Ex-Celtic star Leigh Nicol who had private images leaked to adult sites SUES Pornhub after revealing vile abuse

Ex-Celtic star Leigh Nicol who had private images leaked to adult sites SUES Pornhub after revealing vile abuse

CRYSTAL PALACE midfielder Leigh Nicol is one of four British women suing PornHub after claiming that the site published sex videos without consent. 

The Scot, 25, took a year out of the game and shut her social media accounts after the terrifying discovery in the spring of 2019.

Ex-Celtic player Nichol  had the photos and footage of herself having sex aged 18 stolen and then shared by online hackers who allegedly targeted her iCloud account in 2019. 

The explicit video, which was taken in 2014, was removed by Pornub after she sent “numerous emails”, and received “generic, automated responses.”

But it was only taken down after at least one video trended across the X-Rated website top three, and was downloaded and posted elsewhere on the internet. 

According to the 179-page lawsuit filed in California's state court against Pornhub’s parent company Mindgeek, she was forced to stop playing football professionally for a year because of the distress it caused. 

The document also states that she still suffers “significant emotional harm, including  anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and panic attacks” after the ordeal.  

Miss Nicol said she still “feels sick” when she looks in the mirror over the videos shared showing her having sex.

Nichol bravely chose to waive he anonymity and speak out about the traumatising incident, in a bid to help others educate themselves on the adult online world.

Speaking to Sky Sports she said: "The sickness was extreme. It was a mixture between having a panic attack and being sick.

"It was a vicious cycle. It was absolutely atrocious. There's shame, there's embarrassment, there's disgust, sickness, there's doubts that I'm not good enough.

“I feel like no one would ever potentially want to actually be my future husband, because I've got these videos attached to me.

"People watch these videos and do not realise the damage to people's lives. They are giving these websites a lot of money with their views, their sharing and their downloading but there are victims here.

"The damage is done for me so this is about the next generation. I feel like prevention is better than someone having to react to this.

"I cannot change it alone but if I can raise awareness to stop it happening to others then that is what I want to do.

"Football has been the key to my recovery. I am so grateful that I have found a club like Palace that allows me to be myself. They have supported me as a human being.”

Nicol was a star of the Celtic academy in her teens before a move to Arsenal in 2013, which was followed by stints with Reading, London Bees and Millwall.

Three other British women also form part of the lawsuit, filed in California on Thursday, with 34 women in total making complaints. 

Of the women, 14 of them were underage when the videos were uploaded, and another 14 were the victims of convicted sex criminals. 

They are living in the US, UK, Colombia, Thailand and Canada, and are referred to as Jane Doe and then a number. 

Jane Doe 2 was reportedly blackmailed by convicted child sex offender Abdul Hasib Elahi, 26, and was forced to send him explicit photos and videos aged 15, which were then shared onto sites including Pornhub. 

Vile Elahi admitted to posing as a rich “sugar daddy” in a bid to force his victims to engage in sexual activity before selling horrific “box sets” of the abuse. 

He is thought to have sold the footage and images to almost 2,000 people worldwide, with his youngest victims aged eight months old.

Elahi will be sentenced in September after admitting 157 offences at Birmingham Crown Court, after being arrested in 2018 but continuing to offend until August 2020 despite being on bail.

One video that Jane Doe 2 was forced to film was shared to Snapchat by a classmate, and was then screen recorded and posted on Pornhub along with other photos and videos of her. 

She then contacted the police, with Pornhub removing the content, but it was re-uploaded along with her home address and relatives' social media accounts. 

According to the lawsuit in December 2020, two years later, there are at least five separate links or videos of Jane Doe 2 still active. 

Another Brit discovered a “compilation video of men masturbating to nude photographs of her at 14 years old” on Pornhub in 2014, the lawsuit alleges.

Only when Jane Doe 6 sent an image of her passport to confirm her age did the website responde, but allegedly the video was not removed. 

Pornhub today said it was reviewing and investigating the complaint, saying: "We stand resolutely with all victims of internet-related abuse. Pornhub takes every complaint regarding the abuse of its platform seriously, including those of the plaintiffs in this case.”

A separate federal lawsuit filed against Mindgeek in February claims that a Pornhub Senior Community Manager said in a Reddit post that age verification would be a “disaster” for Pornhub because it “costs money” and would result to a 50 percent drop in traffic. 

According to the California lawsuit Mindgeek makes an estimated $97billion a year.

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