Dozens of women are suing Pornhub for allegedly uploading explicit videos without their consent | World news

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Two women have told Sky News that they feel ashamed and suicidal after explicit videos of them were posted on the world’s largest online porn site – they claim without their consent.

In a US lawsuit, more than 30 women accused MindGeek, the parent company of Pornhub, of profiting from nonconsensual sex videos.

Her attorney says the women are suing for damages that could run into “hundreds of millions of dollars” if successful, and he believes this is a reckoning moment for the online porn industry.

Leigh Nicol is one of several women who are suing the site's parent company
Picture:
Leigh Nicol is one of several women suing the site’s parent company

Leigh Nicol is one of three British women involved in the case. A video of her having sex at the age of 18 was stolen after an iCloud hack and posted without her permission on the websites of MindGeek, a company valued at over £ 1.2 billion.

“I’m already looking at myself in the mirror and I feel sick because it’s no longer private for me,” she said.

“Because a large part of the population saw something they shouldn’t have seen. There is shame, there is embarrassment, there is disgust, disease, there is doubt that I am not good enough.

“I have a feeling that no one ever wants to be my future husband because I have these videos attached to me.”

Leigh claims she repeatedly tried to have the video removed from Pornhub, a website that has 130 million daily users – more than Netflix or Amazon.

She says that even if the video was removed, it would be posted elsewhere.

“My question was why and how that is allowed,” she said.

“It’s not legal. I haven’t published this and I’m trending on some of the biggest adult websites in the world.”

MindGeek says it is investigating the complaint filed in California.

In a statement, the company said, “Pornhub does not tolerate illegal content and is investigating any complaints or allegations about content on our platforms.

“The fact of the matter is that Pornhub has taken the most comprehensive safeguards in the history of user-generated platforms, including banning uploads from unverified users, expanding our moderation processes, and working with dozens of nonprofits around the world.”

Of the 34 women who sued the company, 14 said they were minors in videos uploaded to Pornhub, and 14 became victims of those charged or convicted of sex crimes.

The legal team representing the women is led by Attorney Michael Bowe. directed
Picture:
The legal team representing the women is led by Attorney Michael Bowe. directed

A woman from the American Midwest told Sky News that she was being trafficked for sex in various states, and videos filmed of sexual encounters were later posted on MindGeek websites.

“I was homeless and very vulnerable. If I didn’t make enough money, he would rape me, beat me and lay me down,” she said.

“I didn’t ask to upload these videos there, I didn’t want them to be published there and it shouldn’t happen.

“There were times when I was suicidal. I was very depressed and suffered PTSD from all of this.

“I feel very emotional as this is a long time coming,” she added. “I want them to be held accountable for this is the lives of women.”

The legal team representing the 34 women is led by attorney Michael Bowe, who represented former US President Donald Trump during the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“It was hidden in public,” he said.

“You can get away with it until the eyes of the world are on you and you have no answer. I think it’s bigger than the Me Too movement, it’s more serious.

“You have a handful of men who make a lot of money by god knows how many hundreds of thousands of women they exploit.”

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