Why are so many porn stars killing themselves? A dark and violent industry takes its toll

Mia Khalifa, who retired from the business in 2015, has often spoken about the porn movie business as an industry that 'preys on callow young women'


                            Why are so many porn stars killing themselves? A dark and violent industry takes its toll
The alleged suicidal deaths of adult film stars like Dakota Skye, Dahlia Sky and Kristina Lisina have raised concerns (Dahlia Sky/ Instagram @skysthelimitxoxo/ Kristina Lisina/ Instagram @kris_the_foxx, Dakota Skye/ Instagram @dakotaskyex)

The porn industry has always faced accusations of gleaning from 'preying on vulnerability' of young women and 'deceiving them into getting trapped into contracts'. The apparent abhorrence towards the adult film industry and attention on their business and the lives of their actors saw a rise following the deaths of multiple porn stars recently. Young porn stars such as Dakota Skye, Dahlia Sky and Kristina Lisina's deaths made headlines in June and July 2021.

The alleged suicidal deaths of adult film stars such as Skye, 27; Sky, 31; and Lisina, 29, have raised several concerns over the working conditions in the adult film industry. And these are not the only ones. Porn star Zoe Parker, 24, died in her sleep last year in September just days after moving back home to start a new life. Nadia Night, 42, was found dead in her home in December 2020. Selina Moon, 20, who had just started her porn career a year ago, died while filming on set in May 2021. Sadly, the list goes on. Here are some probable factors that have played a major role in the tragic deaths of porn stars in recent times.

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Online trolling

Porn star Dakota Skye, who died on June 9 in Los Angeles nearly a month after posting a topless photo next to a George Floyd mural on social media was homeless and battling with a severe fentanyl addiction at the time of her untimely death. She was trolled for posting a topless photo next to a Floyd mural. James Bartholet, who was a friend of Skye, spoke of her death and told The Sun, "A lot of girls in the industry are going through a lot of stuff. It's tough. In the adult film industry you receive a lot of praise. But you are also the target for a lot of harassment and unnecessary correspondence. Look out for your friends, you do not know what they are going through." 

Dakota Skye posed topless in front of a George Floyd mural in a photo shared on May 4. (Instagram/@dakotaskyex)

Dakota's aunt Linda said that her niece was trolled by other porn stars as well in the weeks before her death after she posed topless at a Floyd mural. "Her real life story and how she came to be in that industry, has truly been a tragedy. Lauren (Skye) was a product of a highly dysfunctional family involving drugs, alcohol, physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse. She was stalked by demons like no one will ever understand unless you've lived it."

Depression

Dahlia Sky was discovered inside a car with a fatal gunshot wound in Los Angeles on June 30. Her mother later revealed that Sky was homeless and was living in the car while battling breast cancer. Speaking of Sky's cancer battle, JHP Films owner Hans told AVN that the actress was suffering from depression due to her battle with stage four metastatic breast cancer. She had also posted on social media about the same. "During her last year I spoke to her several times about life. It was not an easy ride for her. This will take a long time to get over, if it's even possible. Dahlia Sky, you beautiful soul, you funny, complicated and warm-hearted friend! I am going to miss you so much," Hans said. 

Dahlia Sky (Instagram @skysthelimitxoxo)

Porn star Zoe Parker died in her sleep on September 12, 2020, just days after moving back home to Texas to start a new life. She had also announced her engagement shortly before her untimely death. Parker started her career in adult entertainment in 2014 at the age of 18. From 2014 to 2019, she appeared in over 120 scenes. After Parker's death, adult film actor Raylin Joy told The Sun, "It is a very fast-paced career span, even if you are in it for a long time it is still very short. Unless they are the top girls of the industry, they just sort of disappear into obscurity. Sometimes the stigma that can come with porn is too much for some girls to handle. Because it is not even the porn world that can really get to girls, it’s the bulls**t that girls can experience from the outside world. People think they have this idea of porn and that if you are a girl who does it then you must be a little bit weird or something."

Zoe Parker (GoFundMe)

Kristina Lisina, who tragically died after falling from the 22nd floor of a tower in St Petersburg on July 5, complained of “loneliness”. Reports claimed that Russian beauty entered the world of the adult film industry after rejecting a career in banking. Following her death, her friends said that she had wanted “to be loved and start a family,” and that she complained of “loneliness”. Reportedly, Lisina was quite popular on X-rated Western sites such as Pornhub, where she used to appear under her nickname Kris the foxx. 

Kristina Lisina (Instagram/@kris_the_foxx)

Work conditions

According to pornstarsdeath.com, 20-year-old Selina Moon who just started her porn career in 2020, and had only been in a handful of movies, died from an accidental overdose while filming in LA in May 2021. According to reports, the agency that managed the actress didn't bother to report her death to anyone in the industry and instead removed her from their website. 

Selina Moon (Twitter @selinamoonxxx)

Former adult film actress, Mia Khalifa, who retired from the business in 2015, has often spoken about the porn movie business as an industry that "preys on callow young women" and "traps women legally into contracts when they’re vulnerable". Behavioral scientist Gad Saad, who studies the porn industry, said, "When the camera is on, everybody is happy. The problem is that the work dries up. The phone stops ringing, and they say, ‘Now what?’ Porn stars aren’t the best at making a ‘what if’ plan for their future.”

Porn star Odette Delacroix, 28, also noted, “Adult performers get smacked around emotionally, they get it from every angle even within the industry. Plus, we’re all afraid to talk about any problems we have because it’s so competitive, if I say I’m depressed they’ll just use someone else. I don’t know if porn makes people depressed or if people who are depressed are more likely to be drawn into the industry.” She also revealed that bullying, both online and offline is a huge issue in the porn industry. "There isn't a day in my career I haven't had abuse from someone either online or in person. When my local high school found out about my career I was stripped of all my awards, they literally took my name off the wall, she added. 

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