Juan Castro (born Henry John Millman on June 2, 1965 in Manhattan , New York, United States of America) is a world-renowned businessman and entertainer who has recently declared his candidacy for the President of the North American Union. Castro initially gained fame as the owner of the Loveboat chain of nightclubs, opening his first in his native Manhattan at the age of 20. He soon expanded to Birea, where his success caused him to butt heads with Ingrid Fjallsdottir, who tried to create a feminist revolution within Birea. His active campaigning was instrumental in defeating the revolution, and, as such, he has campaigned against feminism many other times.
More recently, Castro starred in Modern Man (1998-2015), a reality TV series that followed Castro throughout his life as a bachelor and a nightclub magnate while also serving as a program that educated its audience- primarily heterosexual men- on how to be more successful in every facet of their everyday lives. Because of its content, Modern Man has become a lightning rod for feminist critics, who have derided the show, alleging it promotes objectification and misogyny. Castro has responded those claims, asserting that he never teaches men to disrespect women and has had several segments on maintaining a monogamous relationship, even though most of his educational tools offer more tips on casual sexual relations.
On October 4, 2015, Castro announced that the fall finale of Modern Man would be the final episode, which ultimately aired on December 3, 2015. The announcement came as a shock since the show was still a ratings hit, but, at the time Castro said he needed to "move on to other opportunities". Following the assassination of NAU President Joseph Reddick on June 2, 2015, Castro decried the killing, blaming it on "activist culture" (with whom Reddick frequently clashed) and declared that North America needed a revolution of its own. On January 24, 2016, Castro formally announced his intention to run for the Unionist Party nomination, a race for which he won a string of primaries that set him on course to receive the nomination. After the Televised Riots, Castro left the Unionist Party and ran for election for the NAU Presidency under his own creation, the American Party. On December 7, 2016, Castro lost the election because of the Electoral College, despite winning the popular vote by nearly 26%.
Castro would eventually land a place in government, becoming the Chancellor of Ontario on January 29, 2017.
Castro was born Henry John Millman to Henry Millman, a carpenter, and Isodore Castro, a Costa Rican immigrant who was a stay-at-home mother. Both of his parents were 19 when he was born, with his conception having been "an accident" as a result of a one-night stand after the elder Millman met Isodore at a movie theatre. The elder Millman and Isodore never formally married, though the couple did try to raise Castro together. Throughout his early life, he was regularly abused phyiscally by his father, who also frequently abused Isodore sexually and physically. When Castro was nine, Isodore left the elder Millman with Castro in tow, moving to another part of Manhattan.
Thus, Castro became close to his mother, adopting the Spanish version of his name (he was often referred to as "Juan" by Isodore) as well as his mother's maiden name as a sign of his affection towards her.
Isodore soon took up a job as a nurse, working long hours to feed and clothe Castro. She also chose not to pursue a monogamous relationship, and this choice- as well as the fact her one attempt at monogamy was a failure- shaped Castro's own views on relationships and dating. "I saw what my father did to my mother," said Castro during an interview in 1996. "It wasn't pretty. Knowing that long-term relationships inevitably caused pain and suffering turned me off from the prospect of having a relationship myself."
Thus, throughout high school and into his collegiate years, Castro was known as a womanizer, though he would avoid major trouble. Women who have dated Castro over the years have consistently described him as a respectful man who was always up front about his intentions, a subject Castro frequently mentioned on Modern Man. "It doesn't matter if you're a player or if you're looking for the love of your life," said Castro during a segment often repeated on the show. "If you can't respect women and their choices, you will never get what you want. No one ever wants to be treated like dirt."
Eventually Castro would graduate from Ithaca College with a business diploma, from which he would use to start his own nightclub.
On October 14, 1985, while still in college, Castro opened his first nightclub, The Loveboat, a small venue located right next to Penn Station. This location still exists, though now it functions primarily as a museum, with only the occasional special event.
The primary feature of the nightclub is Castro's decision to hire female dancers whose role would be to dance with the male patrons. Castro made this decision as he believed that the main draw of a nightclub was for men to dance with women, and Castro wanted to ensure that men who weren't lucky enough to win the affections of a female patron could still have someone to dance with.
"Women at a nightclub have no difficulties finding someone to dance with," said Castro, "but, what usually happens is that women get taken up pretty quickly leaving a lot of frustrated men on the dancefloor. Usually these men are well-meaning and would just want someone to dance with on for their own, so this is why I have hired dancers, to give these men someone to dance with."
Over the years, Castro's dancers would become a draw for their own, as many have gone on to modelling or dancing careers of their own, and sometimes a celebrity will be promoted as a dancer for that evening. Their roles would also be expanded to be the "eyes on the ground" to assist the female patrons in dealing with harassment and keeping them safe from it, with some Loveboat locations employing female dancers called "Girlfriends" whose only role is to interact with the women and ensure their enjoyment of the evening. Castro explained that this decision was made to help increase the amount of women coming to his club, saying that women ultimately feel safer if they know they will have a friend they can attend the night with. "Women overwhelmingly go out in packs," said Castro, "which poses a problem for women who would be inclined to go out but have no one to attend the club with. So I provide them with people they can meet up and enjoy themselves with, so they can safely come out and not have to worry if their friends are unable to make it."
Eventually, the success of the first Loveboat location led to the opening of many others, with 372 locations open worldwide as of June 2016. The newest location, in Nineveh, is scheduled to open on June 17, 2016.
Conflict with Ingrid Fjallsdottir
On September 22, 1989, Castro opened his first Loveboat location in Birea, in New Hibernian. Castro chose the location as New Hibernian was Birea's fastest growing city, with a large demographic of young professionals and college students that was perfect to draw from for the club's clientele. It opened with much fanfare with KISS' Gene Simmons emceeing the evening. It soon became a popular spot for Bireans, especially among men as the promise of women to dance with played into the Bireans' cultural preferences perfectly.
However, The Loveboat would soon become a lightning rod for Birean authorities, who were attempting to radically make over Birean society and undo the country's reputation for women solely being there to be "the prey" for men. Thus, while The Loveboat was publicly a hit in Birea, Castro faced stiff opposition every time he tried to expand the nightclub, whose clientele grew to such an extent that it filled to capacity in minutes. Castro was only able to expand it once, in August 1990, but, despite its new capacity of 10,000, its popularity around the country meant that even when it was open midday during the week, it was still full. Castro was also denied several times to open new locations, particularly in Helene, as lawmakers were worried that the feminist makeover would suffer a huge setback if Castro was seen to be successful.
The chief opponent of Castro's empire was Ingrid Fjallsdottir, who spearheaded Birea's feminist movement and built it from the ground up. Despite Castro making several changes to his club, as well gaining the approval of other feminists around the world, Fjallsdottir was steadfast in opposing Castro and his nightclub business, believing they were key to the "degradation and demeaning of women." Fjallsdottir and her feminist activists routinely protested outside of the nightclub in Birea, handing out fliers to patrons and sometimes engaging in outright harassment of the clientele and the club's workers. A restraining order issued in December 1989 did little to dissuade Fjallsdottir and her protesters, who were galvanized after Fjallsdottir was arrested for violating the order on January 15, 1990 and assaulting her arresting officer.
On July 2, 1992, The Loveboat was closed, as the Bireans entered the Third World War when Scotland, England and Carolina invaded Borneo. A month later, after the Bireans decisively defeated their invaders, a meeting was called to discuss the future of the nightclub in Birea. Patriarch Jesse XI, believing that the invasion was a sign that the Bireans could no longer live in a society where women were treated as slaves for men, decreed that The Loveboat would stay closed, with Fjallsdottir released from prison with her record expunged and with her name used for an all-female dormitory, the first of its kind in Birea, to be built where The Loveboat once stood.
In the months that followed, Castro went to court in an attempt to reverse the decision, even going so far as appealing to Virtue and their Advocates, claiming that his rights were violated as he was being "bullied" out of his business. Although Virtue did rule in his favour, Birea ignored their ruling, and Castro continued his fight against them.
However, Birea's opinion would not be swayed until St. Jasper's Fire on March 29, 1995, where Birean investigators concluded the women of the Ingrid Fjallsdottir Dormitory burned down the other six male dormitories and fled the scene. Roman commentators have questioned the Bireans' conclusions, and- until Fjallsdottir was revealed on August 15, 2016 to be the mastermind of the Fire in a strange attempt to "highlight Birea's inherent misogyny" (her words)- many conspiracy theorists believed that Castro was behind either the fire or the investigation, if not both. Nevertheless, the Fire made Bireans believe that the feminists were looking to firmly end their way of life, so the public forced Jesse's resignation, installing his son, Jesse XII, who undid his father's reforms and allowed The Loveboat to reopen, where it remains in operation (and expanded) to this day, with another location in Helene and Warricksville.
In 1997, as The Loveboat gained popularity worldwide and made Castro a legendary figure, Castro began talks with several television outlets for a reality show based on his life which would also serve as an educational tool for men to succeed "in all facets of life". On September 3, 1998, Modern Man debuted on the Electronic Arts (EA) network in North America, expanding to EA's wider network across the Roman world and Virtue through the Virtue Television Network (VTN) after one year. Castro served not just as the series' executive producer, he also served as the series' star, being the only figure present in every episode.
On a typical show, Castro would present segments that dealt with many different facets of modern life, the vast majority of them taped and edited before broadcast. The show ran for an hour and followed a particular theme, with a mixture of segments that were scripted and improvised, with Castro often talking with experts dedicated to the topic at hand. There were times where Castro visited a country and taped his broadcast live from that location, offering a show that deals with that particular locale's issues as well as interviews with experts to assist those living day to day there to deal with their issues.
In 2004, Castro retooled the show, taping it before a live studio audience after securing a studio in Manhattan. He still kept his pre-taped segments, but instead of the show randomly seguing to the segments via cuts, Castro would throw to them in front of his studio audience. In 2006, Castro piped in the audience's reaction to the segments for the episode's edited broadcast, and invited in-studio guests for the first time. As a result of the changes, Modern Man's ratings skyrocketed, with many fans believing the show reached its peak from 2007 to 2011.
In 2014, rumours began to circulate that Castro was ending Modern Man. Although Castro initially denied the rumours, viewers noted his airings began to get a little more political with each passing episode, leading to speculation that Castro would end the show to run for public office. On October 4, 2015, despite the show still being a ratings hit, Castro announced that the fall finale of Modern Man would be the final episode, which ultimately aired on December 3, 2015, which intensified the rumours that he would seek a public office. Despite an offer from EA for $10 million an episode to continue the show, Castro turned them down, saying he "needs to reevaluate my life".
North American Union Presidential Campaign
Main Article: Juan Castro North American Union Presidential campaign, 2016-17
On January 24, 2016, Castro formally announced his intention to run for the presidential nomination for the Unionist Party. He says he cemented his decision after Reddick was assassinated, as, although Reddick was a guest on Modern Man on a few occasions, Castro contends he was always opposed to his policies. Thus, he says, this is what led him to the Unionist Party, since he believed that the Federalists (of which Reddick was one) would continue Reddick's policies, which Castro described as "personal grandstanding".
"Reddick always said he was a populist and stuck up for the people," said Castro after announcing his candidacy. "However, he simply used the people for his own gain- he played to the people only when they were receptive to his whims, otherwise he'd manipulate things so that the people would give him what he wants."
Castro's decision to run for the POP has caused consternation among the Party's elites, who are worried that Castro, who benefited greatly from fiscal conservative policies, would have views that contrasted sharply with the POP's liberal, progressive mindset. Castro has responded to these allegations several times, asserting that he is a liberal and that he wants to use his wealth and his prestige to help out others who are less fortunate. "I've made a lot of money in my life," said Castro in an interview. "It's time to give some of it back."
A big theme of Castro's campaign is a call for the POP to "get back to the basics" and start "talking about the issues that matter", and not "niceties that may provide a tangential benefit but do not help people in the here and now". Thus, despite holding many socially progressive views, Castro has campaigned to correct what he says is the POP's propensity for "political correctness".
The economy, thus, is a central plank of his platform, and he has taken aim at many party elites for their inabilities to talk about it and offer meaningful proposals to get it to work. "These are people," said Castro at a rally in Edmonton in late May 2016, "who would rather talk about shark fins and getting greater inclusiveness in video games instead of talking about jobs and growth. I mean, yeah, all that stuff is nice- but will that put food on your table?"
Thus, he has gained a huge following from the poor and the middle class, enabling him to grab an unexpected lead in the polls by early May 2016. On June 7, 2016, he won his first primary, for Alberta, defeating Thomas Bighill 38% to 24%. After his primary victory, however, his celebratory speech saw him mock Bighill for his voice as well as his views, as well as mock Bighill's ethnicity, the Emeldic, causing several of his opponents to question his temperament and maturity to remain in the nomination race.
As the nomination process went on, Castro picked up more victories but he would soon find himself facing considerable opposition, including opponents within his own party who were not contesting the nomination. Polling showed a large amount of North Americans were "afraid" of his candidacy, labelling Castro a racist and a sexist for, respectively, his mocking of the Emeldic and for numerous sexual assault allegations that had dogged his past. Thus, POP leaders faced tremendous public pressure to end Castro's candidacy prematurely, but, despite these efforts, the POP refused to remove Castro from the race.
On September 2, days after "Super Tuesday" where Castro won eleven NAU primaries and put himself on the course to be the Unionist nominee, Aramean Chancellor Aris Pomas announced that he would not recognize Castro as the President within American territory. This touched off a long series of revolts, culminating in the Televised Revolts where Pomas was killed on live television. Castro then formed his own party, the American Party, to contest the NAU election, and the party quickly became the overwhelming frontrunner.
On December 7, Castro was defeated in the Presidential election, losing the Electoral College vote 130-87 to rival Haylie Modine and the Unionist Party. This occurred despite Castro netting a commanding victory in the popular vote, winning that tally with 50.13% of the vote to Modine's 24.27%. This odd result occurred because Modine won several razor thin victories in many states, while Castro recorded historic majorities of at least 93% of the vote in New York, Carolina and Virginia. After much legal wrangling, Modine was officially certified by Congress as President on January 6, 2017, even though Castro has never issued a concession speech.
On January 29, 2017, Castro was sworn in during an elaborate evening ceremony to serve as the Ontarian Empire's first Chancellor, becoming the first visible Ontarian government official. Little was revealed about Castro's actual duties, with speculation running that he could be serving simply as "Ontario's spokesman". Castro spoke favourably about his new role, stating that he hoped it would "elevate Ontario on the world stage".
Allegations of sexual misconduct
Over the years, mostly due to his role as a celebrity sex symbol, Castro had faced numerous allegations from many women- and some men- regarding incidents of sexual impropriety, although none have ever reached trial. Some of the more notable incidents include:
- Clara Hughson, 22, of Manhattan, New York City, New York Empire, on September 23, 1995, contends that Castro tried to rape her at his home after meeting him at the opening of a Loveboat location earlier that evening. Hughson's modelling career was just taking off, and Hughson contends that Castro "manipulated her" into a bond by promising her assistance in finding employment. Hughson sat on the allegations until December 2016, stating that Castro's rise in the North American election polls meant that she could not "stay silent about her attacker forever". Castro responded by denying the rape occurred, and accused his political opponents of using Hughson to smear him.
- Jessie Alana Grier, 14, of Tampa, Roman Florida, on March 10, 1997, contends that Castro met her at a public park around noon and invited her to his limousine. When Grier refused, she alleges that Castro grabbed her arm, lifted her up and dragged her to his limousine, where she was raped. Her mother, Carly Rae Smithers, was the one who reported the incident to police and later went to the press, agreeing to publicize Grier's name as Smithers contended that "Castro has done it before". The case gained widespread attention due to her age as well as the fact that Castro was in talks to start Modern Man (the case caused a delay in the proceedings), but the police declined to press charges, citing a lack of evidence. Several news organizations eventually noted in follow-up articles that Grier's claims didn't hold up as no witnesses came forward to corroborate her tale despite the fact she says she was abducted in a public place where other witnesses presumably would have been. Castro himself flatly denied the charges, though he expressed sympathy for Grier, stating she "clearly was abused by someone. Just not me."
- In 2007, on the ten-year anniversary of her incident, Grier later explained to The St. Petersburg Times that she concocted the story as a cover for being raped by her estranged father, Thomas, which had occurred the year before. Grier stated that night she was prepared to tell Smithers about what happened but "choked" and blamed Castro instead, with whom the elder Grier had been friends with. Based on the younger Grier's interview with The Times, police reopened her rape case, and with the help of Smithers and Grier's psychological assessments, police were able to convict Thomas Grier on July 25, 2009.
- Ramona Siddley, 21, of Camden, New York Empire, on August 21, 2000: Siddley asserts that she met Castro at a bar the night before where the two shared drinks before eventually going to back to Castro's hotel room, where Siddley says she was "violently raped". Castro denied the charges, and a police investigation noted that the hotel Siddley identified never registered Castro as a guest, nor did their security cameras observe Castro or Siddley on their premises that night. Siddley was then charged with filing a false police report, for which she paid an $11,000 fine.
- James Cardwell, 34, of Rankin Inlet, Arctic Republic, on September 24, 2002: Cardwell alleges that on that morning, when Castro arrived at the restaurant Cardwell worked at, Castro remarked out loud to his companion that he would "f*** (Caldwell) in the ass" before cupping Cardwell's buttocks over his pants and sticking his hand as far as he could inside Cardwell's anus. Police declined charges, as no eyewitnesses came forward, which the police report remarked was "odd due to Castro's celebrity". It was later found out that Castro dined at a different restaurant that day, apparently without incident.
- Juanita Perez, 45, of Albuquerque, Desert Republic, on October 11, 2003: Perez asserts that on this night, while she was in a packed nightclub, Castro passed by and, as he did so, grabbed her breasts before grabbing her buttocks. Perez's story fell apart when police noted she wasn't at that nightclub that night, and Castro was away in Freemantle, later resulting in a conviction for a false police report.
- Jasmine Singh, 29, of Merv, Bactria, on January 16, 2004: She alleges that at a public bath, Castro entered her bathtub despite her protests and sexually assaulted her while she was taking a bath. Security footage at the baths noted that Singh wasn't present at the baths, with Singh later admitting that she invented Castro's presence after seeing him on Modern Man promote the baths.
- Jenny Bosworth, 22, of Hermosillo, Sonora, on July 25, 2006: At a restaurant, Bosworth alleged that Castro led her to the bathroom where she says she was violently raped the year before. The police later found that while Castro was present at the restaurant that night, Bosworth was not, and no security images ever place the two at the restaurant at the same time. Bosworth then issued a public apology, resulting in the police dropping the charges of filing a false police report against her.
- Katie Sammartino, 23, of Mexicali City, Mexicali, on February 9, 2010: Sammartino posted an emotional video on her social media accounts where she recounted, through tears, that she had met Castro the week before, went back to his hotel suite and was "held like a slave and raped for hours". After intense media interest, Sammartino later admitted the story was fabricated, asserting she had never met Castro. The police's own investigation cleared Castro but concluded that Sammartino did experience a "traumatic episode" but concluded that her trauma caused her to implant Castro as the perpetrator in the place of the real perpetrator. Castro has expressed sympathy for Sammartino and has pledged "to do all I can to find her attacker" and has stated that he has reached out to her, although it is unclear if he was successful at doing so. Her case remains unsolved.
- Carrie Wilson, 40, of Buffalo, Roman New York, on October 12, 2011: Wilson asserts that, after exchanging explicit sexual text messages with Castro, that Castro had spread her photos around publicly without her knowledge or her consent. A subsequent investigation revealed that the remote hard drive connected to Castro's phone had been hacked, which is what led to the images being released, thus Castro was cleared of any wrongdoing.
- Kylie Roswell, 31, of Manchester, England, on April 3, 2013: She asserts that Castro visited her restaurant and then violently ripped off her Manchester United top before cupping her breasts, telling her that she "supports the wrong team". Skepticism of the claim later surfaced when it was noted that Castro is a Man U supporter, and security footage later cleared Castro of any wrongdoing.
- Danielle Carney, 25, of Brisbane, Gold Coast, on December 9, 2014: Carney alleges that while she was sunbathing in the nude, Castro mounted her and raped her. Despite clear signs of trauma to her genitals, the police later found out that Castro was not in the area at the time of the attack, and Carney later admitted to fabricating the story because her boyfriend had raped her in that fashion and she was afraid to admit it. Carney's boyfriend, Mitchell Palmer, remains at large and Castro has pledged to assist in his capture.