Pornhub: Soccer player sues porn platform over illegal sex clips


Imagine that millions of strangers, but also your closest friends, even your own mother, could see you having sex on the Internet – and that only because a few hackers were greedy for clicks.

For Leigh Nicol (25), this horror idea has become a reality. In 2019, hackers stole photos and videos showing them having sex from their iCloud. Then they uploaded the clips to the porn portal “Pornhub”. The fact that the Scottish soccer player was only 18 years old in the videos and had never given her consent to appear on the platform didn’t bother the hackers or “Pornhub”. Now Nicol and 33 other women are suing “MindGeek”, the operator of the porn portal, for compensation for sexual violence.

Because: Nicol had to send countless emails to “Pornhub” with an urgent request to delete the illegally uploaded videos. The porn portal handled them with automatic replies and did nothing else. “Pornhub” only deleted the videos after one of the clips had become the third most viewed posts and advertising money had poured into the platform’s coffers.

Too late: Users had already uploaded Nicol’s sex clips to other porn sites. The soccer player found out about it when a stranger sent her one of the videos on Instagram.

Nicol had already chosen a tree to hang

“When the videos appeared on ‘Pornhub’, the platform killed my personality, it erased happiness from me. It brought me almost two years of shame, depression, fear, terrifying thoughts, public torture and scars, ”the Scot wrote in a statement after she filed a lawsuit.

“What made it big was the fact that I played soccer. No matter where I go, I can’t escape it. Everyone knows, no matter which corner I go, “said Nicol in an interview with” Sky Sports “.

The fear of being ridiculed by her colleagues and her own shame grew so great that Leigh Nicol stopped her career and stopped playing football for a year.

The Scot became depressed, emaciated so much that there was only a kilogram between her and the failure of her organs. Nicol had already chosen a tree to hang herself from.



Today Nicol is back in midfield for the London team Crystal PalacePhoto: picture alliance / ZUMAPRESS.com

Therapists helped her out of this deep hole, but she still has to suffer from the ruthless behavior of the hackers. Whether on the Internet, in a bar or on vacation: “I still get comments, at least one per night. It hurts that this has become normal for me. “

By his own account, Nicol even suffered career setbacks because of the illegally uploaded clips. Two managers from other football clubs first approached her with offers, but backed off when higher-ups got wind of their past.

Pornhub showed revenge and rape porn for years

The 33 women who are suing “Mindgeek” together with Nicol also reportedly ended up on “Pornhub” against their will. For years, thousands of revenge and rape porn and sex clips with minors could be seen on the platform – uploaded by hackers or ex-partners who wanted to expose their lovers.

After a “New York Times” report on the victims of the illegally uploaded videos, credit card companies such as Visa and Mastercard terminated their cooperation with “Pornhub” in December 2020. In the spring, the porn platform stated that it had deleted around 600,000 clips that violated the terms of use since the report was made.

It is still not ruled out that people can end up on the porn platform against their will.

Nicol is playing soccer again

Nicol has been playing in midfield at the London club Crystal Palace since 2020. In her locker there is a picture of the tree on which she wanted to hang herself back then. “If I wasn’t good at a game and then stand in front of the tree, he reminds me that I can handle it. The tree is still standing. He’s still growing, just like me. “

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