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David D’Amato, the Villain of ‘Tickled,’ ‘Died Suddenly’ at Age 55

Documentarians David Farrier and Dylan Reeve allege D'Amato was the mastermind behind Jane O'Brien Media, a "competitive tickling" fetish video production company.


David D’Amato, the antagonist in David Farrier and Dylan Reeve’s documentary “Tickled,” has passed away. An obituary published in The New York Times reveals the 55-year-old “died suddenly” on March 13. No other details of his passing are provided.

D’Amato gained notoriety as the elusive subject of Farrier and Reeve’s investigation into and the subsequent documentary on Jane O’Brien Media, a company that produces “competitive tickling” fetish videos featuring young, athletic male participants. The duo alleges that D’Amato ran and funded the company, which allegedly intimidated the subjects of the videos if they did not comply with specific demands. D’Amato denied that he was affiliated with the company, but a slew of documents revealed during the investigations appear to tie him directly to the business.

READ MORE: ‘Tickled’ Directors React to David D’Amato’s Death: It ‘Has Hit Us Pretty Hard’

At the Los Angeles premiere of ‘Tickled,” D’Amato and several members of the Jane O’Brien Media team confronted Reeve during a post-screening Q&A. The incident was captured in “The Tickle King,” a short sequel to “Tickled” that HBO premiered on February 27.

Read the obituary in full below:

David P. D’Amato died suddenly on March 13, 2017 at the age of 55. Predeceased by his father, George D’Amato, founding partner of D’Amato and Lynch Law Firm and his mother, Brenda (Woods) D’Amato. He is survived by his dear Aunt Gloria (D’Amato) Johnson and her husband Kenneth of Oradell, NJ. David played hockey and graduated from Manhasset High School and later Fairfield University where he also played on the University Club Hockey team as a goalie. He earned his Masters degree in Guidance and Counseling from Boston University. He later graduated from Hofstra University School of Law earning his Juris Doctor Degree. David began his career as a School Guidance and Residential Counselor at the Kildonan School before joining the faculty at Cornwall Central High School as a Guidance Counselor where he helped start the Ice Hockey Program. He also worked as a Guidance Counselor and Administrative Assistant at Warwick Valley, Hempstead and Briarcliff School Districts. He concluded his career as Director of Guidance at West Hempstead High School before deciding to pursue his Law Degree from Hofstra. David was a lifelong New York Islanders and New York Mets fan and would frequently travel to Montreal to see the Canadiens play, as well. David gave to several charities as well as helping the Peekskill Tides baseball team establish themselves as one of the top teams in the Westchester Rockland Wood Bat Baseball League. However, he was most proud of establishing the George G. D’Amato Family Foundation in memory and honor of his father. The Foundation was designed to assist various worthy individuals and organizations whose mission focused on making a difference in the lives of others. In repose at the Fairchild Funeral Chapel, 1570 Northern Blvd., Manhasset, NY 2-4pm and 6-8pm on Sunday. Funeral Mass Monday at St. Mary’s Church, 1300 Northern Blvd., Manhasset at 11:15am. Interment to follow at Mt. St. Mary’s Cemetery, 172-00 Booth Memorial Avenue., Flushing, NY 11365.

Watch a video of D’Amato confronting Reeve at the documentary’s Los Angeles premiere below:

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