Lawsuit bashes Pornhub for profiting off unconsented sex

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Pornhub made money off countless videos that showed rape, women forced into porn and people who never OK’d their explicit encounters to be released, a fiery new lawsuit claims.

Thirty-four women said they ended up on the porn website without their consent in videos that included sexual abuse and assault, so-called revenge porn or footage of them when they were minors, according to a federal lawsuit filed in California on Thursday.

The company put profits over people and exploited victims of sex trafficking and sex crimes, the lawsuit alleges.

“This is a case about rape, not pornography,” attorney Michael Bowe wrote in the 179-page complaint, in which he accuses Pornhub’s parent company Mindgeek of failing to do enough to police non-consensual videos uploaded to its sites.

The 34 women in the suit came from all over the US, as well as the UK, Colombia and Thailand. Their stories include a woman filmed in a private video later made public without her permission – and a woman who was raped while unconscious and never even knew her assault had been filmed.

“Mindgeek is a classic enterprise run, according to those who know it best, ‘just like the Sopranos,’” the lawsuit said.

The lengthy suit outlines a network of “bosses,” “over-bosses,” “capos” and a “Bro Club” of made men. Women who tried to get videos removed faced great difficulties and pushback, the suit alleges.

One victim who lawyered up disappeared after receiving threats, with only a mysterious text from an alleged friend to her attorney saying she was injured and in a coma, the lawsuit claims.

“The victim’s whereabouts and condition are still unknown,” the suit stated.

The lawsuit claims Pornhub has taken advantage of women being battered.
The lawsuit claims Pornhub has taken advantage of women being battered.

A reporter who wrote porn industry exposes was threatened and now carries a gun at all times, the suit claims.

Pornhub shot back at the suit in a statement provided to The Post, calling the attorney a “soldier of the ultra-right wing effort to shut down the adult content industry.”

“The allegations in today’s complaint that Pornhub is a criminal enterprise that traffics women and is run like ‘The Sopranos’ are utterly absurd, completely reckless and categorically false,” the company’s statement said, looking to tie the attorney to “extremist ideologies ad QAnon conspiracy theories.”

“We stand resolutely with all victims of internet-related abuse,” the company’s statement went on.

“Pornhub takes every complaint regarding the abuse of its platform seriously, including those of the plaintiffs in this case.”

The company has now banned uploads from unverified users and has expanded its moderation processes, the statement said.

A sign at the Pornhub booth is seen at the 2017 Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 18, 2017.
A sign at the Pornhub booth is seen at the 2017 Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 18, 2017.
Getty Images

Much of the background in the civil lawsuit had to do with unverified user uploads, with the suit accusing the company of minimal vetting of the content to confirm its subjects were of legal age and the videos were consensual.

When subjects asked for videos to be removed, they faced difficulties including questions if they were sure it was them in the videos, the lawsuit alleged. Some videos taken down after much effort were later re-uploaded, the suit claims.

Mindgeek was also hit with a federal class action suit in February that came with similar explosive accusations.

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