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The Only Thing Worse Than A College Student/Porn Actress Committing Suicide Is The Way The Media Covers It

By / 05.22.14

Apologies for the very anti-uplifting story, but porn actresses getting outed is a topic we’ve covered quite a bit around these parts. It’s easier to find a villain when your porn company outs you after finding out you’re a minor celebrity, like what happened with Miss Teen Delaware, but trickier when people who know you find out on their own, as happened with Belle Knox, and apparently happened to 19-year-old University of Wisconsin student Alyssa Funke (pictured). She did a video for Casting Couch X (as “Stella Ann”) that went up in March, and ended up committing suicide April 16th.

Her high school classmates seem to have found out about her video shortly before the suicide, but suicide, as always, is a complicated subject that surely defies simple cause and effect. And I’m sure the local media will cover it with the tact and nuance it deserves…

The first thing a person might notice about Alyssa is that she is stunningly beautiful, but she is so much more — a straight-A student, and a freshman at the University of Wisconsin’s River Falls campus with big dreams. [FoxTwinCities]

Ah sh*t.

 

Just a few days after that video was posted online, Alyssa began getting taunting messages on Twitter and Facebook — mostly from old classmates at Stillwater High School, where students were abuzz and they were not kind.

Students huddled around their phones in the cafeteria, looking at the video. One student sent a tweet that said, “Wow your a thot” — slang for a prostitute — “Does her dad know?”

Another wrote, “Nothing brings a school together like a porn star who graduated last year. I guess you could say news spreads fast here at Stillwater hahah.”

Alyssa responded with her own tweets, “famous for dayzzz” and “pornstar status, a-okay” — but everything was not okay. Two weeks after the video was posted online, on April 14, Alyssa bought a 12-gauge shotgun, drove to a picturesque boat landing on Big Carnelia Lake and killed herself. She was only 19 years old.

Funke’s family said she had struggled from depression in the past and didn’t have a great family life, but obviously we can’t let news like this go without some charmingly reductive, thinkpiece-y writings on the dangers of “cyberbullying” and an anti-porn activist reminding us all that “porn lasts forever.”

…her classmates at UW-River Falls say they have little doubt about what drove her to suicide.

“A lot of people are really negative — troll-y — about it or standing up and saying it shouldn’t happen to people,” Katrina dodge said. “Sad it’s still happening, actually.”

Still, the question remains, who is this Katrina, and why doesn’t she capitalize her last name?

Joy Friedman is a social worker with Breaking Free, a non-profit that helps women get out of the sex industry. She sees young women like Alyssa and [Belle Knox] all the time and sees little difference between pornography and prostitution — especially when she hears the man behind the camera.

“He did the same thing that pimps do,” she said. “It reminds me of the pimps who talked to me.”

Friedman believes that because children are exposed to pornography at a younger age, they’ve become desensitized to it and don’t realize that the decision to do porn today could follow them for a lifetime.

“This is permanent, she can’t erase this. Now, it goes into your family, it goes into your friends, it goes into your career,” Friedman said. “In the future, this is what you’re known for and this is who you’re labeled as. That affects you.”

Hey, you know what else might affect you? People who don’t even know you assuming that you’re a prostitute.

The man in the video asked Alyssa if she had a normal childhood. She said yes, but Friedman didn’t buy that either.

“I bet if we had to go back and pull back the layers of what happened for her, I imagine we’d find something dysfunctional in her past,” Friedman said.

“The fact is: If this is such a glamorous, okay job/lifestyle/career, why’d she kill herself?” Friedman asked. [FoxTwinCities]

Ugh. Just because you’re supposedly trying to help doesn’t make it okay to be a presumptuous asshole.

Look: People, whatever their underlying issues may be, often make the conscious decision to star in porn of their own free will. That’s their decision. Meanwhile, most of us watch that porn, so is it really that much to ask for you to be nice to them about it? Would you crap on the farmer while eating his peaches? Okay, that was probably a poor choice of words. The point is, mind your own damn business and don’t be a f*cking hypocrite.


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TAGSALYSSA FUNKECASTING COUCHJOY FRIEDMANOUTED PORN STARSPORNOSTELLA ANN

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