonald received a thank-you note: "I had a great time and really appreciated the respect + time you guys shared w/us! Look forward to working w/you guys again soon." It was signed "Keyon + Teyon," the twins' porn names.

In the next two years, Keyon and Taleon shot five scenes for BlackMen.net, some of which involved acts that were just shy of incest, including the threesome with Marc Williams at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. "That was the first time Marc Williams bottomed on camera," says McDonald. It was Taleon, not his gay brother, who had sex with Williams. As McDonald puts it, "Within the small confines of black hard-core gay erotica, that was a pretty big deal."

It was enough of a big deal that, back home, Taleon started being recognized at his kung fu–movie stand. "I've got to find another way to make money," he told Keyon. In late 2006, police say, the rooftop burglaries began.

In May 2006, police detectives on stakeout duty at a reputedly drug-infested apartment complex in Clementon, New Jersey, noticed a guy goofing around, pulling off some impressive backflips. It was Taleon. The police say they watched him engaged in alleged drug trades, then moved in to arrest him for possession of drugs and carrying a loaded .25. With Taleon handcuffed in the back seat of a squad car, the cops set off for the station. Taleon had other ideas. According to the police account, Taleon used his legs for leverage and rammed his forehead into the rear driver's-side window, shattering the glass. Before the cops knew what was happening, he'd hurled himself headfirst through the window of the moving vehicle. Taleon was on his feet in seconds. The officers stopped the car and went after him on foot; he allegedly jump-kicked one and, soaked with sweat, slipped away when another tried to grab him. He dashed into the nearby woods and dove into a lake, using his legs to propel himself to the other side. "You know when you watched [Michael Phelps in] the Olympics?" says Clementon police chief Dave Kunkel. "That's how he was swimming." On dry land, Taleon stopped just long enough to taunt the cops he'd left on the far shore. One of the officers ended up in the hospital with shoulder, rib, and knee injuries. "You'll never catch me," Taleon shouted before disappearing into the night.

Camden, New Jersey, the Goffneys' hometown, ranks among the most violent cities in the nation—it's a place where nothing worth having comes easy. The twins' mother, Towana, gave birth to them when she was 15 and has spent most of her life bouncing from one job to the next—styling hair, cleaning houses, whatever paid the bills. Three more kids followed. As for the twins' dad, Keyon says, "He wasn't around much."

Keyon was close to his grandmother. As a teen, he'd stay with her in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. He was captivated by New York and the freedom it offered to a kid struggling to accept his sexuality and escape the brutality of his peers. "High school," he says, "was war to me."

Eventually, Keyon found a mentor in a gay teacher. "He never said the word gay, but he would say it's okay to be different," Keyon says. After stints at two public schools and a few months at a center for troubled youths, he emerged with a hard-earned diploma. He was working at a jewelry store when a customer suggested he take up modeling. Keyon had always been fashion-conscious, and this seemed like a career path that might lead to something. He signed up for classes at the Barbizon School of Modeling outside of Philadelphia, where he learned about etiquette, body movement, and the unforgiving nature of the business. "When I finally started to book commercials, I jumped up and down," Keyon says. "Then I get there, and there's so many boys, your confidence goes to the floor."

He found an agent and booked jobs for urban labels like Coogi. He worked in six states over one two-month span and started seeing his face on billboards and websites. He cultivated a network of friends who have aided him financially—giving him frequent-flier vouchers and helping with expenses like cosmetic dental work and chest implants. "I was just flat in some areas," Keyon says about his pec surgery. "I wanted to look better."

A few of his friends heard about his porn work, found footage online, and played it for him. "It was like watching a human autopsy," he says. "I couldn't look at it." Another friend, Mike Cintron, invited Keyon to spend Christmas with his family in 2006, not long after Keyon's last porn shoot. During that visit, Keyon broke into tears, remarking about how affectionate and close the Cintrons were.

Cintron heard his friend cry twice after that—there were the tears of joy on the day he was booked for the Barclays-Ralph Lauren campaign and then the anguished sobs after he'd been arrested. "Before, when you Googled his name, it was all modeling sites," Cintron says. "Now, it's 300,000 hits about rooftop burglaries. He just wants to get his life back."

In a sandwich shop two blocks from the garage where his brother was arrested, Keyon nervously toys with the salt and pepper shakers, rearranging them over and over. The queer brother introduces the straight brother to gay pornography; the crooked twin shows his law-abiding brother a life of crime; yin follows yang.

Keyon's agent has dropped him, but he's still getting work: a poolside fashion shoot at the Grace hotel in New York, a backstage job on The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. He speaks about his arrest with icy detachment. But for now, his alleged actions and their consequences are inseparable—he's due to be tried this spring for burglary and other charges related to the beauty-shop break-in.

What he said to police is the centerpiece of the prosecution's case. During his interrogation the day of the arrest, police say, Keyon stated not only that his brother was "the mastermind" behind the crime but that his mother was in on the scheme as a second lookout. The cops say they saw her white Sequoia leave the scene. She awaits her court date with her sons. As for Keyon, he's counting on the defense-strategy hope that the police can't connect him to the other break-ins they claim the Goffneys orchestrated. "They caught me [at the beauty shop]—I'm not denying it," he says. "But prove to me I was at 40 different places. Anything I told [the police], it was out of fear."

The survival instinct is to the Goffneys what omertà is to La Cosa Nostra. When the heat came down in South Philly, the cops say, Taleon ran. Mom sped off. Keyon, alone and crying in the interrogation room, said what he said. He frequently mentions his love for his mother and brother, but then again, in Keyon's quid pro quo world, relationships are often transactional. "You protect your neck," he says. "I care about people who care about me. Anybody else, relative or not, you don't care about me? Fuck you."

Taleon's knack for making police look foolish has made him a big target for the district attorney's office. He's been locked up in Pennsylvania since February 2008, and in November he was sentenced to up to eight years in prison for a one-man rooftop burglary. He's awaiting sentencing for the alleged Houdini-style escape in New Jersey, which prosecutors there have nicknamed the "Superfly" case.

Even if Keyon stays out of jail, his modeling dream has become warped with irony—he's not famous for his face; he's infamous for his deeds. It's hard to imagine anything stranger could follow the Goffney boys' bizarre saga, but it's easy to picture Keyon cashing in a friend's frequent-flier miles and shipping off to Los Angeles. With his pretty face, his newly buff pecs, and his backstory of danger, sex, and life on the mean streets, he is a reality-TV star waiting to be born. The modeling business, once his ticket to a glamorous new life, is now inextricably tied to his sordid past. "It's a hustle," Keyon says. "Just like anything else."

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