Duke Porn Star Reveals Her Identity

03/04/2014 05:31 pm ET | Updated Mar 06, 2014

The Duke University student who has the campus -- and the Internet -- in an uproar over her after-school job doing pornography has revealed her identity. Her porn star identity, at least.

Publicly known under the monicker Lauren until now, Belle Knox came forward in xoJane and Playboy SFW pieces Tuesday as the so-called Duke porn star. She won't reveal her birth name, explaining that is what she reserves for her personal life, but did decide to show her face and disclose the name her fans are most familiar with:

My birth name is one name. IT IS MINE. It is the name I am enrolled in at Duke. 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.

Today, I'm going to officially reveal what my porn name is -- outside of the dregs of the Internet trying to bully me into using my birth name for porn, on message boards where comments like "Her nose is bigger than her tits" or "She deserves to be raped" are the common parlance -- and that is my choice to make.

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.

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 has given a limited number of interviews so far, each casting her identity and face under an anonymous disguise. One positive thing, as Uproxx noted, is that most of the major media coverage up to this point has refrained from outing either the real name or porn alter-ego.

Many people already figured out who the Duke student was, either through online sleuthing or people on the school's campus spilling the beans. In her xoJane piece, Knox addresses the vitriol she has faced from anonymous people online, with some calling her a "whore," "human decay," and threatening to assault her on campus. On her account, she's fired back:

"You want to see me naked," Knox writes on xoJane. "And then you want to judge me for letting you see me naked."

Knox said she reported some of the threats and stalking to local police, only to have them refer to the harassment as "childish threats."

In each of her interviews so far, she was sure to emphasize the reason she's doing porn at all is because of how expensive Duke is, even as the elite university argues $60,000 for a year of school is actually a bargain.

"My story is a testament to how f*cking expensive school is," Knox told Playboy. "The fact that the only viable options to pay for college are to take out gigantic student loans, to not go to college at all or to join the sex industry really says something. We need to recognize that there's a gap between what middle-class and upper-middle-class families can pay and what they're asked to pay. We also need to stop looking at loans as a solution to fix our education system, because they're crippling our economy."

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