Former adult film star, Mia Khalifa, the Lebanese-born American speaks out after filming a pornographic scene while wearing a hijab when she was only 21-years-old and new to the industry. She was instructed to put on the hijab while performing and, knowing that it wouldn't sit well with the public, said to the director: “you’re going to get me f**king killed". When asked why she didn’t say no, Khalifa said: “Being 21, I didn’t know that I could speak up.”
Although the scene put Khalifa in the spotlight as the number one ranked performer on Pornhub, it attracted a lot of negative attention from the Islamic State and, a week later, she was receiving death threats. One threat involved her face being photoshopped onto another person’s body in a video that showed the mocked up Khalifa being beheaded, warning her that she would go to hell. It got worse as someone tweeted a Google image of her apartment with a death threat, making Khalifa fear for her life.
She faced a tonne of criticism and abuse from the Muslim and Lebanese community all over her social media accounts. Khalifa even said: “My Instagram account got hacked by ISIS. They started pushing propaganda on it.” The once most-watched star spent just three months working in the adult film industry before leaving in 2015 because of the threats from jihadis.
She concluded in an interview: “I think that’s why I have such thick skin now. No one harassing me on the internet is going to get to me after all that. I just try to laugh things off because it could always be much, much worse”. She is still racking up tons of views on her adult movies and refuses to be held down by the Islamic State. She recently appeared on an episode of Lance Armstrong’s podcast The Forward where she discussed not being able to get rid of the ‘porn star’ distinction even though she only did it for a brief amount of time.
She told Armstrong that a porn career was never something she wanted to pursue, but when a man approached her shortly after having breast surgery for health reasons, she agreed. “I thought about it for two weeks and made the mistake of saying yes.” Khalifa admitted that she had low self-esteem because she was overweight for most of her teen years and was looking for validation.
“As soon as I started to gain popularity that’s when I was like ‘get the f*** out of this’ ... this was not what I was trying to do whatsoever,” she opened up to Armstrong about the overnight fame that came with doing the controversial hijab scenes.
Now, with a passion for sports, the social media personality is trying to put her shady past and adult film days behind her, looking at different ways to escape the ‘porn star’ title.