‘Girls Do Porn’ Victims Reach Settlement With Pornhub

50 Girls Do Porn victims have reached a settlement with Mindgeek, Pornhub's parent company.

Oct 16 2021, 2:57pm

Fifty victims who were coerced into having sex on camera by Girls Do Porn have reached a settlement with MindGeek, Pornhub's parent company, according to a court document filed Friday. Terms of the settlement between the women and Pornhub were not disclosed.

"The Parties reached a mutual resolution to resolve the dispute and the terms are confidential," Brian Holm, the women's lawyer, told Motherboard.

In 2019, Girls Do Porn owners were found guilty of intimidating and coercing 22 women into having sex on camera and lying to them about how widely the videos would be distributed. After telling the women that the videos would only be distributed abroad and to private collectors, they appeared on the Girls Do Porn website. The videos also reached millions of viewers after Girls Do Porn uploaded them to Pornhub and other porn tube sites, where women were often doxed in the comments. The doxing in turn led to the women being harassed at their jobs and schools. Multiple women said the harassment was so vicious that they contemplated suicide.

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In December of 2020, 40 victims filed a lawsuit against MindGeek for a litany of accusations, including knowingly benefiting from Girls Do Porn videos on Pornhub and failing to moderate the images circulating rampantly on its network of tube sites. The lawsuit was later expanded to include 50 plaintiffs. In total, the lawsuit demanded more than $40 million in damages—at least $1 million per plaintiff—as well as the money MindGeek earned from hosting and promoting their videos and legal fees. 

On July 7, the women and MindGeek filed a joint motion to suspend proceedings for 30 days so they could discuss a "possible resolution of this action (including potential mediation or other alternative dispute resolution." The court granted the motion. A court document filed Friday noted that a settlement agreement had been reached and dismissed the claims.

“The parties reached a mutual resolution to resolve the dispute and the terms are confidential,” MindGeek said in a statement. “MindGeek has zero tolerance for the posting of illegal content on its platforms, and has instituted a comprehensive, industry-leading trust and safety policy to identify and eradicate any illegal material from its community. We are committed to remaining at the forefront of internet safety, and taking every measure to prevent bad actors from posting illegal content online.”

As a Motherboard investigation found in 2019, Pornhub and other tube sites hosted hundreds of Girls Do Porn videos for years, which its human and automated moderation systems failed to remove (Pornhub has since overhauled its moderation policies, removed all its user-uploaded videos, and no longer allows unverified users to upload videos). 

Filed with the United States District Court for the Southern District of California on December 15 by the same attorneys who represented the women in a lawsuit against Girls Do Porn, the 43-page complaint details the suffering of these victims of Girls Do Porn, and claims that each of the plaintiffs became suicidal because of the harassment they endured when their videos spread non-consensually across the internet, including across MindGeek's network of porn sites.   

"As a proximate result of MindGeek’s knowing financial benefit and participation in GirlsDoPorn’s sex trafficking venture, Plaintiffs have suffered damages, including, but not limited to, severe emotional distress, significant trauma, attempted suicide, and social and familial ostracization," the complaint stated.

Tagged:

pornhub, girls do porn

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