We Need To Talk About Mental Health In The Adult Entertainment Industry
Porn star Olivia Nova, real name Lexi Forte, was confirmed dead by her agent on 10 January, bringing the total number of porn star deaths in recent weeks to four. Two of those are thought to have taken their own lives.
Twenty-year-old Nova is the latest adult entertainer to have met such a tragic end, though the cause of her death has not yet been revealed. But according to the Mirror she had been battling with alcohol addiction, with her high school friend Taylor Jones revealing that the actor had spent Christmas alone:
When confirming her death, her representatives LA Direct Models paid tribute to a 'beautiful girl with a very sweet and gentle personality'.
On 9 November last year, 35-year-old porn star Shyla Stylez - known to her parents as Amanda Friedland - was found unresponsive in her bed by her mother, though the cause of her death has not been determined.
One month previously, on 5 December, 23-year-old August Ames - who was born Mercedes Grabowski - was found hanging in a public park, while on 13 December, 31-year-old Yuri Luv, whose real name was Yurizan Beltran, died after an apparent prescription drug overdose. Just a couple of weeks before her death, Yuri had talked about needing a hug on Twitter.
The string of tragic deaths had cause shock throughout the adult entertainment, with accusations from some fans that women in the industry aren't being given the support network they need.
As the Mirror reports, Shy Love, a friend of Yuri, has explained on social media that porn stars are regularly shamed and disrespected because of their occupation.
"You know what sucks the most," she wrote on Twitter. "You just want to be sad and mourn someone and you're stuck still doing social media like life did not matter.
"Being a porn star is a harder job them most can imagine and I wish that porn girls got way more respect for their jobs and hard work."
That was a sentiment echoed by Summer Brielle, an adult entertainer who confirmed on Twitter that porn stars need a good support network.
"I'm very very blessed to have him [my partner] and my family stand by me. It's still hard. I can't imagine how hard it is if you don't have that support. I'm just heartbroken for them."
As LADBible previously reported, cyberbullying is has been having a huge impact on the mental health of those who work in the adult entertainment industry.
While the deaths of these four women has sent shockwaves throughout the industry, porn actress Odette Delacroix recently told fans that August and Yuri's deaths won't be in vain.
"The passing of @AugustAmesxxx and @YuriLuv have inspired me to open up more about my own fifteen-year battle with depression instead of exhausting myself further by hiding it," she tweeted.
Mental health has been an ongoing epidemic all across the board in recent years, but a lot of attention has been focused on the porn industry specifically. In an interview with Men's Health, Tasha Reign, the chairperson of the Adult Performers' Advocacy Committee (APAC) said: "While therapy is helpful and suicide is preventable... we have to normalise sexuality, sex workers, and porn in order to create an environment where we don't feel 'othered' and alone.
"It's very difficult to tune out negative attitudes. Even if we love what we do. I hope the world becomes more peaceful."
'U OK M8?' is an initiative from LADbible in partnership with a range of mental health charities which features a series of films and stories to raise awareness of mental health.
Explore more here and don't suffer in silence. Reach out. It's the brave thing to do.
MIND: 0300 123 3393.
Samaritans: 116 123.
CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.
Australians can call Lifeline on 131114, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 18000 or visit the National Centre Against Bullying website.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter