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Meet Belle Knox: Duke University porn star reveals photo of herself under stage name

Updated: 06 Mar 2014
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Belle Knox
Revealed: The Duke University freshman revealed this photo of herself in a column for XOJane.com as well as her stage name, Belle Knox
 
Belle Knox
Bullied: Knox says people have set up fake Twitter accounts and used them to harass her
 
Belle Knox
Threats: Knox says both she and her family have received threats since her identity was revealed
 
Belle Knox
Joy: Knox previously said that her experience in porn has brought her 'unimaginable joy'
 
The Duke University freshman who turned to a career in porn to fund her education identified herself Tuesday in an online column in which she revealed a photo of herself under her stage name, Belle Knox.
 
Knox - previously identified by her college newspaper as 'Lauren' - was the subject of an article that appeared in the Duke Chronicle last month about the male classmate who outed her as a porn star to fraternities and sororities at the university.
 
In her column, Knox describes the bullying she's received since word of her porn career spread across her college campus - and the Internet.

'My decision to do porn to pay for college was a private one I made, and then I was outed to my university classmates by another Duke student who had seen me on the Internet a few months ago,' Knox wrote in the column, which appeared on the website XOJane.com. 'He proceeded to reveal who I was to the entire Greek system . . . I started to be harassed. He started to be applauded.'
 
Some of the harassment Knox describes include calls for her to leave Duke because of the humiliation she has caused the university, and some even saying that she killer herself.
 
'Most recently, I have been told that I am “an embarrassment to Duke,” I bring nothing but bad publicity to my school, and I need to be silent,' she writes. 'Do I want to behave and be a good girl? Then "no more media," I am told. The message repeated to me seems clear: "You are not a human being. You have no rights or feelings. You are simply a nuisance. You have to stay silent. No matter what, just stay silent."'
 
Knox ends her column with 'today, I am choosing to reveal my porn identity to the world. My name is Belle Knox, and I wear my Scarlet Letter with pride.'
 
Knox's story came to light last month after the Duke Chronicle ran an article about how the trouble started for 'Lauren' when fellow college freshman Thomas Bagley came up to her and asked her if she was the same girl as the adult film star he'd been watching.
 
Knox admitted that she acted in pornographic films under a stage name, but swore him to secrecy.

For his part, Bagley denies having recognized her in porn, telling the Daily Caller that she actually confessed her secret to him.
 
Both agree that despite his promise, Bagley blabbed at his next fraternity rush event.
 
Once he leaked the secret, people across campus were texting and tweeting about the Duke freshman porn star within a matter of days.
 
The aspiring lawyer was crudely mocked and attacked online.
 
'If you b***ed her, report in,' wrote one anonymous poster on the CollegiateACB message board.
 
'We going to pretend like she was unaware of the social consequences of going into that business? she made a decision, now she needs to live with the consequences,' wrote another.

She soon found herself talking to the campus newspaper about her life in porn, which Lauren would later call an attempt to control the conversation.
 
In that interview, Knox said she started in adult films as a way to offset her massive tuition bills, and called the Duke campus a place where women had to hide their sexuality, and were held to a 'virgin-wh*** dichotomy.'
 
In that story, the author took note of Knox's 'designer bag' and new iPad as proof of her porn-riches.

However, Knox wasn't entirely pleased with the Chronicle's representation.
 
While she thanked them for giving her a forum she also accused them of skewing her words and betraying her trust in a response on the blog Develle Dish, adding that they had 'portrayed me as a naïve, attention seeking little girl who flaunts her wealth.'
 
She went even further detailing her life in pornography and the lack of impact she expects it to have on her future in a first-hand account published on xoJane later that week.
 
'I couldn't afford $60,000 in tuition, my family has undergone significant financial burden, and I saw a way to graduate from my dream school free of debt, doing something I absolutely love,' Knox - as 'Lauren' - wrote. 'Because to be clear: My experience in porn has been nothing but supportive, exciting, thrilling and empowering.'
 
She further elaborated that the site she performed for was a 'rough sex website' but that she had never been 'coerced or harmed' while filming.
 
'Everyone has their kinks and we should not shame anyone for enjoying something that is perfectly legal and consensual for all parties involved,' she wrote.
 
'For me, shooting pornography brings me unimaginable joy. When I finish a scene, I know that I have done so and completed an honest day's work. It is my artistic outlet, my love, my happiness, my home.'
 
Finally, she shot back at critics who claimed she was being degraded: 'I can honestly say that I have never felt more empowered or happy doing anything else.'
 
Knox also called for people to examine why they treated female sexuality 'with such disdain,' and dismissed online comments that said her history would prevent her from finding work after graduation.
 
'I wouldn’t want to work for someone who discriminates against sex workers,' she wrote.
 
 
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