The trial against the owners and operators of the porn portal GirlsDoPorn, which has been going on for several months, came to a clear conclusion with the decision of the judge: the victims of the fraudulent company are to be compensated with almost 13 million dollars. The only question is where the money will come from. Like the founder Michael Pratt, a large part of the company’s assets have disappeared.
In the trial against porn producer Michael Pratt and his company GirlsDoPorn, a verdict has been reached. The more than 20 former performers who sued Pratt and the managing team of the porn platform are to be compensated, according to the responsible judge at a court in San Diego.
Right at the beginning of the trial, Pratt had fled to his native New Zealand and one of his executives had to admit to having transferred funds of the company abroad to keep them safe from potential claims for damages.
Many of the performers felt duped, harassed and massively defrauded under false promises of fees and deceitful claims of the way the content was distributed. »If I had known that they were posting it on the Internet, that my name would be attached to it, that it would be in the United States. If I had known that it was more than 30 minutes of filming, if I had known any of that, just any one of those, I wouldn’t have done it.«
Many of the women had originally responded to ads for modeling jobs, and the pornographic nature of the footage was only mentioned after their arrival. Also, the resulting videos were not only offered on DVD as promised but also on the Internet on the website of the widely marketed website called GirlsDoPorn.
The contracts were often only presented shortly before shooting began, fees were arbitrarily reduced, and women were hired to pretend to have had positive experiences with the company and to lie to the performers. One of the bait-women served as a witness for the plaintiffs in the trial. She said that she had received 50 to 200 dollars for all telephone calls she had made with women to convince them to participate.
But the trial also revealed the company’s actual product: victim shaming, doxxing and stalking. The actresses’ real names were published and circulated on the net and on a specially created website, to which Pratt apparently had administrator access, stalkers and revenge porn fans came together to stalk the performers in their real life, contact their families, friends, and employers and harass them on social media.
A lawyer for the plaintiffs said: »Dozens of websites, forums, and message boards exist dedicated solely to publishing victims’ real names, hometowns, social media accounts, photographs, and other personal information.«
Now then, Judge Kevin Enright has indicated in a 187-page summary judgment that Michael Pratt and GirlsDoPorn are liable for damages and should pay $12.7 million to the victims of the porn site.
44 pages of the report are dedicated to the massive consequential damages that the 22 plaintiffs have suffered in their private and professional lives. The report also lists the numerous shell companies that Pratt used to run to hide his actual business model and the fact that the women were shooting for GirlsDoPorn. Some accounts were held on the tax haven Vanuatu.
In his reasoning, Enright writes: »Plaintiffs are also entitled to recover the profits Defendants’ received from the unauthorized use. The parties stipulated that Plaintiffs’ videos generated $1,025,831.50 in profits for Defendants. None of this revenue was generated by an authorized use of Plaintiffs’ videos as Defendants only earned money from posting the videos online.«
The damages consist of over $45,000 in economic and financial damages suffered by each defendant and between $250,000 and §500,000 in emotional injuries.
If neither of the parties objects, the judge’s decision will become legally effective in mid-January. Since the judge continues to allow the company to produce films if it makes its contracts transparent and pays damages, the final chapter in the history of the still-active porn company may not yet have been written.
For the time being there is no comment from the company’s founder.