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Thousands gather at Women’s March on Washington D.C.

Duke student reveals porn identity, responds to backlash


It's been less than a month since Duke's college paper published a story on a freshman who worked in porn to pay her tuition bills. Now, she has chosen to reveal her identity for the first time and is speaking out against Internet threats and criticism.

The student announced her persona, Belle Knox, on Playboy early Tuesday and on xoJane later that afternoon. She had been calling herself "Lauren" and her porn identity "Aurora" since Duke's paper, The Chronicle, wrote her story, reportedly in an effort to avoid recognition on campus. (Via Twitter / @Collegefession)

>> Duke student responds to critics after outing as porn star

According to a Washington Post article, Lauren's identity was quickly discovered by Greek life websites, Yahoo Answers, trolling blogs and a WordPress site created specifically to collect personal information about her.

A blogger for Forbes writes, "Her mistake wasn't making porn to pay her tuition; it was imagining she could do so without becoming a viral sensation."

Lauren's privacy has been one of the most-debated points in the media coverage and Internet comments, with many claiming she should have known what she was getting into. She responded in an interview with WRAL.

LAUREN: "I hate when people say I'm not entitled to my privacy because I do porn. I'm a human being. ... You don't get to treat me badly just because I do something you don't agree with." (Via WRAL)

In the xoJane article, which Lauren wrote using her porn name, she says she has been receiving viral threats, including from people saying they would kick her in the face and throw garbage at her. She's even gotten comments that she should kill herself and that she deserves to be raped.

>> Read more trending stories

She reportedly took these comments to the police but says she was told they were "childish threats." She also said she felt the blame was pushed onto her and not the ones behind the screen.

Now, Lauren says the extensive Internet commentary and bullying has spurred her to reveal her porn persona because she wants to prove she is not ashamed of Belle Knox. (Via xoJane)

In the Playboy Q&A with Lauren, she says, "I'm scared, because I've already been getting stalked and threatened. One of two things will happen: Either people will be like, 'Well, she revealed herself. We don't need to terrorize her with, "We know your identity."' Or it'll get worse."

Duke University hasn't commented on the scandal, saying they don't disclose information about individual students.




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