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Lawsuits & Litigation

Pornhub Hit with Federal Lawsuit Over Nonconsensual Sex Videos

— June 23, 2021

Pornhub was recently sued by dozens of women who claim the company made money off videos that showed sexual assault.

Pornhub is under fire in a recent lawsuit over claims that it “made money off countless videos that showed rape, women forced into porn and people who never OK’d their explicit encounters to be released.” The plaintiffs include 34 women. Each of them 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.” On top of that, the suit alleges the porn company placed “profits over people and exploited victims of sex trafficking and sex crimes.” The federal lawsuit was filed in California last week. 

Gavel and two hardbound books on wooden table; image by Succo, via
Gavel and two hardbound books on wooden table; image by Succo, via

When commenting on the case, Michael Bowe, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, said, “This is a case about rape, not pornography.” He is also accusing Mindgeek, Pornhub’s parent company, “of failing to do enough to police non-consensual videos uploaded to its sites.”

The plaintiffs come from all over the U.S., the U.K., Columbia, and Thailand. The incidents described by the women include one “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.” The suit states:

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

The suit also describes the company as a ‘Bro Club’ and highlights a “network of ‘bosses,’ ‘over-bosses,’ and ‘capos.’ It notes that when women tried to get the videos removed, they “faced great difficulties and pushback.” One of the victims who tried to get the videos of her removed hired a lawyer and “disappeared after receiving threats, with only a mysterious text from an alleged friend to her attorney saying she was injured and in a coma.” According to the suit, that victim’s “whereabouts and condition are still unknown.”

So far, Pornhub has pushed back against the allegations and stated the lawsuit is an “effort to shut down the adult content industry.” In a statement shortly after the lawsuit was filed, the company said:

“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…We stand resolutely with all victims of internet-related abuse…Pornhub takes every complaint regarding the abuse of its platform seriously, including those of the plaintiffs in this case.”

Since the complaint began surfacing, the company has “banned uploads from unverified users and has expanded its moderation processes.” 

Earlier this year, Mindgeek was hit with a federal class-action lawsuit over similar accusations.


Lawsuit bashes Pornhub for profiting off illegal activity, unconsented sex

Pornhub sued for allegedly serving nonconsensual sex videos

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