Duke University Freshman Pays for Tuition by Being a Porn Star

duke university

On Valentine’s Day, the Duke University newspaper, The Chronicle, published an article revealing that a female freshman, referred to as “Lauren,” was paying her way through college by acting in porn films. The news was leaked when fellow freshman, Thomas Bagley, recognized Lauren while watching porn and told other students at a fraternity rush event on January 10. Bagley said Lauren admitted that she was in fact the porn star while they were on their way to a party together. She asked him to keep it a secret and he agreed, later breaking his promise that night. By January 11 the news had spread across campus.

Pornography websites account for an estimated 450 million visitors each month, which accounts for 30 percent of all data transferred across the Internet. Statistics from 2006 show that the porn industry generated more than $13 billion in revenue in the U.S. In China, the money generated from the porn industry is more than twice that.

Duke University costs over $60,000 a year including tuition, room and board, class supplies, and personal expenses. With that in mind, the freshman porn star decided to alleviate the costs of a Duke University education by paying her tuition without the help of financial aid.

Katie Fernelius, a student at Duke and writer for The Chronicle, reached out to Lauren to get her side of the story. Lauren was eager to speak to the newspaper to control the story.

Fernelius described Lauren as an average Duke woman, wearing a blue V-neck, yoga pants, and carrying a North Face jacket tucked under her arm. Lauren identified herself as a Republican and is a women’s studies and sociology double-major.

Lauren travels to Los Angeles, all expenses paid, during school breaks to shoot adult films for her agency, Matrix Models. She did not reveal how much she makes working as a porn star but said that it is enough to keep her in school. Her parents do not know of her involvement with the porn industry. During winter break, Lauren told her parents that she had an additional exam so that she could fly to Los Angeles.

Yet the freshman defends herself amid the campus-wide rumors. She said she feels like women at Duke hide their sexuality. Lauren also recalls her time working as a waitress in high school, a time during which she barely had time to sleep and made $400 a month after taxes. She found the waitressing job more degrading than she has ever felt shooting porn, which she loves and describes as consensual sex between adults in an atmosphere in which she feels more at home than on the Duke campus. She said she feels more empowered than she has ever felt.

When asked about feminism, Lauren emphatically stated that she is a feminist, but takes issue with women making decisions for other women. She takes feminism to mean advancing her personal liberty, while championing her body and the right to choose what to do with it.

A Duke representative said that the university spent more than $130 million this year in undergraduate financial aid. Still, one Duke University freshman felt the need to act as a porn star to pay tuition.

By David Tulis

Sources:

The Chronicle

Daily Mail

Daily News

Duke Admissions

Family Safe Media