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Accidental “Porn Star” Speaks Up About Porn’s Destructive Power

Last Updated: February 4, 2021

Keith Rose

Keith Rose holds a Master of Divinity degree from Reformed Theological Seminary and a BA in Sacred Music from Moody Bible Institute. Keith worked with the Covenant Eyes Member Care Team for 15 years. During that time, he also served as a worship leader, Bible teacher, and pastoral assistant. He lives in Rexford, Montana with his wife Ruby.

What’s it like to be a porn star? A life of fame, love, and money? 

Serena Fleites tells a different story. Her life was nearly destroyed when a video of her was posted on Pornhub without her consent. Serena testified before a Canadian parliament’s ethics committee regarding her experience and the complicity of Big Porn’s parent company MindGeek in trafficking minors.  

Serena was one of six kids who grew up with a single mom in a small rural community. Her mother was a devout Catholic who tried to teach traditional values. When Serena was 14, they moved to a bigger city, looking for a better life. Serena was the epitome of a country girl in a big city: 

“I never had a crush or a boyfriend, or a first kiss or anything like that. They would make fun of me for not being up-to-date on things, being from the mountains.” 

She explained how she was pressured to share a pornographic video of herself, even though she didn’t want to:  

“When a guy finally took interest in me—or I thought he was interested in me—I started my first relationship…  One night during the last semester of my seventh-grade year, the boy I was with asked me to send a video of myself. I didn’t really know what he meant and he sent me a video from Pornhub. I told him I wasn’t comfortable doing that, and he would message me every night after school. He said, ‘Fine then, this isn’t even a real relationship.'”  

Eventually, because she feared losing the relationship, Serena succumbed to the pressure and sent a pornographic video of herself to her boyfriend. Little did Serena realize this decision would change her life forever: 

“For the first couple days, I didn’t notice anything. But then his friend group started coming up to us and making comments about my body and how I was a freak, or how they wished their girlfriends would do things like I did…” 

However, Serena found out quickly that it wasn’t just her boyfriend’s group of friends who saw the video: 

“After that, I started noticing that even more kids from school would look at me or make comments about me… About two weeks later I found out it had been sent around to most of the kids at the school.” 

Serena was terrified that her mother would find out what she’d done. She kept it a secret, but she begged her mom to homeschool her. With five other kids and no dad in the picture to help, Serena’s mom kept her in public school.  

Serena’s life and reputation at the first school were ruined. But she maintained hope that she could escape it and start again somewhere else:  

“During the summer break we moved, and I thought ‘OK things will be better.’ But after I started at the new school, someone sent me a link through [the messaging app] someone sent me the link to the video on Pornhub. After that, I transferred to a school all the way on the other side of town. They had all seen the video.” 

Before long, it wasn’t just schoolmates who were recognizing Serena from the video. Strangers started stalking Serena, and making threats against her and her family:  

“People I’ve never met off the internet would find my accounts and social media and say, ‘Is this you?’ And try to ask certain questions or be really creepy or doxx my family.” 

Still a teenager, Serena turned to drugs as a way of escape. She tried to hide but she couldn’t escape the consequences of her video: 

“I took myself off social media for a while. I stopped going to school. I got really depressed.”   

Serena spent years trying to get the video removed from the internet, but it kept coming back. At the age of 19, she found herself homeless, unemployed, and ostracized by family and friends.  

The New York Times published an extensive op-ed outlining Pornhub’s complicity in promoting and profiting from child exploitation. The article featured Serena’s story and sparked a firestorm, including an investigation of Big Porn parent company MindGeek by the Canadian parliament. 

Stories like Serena’s have motivated more victims to speak up. There is currently a class-action lawsuit filed against MindGeek, and other companies that support and distribute exploitive and abusive content are being held accountable.  

Recently, The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) filed a lawsuit against Twitter for “Twitter’s distribution of material depicting [a child’s] sexual abuse, and by Twitter’s knowing refusal to remove the images of his sexual abuse (child pornography) when notified by the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s parent.” 

Serena’s life as a “porn star” did not bring fame, love, or money—only infamy, abuse, and poverty. However, since the publication of the New York Times article, she has found allies. Serena is now speaking up and sharing her story to bring justice and hope to other girls who find themselves in the same situation.  

Porn is destructive, both for those who watch it and for those whose bodies and lives are exploited to produce it.

  • Comments on: Accidental “Porn Star” Speaks Up About Porn’s Destructive Power
    1. Richard Thomson on

      As a (prayerfully) recently liberated porn addict, I penned the following. Perhaps it can help someone else.
      By perusing porn, you

      M your
      CRA NIUM with
      P

      Instead, simply sanctify your
      cerebrum by Scripture saturation.

      Reply
    2. Tim Davis on

      Very good Article how porn videos impact in relationship.

      Reply

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