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3 Jan, 2020 22:41

GirlsDoPorn slapped with $12.8 MILLION in damages over ‘tricking’ 22 women into porn videos

GirlsDoPorn slapped with $12.8 MILLION in damages over ‘tricking’ 22 women into porn videos

The owners and operators of GirlsDoPorn are on the hook for $12.8 million in damages and face sex trafficking charges after a California court ruled they conned 22 women into appearing in porn videos posted online.

The women sued GirlsDoPorn for fraud, saying they were lured in with lucrative modeling gigs, then told they would be shooting porn, but only for foreign collectors and certainly not for the internet. The dishonest tactics “caused the videos to become common knowledge in plaintiffs’ communities and among their relations and peers – the very thing that plaintiffs feared and that defendants expressly assured them would not happen,” San Diego Superior Court Judge Enright wrote in his ruling on Thursday. 

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Enright found that the GirlsDoPorn CEO Michael Pratt, videographers Matthew Wolfe and Teddy Gyi, and a handful of other conspirators had engaged in “malice, oppression or fraud,” and imposed a fine of $9.475 million in compensatory damages and $3.3 million in punitive damages. The deception, he said, occurred over the course of several years and caused severe harm to the victims. 

Collectively, they have experienced severe harassment, emotional and psychological trauma, and reputational harm; lost jobs, academic and professional opportunities, and family and personal relationships; and had their lives derailed and uprooted,” the judge said.

They have become pariahs in their communities.

Known only as Jane Does 1-22, the women said they were seduced with Craigslist ads for modeling gigs paying $5,000, then told they’d be shooting a porn scene instead (usually for less money) when they arrived at the hotel where the shoot was to take place. 

However, the company told the women – then between the ages of 18 and 23 – that the porn videos they filmed would be distributed solely to private clients outside the US, usually in Australia and New Zealand, on DVD only and never with their names attached. 

GirlsDoPorn even enlisted “reference women” to pose as satisfied “models,” reassuring the “new recruits” that “the experience is safe and enjoyable, and that the videos have never appeared online or been discovered by anyone in the models’ lives.” Several women claimed the defendants blocked their attempts to back out of the shoot by putting furniture in front of the door.

Often after being plied with drugs and alcohol, the women were handed an eight-page contract with a single reference to “online purposes” buried at the bottom of the second page, and rushed to sign. Enright declared the contracts “unenforceable and void.” 

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GirlsDoPorn not only posted the videos to its own website, but spread them to numerous popular porn sites, including PornHub. The women also had links to the videos sent to their friends and family members, and some were doxxed on online porn forums. Enright ordered GirlsDoPorn to remove photos and videos of the women from its website, though it isn’t clear how or if the images have been scrubbed from other sites.

What was originally a civil lawsuit has since spiraled into a federal sex trafficking and child pornography case. Wolfe is currently in jail, along with actor Andre Garcia. Gyi, secretary Valerie Moser, and ‘reference woman’ Amberlyn Dee Nored were arrested but released on bond. Pratt is on the loose and believed to be hiding out in New Zealand; an arrest warrant has been issued for his failure to appear at the civil trial, and he is extraditable under the child porn charges he faces.

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