A student confirmed she is the star of a porn video. She says it is helping her pay her tuition, and adds she has nothing to be ashamed of.
That young woman says she saw porn as a chance to graduate from her dream school debt free. However, she is finding it may have cost her something more, her privacy. It may be one of the worst kept secrets.
"Someone from another school texted me about it...so it wasn't a surprise to find out about this," said one Duke student.
In an open letter from "Lauren," the alias of a Duke University freshman speaking out in a national interview, she admits she pays her tuition with porn.
"For the first month or so of college, my family paid it. But, I could tell it was a very big burden on them," she said.
It is the financial reality of attending an elite university, hard to get into, and even harder to pay for.
So instead of leaving her dream school, she secretly went to work fulfilling other people's sexual fantasies.
"Porn has allowed me to set boundaries on what it is that I want to do. Everything that I do, I do willingly, I do consensually, and I do because I love doing it," she said.
However, some hate it, enough to take to social media to criticize the adult film actress, putting her anonymity at risk.
"I might not agree with her choice...I do support her in whatever she chooses to do," said student Elizabeth Molinet.
"Lauren" has earned some support, both on and off-campus.
"It's not the kind of advertising you'd want to put out there, but it's still bringing attention to your school," said Shawn Radcliffe.
Yet, it may not be the kind of attention Duke leaders had in mind.
On Monday, they issued a statement about the more than $61,000 tuition, room and board: "We can't comment on any specific situation, but whenever we identify a student in need of support, we reach out to them and offer the many resources that we have available on campus to assist them. Regarding financial aid, Duke has a substantial financial aid program that meets the full-demonstrated need of every student based on a careful review of his or her individual family circumstances. More than half of Duke students receive some form of financial assistance from the university."
"Lauren" says she does not feel exploited but instead empowered. She says she has been attacked online and on campus because of what she believes are misperceptions about women and sexuality.
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