For years the people behind Mindgeek remained seclusive and tried to stay away from the limelight. But it was only a matter of time until the owners got into the news as Mindgeek is reigning over some of the most lucrative and dominant brands in adult entertainment. Now the name of one the principal guys behind the porn giant is making more and more headlines. One of the reasons? His mansion in Montreal burnt to the grounds.
Feras Antoon is CEO and co-owner of the most important company in online pornography: Mindgeek. The Luxemburg-based company with offices in Montreal and all over the world reigns over brands like Pornhub, Redtube, Brazzers, MyDirtyHobby and Nutaku. Recently the company had to suffer a lot of bad press and anti-porn lobbyists led a moral crusade against the company ultimately leading to financial partners of Mindgeek to force the company to censor its own content.
As the market leader in adult streaming platforms, the company got a lot of public and governmental scrutiny over the last few years. Feras Antoon even had to testify in front of the US senate. So it must be very annoying to the normally rather reclusive CEO that his name made again headlines all over the world recently.
A few days ago, more than 80 firefighters responded to a fire in Montreal, Canada. The reason was that the luxury mansion owned by Feras Antoon was in flames. According to news reports the fire call was preceded by a call to police: Two people were reportedly observed trespassing.
The SPIEGEL reported that Antoon’s property has recently been put up for sale online. The asking price was $19.8 million Canadian dollars, the equivalent of just over €13.2 million.
Spiegel said: »The luxury building was to feature, among other things, an ‘aquarium lounge’, a home spa, a billiards room, three garages for three cars each, and a sports area for basketball, volleyball, and badminton, as well as eleven bathrooms.«
CBC reported that Antoon bought the property originally for a good two million Canadian dollars. That didn’t go unnoticed either as local media wrote that he had more than 200 trees cut down to build the house.
The fire itself was devastating but luckily no one was injured. Feras Antoon confirmed to VICE that the fire occurred at his property. »I am thankful that my family, myself and our neighbors are safe,« Antoon said. He would not comment further in light of the ongoing police investigation.
So far, Montreal police believe it was arson. One of their spokespersons told VICE that the department responsible for such cases has taken over the investigation. According to the spokesperson, the police officers who arrived on the scene could see that the fire had first started inside the building.
Why Antoon wanted to sell his luxury building before it was completed is unknown. And that follows the usual pattern of all things related to Mindgeek. Not much is known about Antoon or his partners. And even though it might be difficult, they hope it remains that way and Mindgeek can get back to operating without much media reporting.