Pornhub sued for 'profiting from vids posted without consent' in lawsuit by 30 women – including half who were underage

PORNHUB is being sued by more than 30 women who claimed on Thursday it is a “criminal enterprise” that made millions of dollars by “exploiting them for profit without consent.”

Among the claims is one from a woman who says she was drugged and raped by her then-husband who then uploaded footage of the incident without consent. 


Another claims she was forced to change schools after learning that many people on her college campus had seen a nude video of her uploaded by her high school boyfriend years before when she was only 17. 

She alleges this was also done without consent. 

The suit, filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California this week, names MindGeek, the parent company of tube site Pornhub, as well as its affiliates such as Visa. 

Fourteen of the women suing the company say they were underage when videos of them were uploaded to the platform by other people and 14 also say they were victims of people since charged or convicted of sex crimes in relation to the videos, the suit states.

The majority were based in the US with others in the United Kingdom, Colombia, Canada, and Thailand.

The suit details how the women discovered sometimes years later that a video of them had been uploaded to the site and how they had racked up, at times, hundreds of thousands of views before they asked for it to be taken down. 

“The complaint alleges that Pornhub and MindGeek knowingly profited from videos depicting rape, child sexual exploitation, revenge porn, trafficking, and other non-consensual sexual content,” law firm Brown Rudnick LLP said in a statement. 

“Brown Rudnick is seeking damages for the devastation this exploitation has caused these victims, protection for them and thousands of other victims from further exploitation, and the imposition of stringent policies and procedures that ensure only legitimate, legally compliant consensual content is permitted on MindGeek’s platform.”

The women are being represented by Michael Bowe who has claimed that “Pornhub has made a fortune off millions of exploitation videos.” 

“On top of that, they employ a business model that puts no restrictions on content because the more content they get, the better their Search Engine Optimization,” said Bowe as he appeared at a US Congressional Briefing in April.  

“Nobody is better acquainted with this than MindGeek. They knew that this trafficked, illegal content was on there and they didn’t care. The industry is a rogue industry, and they will not self-police. These companies don’t think the law applies to them. We think it does.”

The suit also accuses Pornhub of a “gaslighting campaign” over the past year to prevent women from coming forward. 

“Pornhub has been conducting a gaslighting campaign in the media and social media to discredit the victims,” attorney Lauren Tabaksblat said. 

“With the filing of this suit, we want to put an end to these shameless attacks, give voice to these and other countless victims, and force MindGeek to adopt practices that ensure only consensual content is on its platform.”

It comes as one of the women in the complaint claims that it took three days for Pornhub to remove a video of her as they pushed her to confirm that it was her. 

The woman, who is using the pseudonym Aubrey, said she learned about the video from a friend in 2018 when it had reached 400,000 views. 

She told CBS that her ex-husband secretly recorded a video of them having sex and uploaded it without consent. 

He now faces criminal charges of forcible rape, domestic assault, and non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images over the video, CBS reports. 

Aubrey claims that it took a three-day email exchange with Pornhub before the video was taken down. 

"Are you the female in the video? How do you know this is you?" one representative reportedly asked her. 

According to CBS, she responded: "I know this is me by several things. That is my bed, I have a mole on my right hip, that is my face, my voice, THAT IS ME and I am p****d."

"I will never, ever be able to recover the emotional pain that this has caused me," Aubrey told CBS. 

"It truly, truly was a living nightmare. I — I didn't — everybody had seen everything about me. And that's just — that's a very private moment. And it's a very vulnerable moment. And it's just — it's hard to come to terms with. That the world has seen that."

Isabella, also a pseudonym, didn’t know there was a video of her on the site until a friend said to her, “I didn’t know you do porn.”

Even after changing schools to battle her sense of shame, she told CBS that she struggled to look in the mirror for six months. 

“The view count on the video will forever haunt my dreams," she said. "Just knowing that that many people saw it really messed me up."

Another victim, Ashley, told CBS that her then-husband drugged and raped her before posting the video to Pornhub. 

He was also arrested on charges of sexual assault, distributing intimate images without consent, and indecent exposure last week. 

"There shouldn't be anywhere safer in the world than at home in your own bed, right? And you shouldn't be able to go to bed one night and wake up on Pornhub,” she said. 

Ashley added that although the video was deactivated, grabs showing her naked on her bed still appear in Google image searches. 

The suit is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for the 34 women and what it claims is the thousands of others affected. 

MIndGeek denied the suit’s allegations in a statement to CBS, claiming that it was “patently false” that it exploited the women. 

“The spread of illegal content is an existential threat to the internet, and every platform has the moral obligation to join the fight against it,” it said. 

“Illegal material on the internet harms its victims, internet users and all platforms that operate online. Any suggestion that the company tolerates or celebrates this material is patently false."

"Anyone who attempts to post nonconsensual imagery or child sexual abuse material on the internet is a criminal, and we are committed to remaining at the forefront of the internet when it comes to the elimination of illegal content,” the statement added. 

“Every online platform has the responsibility to join this fight, and it requires collective action and constant vigilance. 

“We hope other platforms will use our model to help eradicate unwanted content."

The suit comes just months after Pornhub deleted almost 80 percent of its videos overnight after claims it is allegedly infested with child abuse.

"As part of our policy to ban unverified uploaders, we have now also suspended all previously uploaded content that was not created by content partners or members of the Model Program," Pornhub said in an announcement in December.

"This means every piece of Pornhub content is from verified uploaders, a requirement that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter have yet to institute."

The site now requires users to upload a government-issued ID in order to post content as a result.

The women in the suit claim the efforts do not go far enough, however. 

“Of course you have consent from the person uploading the video,” Ashley said to CBS. 

“They're the one uploading it. But it's the people in the video that really need to be asked."

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