Belle Knox: Duke University Porn Star Reveals Identity Amid Criticism, Threats

Nathan Francis

Belle Knox has revealed herself as the previously anonymous Duke University porn star who made waves when she wrote about her experiences as an adult film star and full-time student.

The woman, who had been previously known under the pen name Lauren, caused a stir on campus when a Duke freshman discovered her identity and revealed it to his fraternity. The Duke chronicle then wrote what Knox described as a "somewhat patronizing portrait of me."

Knox then wrote about her experiences in articles published in xoJane and Playboy SFW, still using the pseudonym Lauren.

After coming forward, Belle Knox said that she is still keeping her birth name private but is ready to come forward and reveal herself by the name most people would already know her.

"My birth name is one name. IT IS MINE. It is the name I am enrolled in at Duke," she wrote. "It is what my family and friends call me. My porn name is another name. It is the name I use when I perform. These are two different worlds in which I inhabit. I can't stop you from calling me any name you want to -- including 'slut,' 'whore' or 'bitch' -- but I can decide what name I use."

Belle Knox said she has been berated on message boards, reading comments like, "She deserves to be raped." She said coming out was meant to take control over her own life.

"The Internet does not dictate my life. My sexuality is not some sort of blackmail to be used against me, granting you ownership over my life or my story. It is my life. It is my story," she wrote. "So I'm refusing to let the bullies win. Instead, in revealing my performer name, I'm also going to let you know exactly the level of hate that exists in America regarding women who refuse to be quiet about their sexuality."

Knox also warned that those trying to cast stones at her anonymously aren't in the clear themselves.

"If you want to bully, harass, defame or threaten me from behind a computer screen, remember that NOTHING you do online is truly anonymous," she wrote on Twitter, though her account was listed as suspended as of Tuesday evening.

Belle Knox said her story is a testament to just how "f***ing expensive" Duke University is for the average person.

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