Mia Khalifa opens up about controversial hijab scene
Mia Khalifa - perhaps unwittingly - has courted controversy with unique aplomb. The 26-year-old, who once held the title for being the most searched-for performer on PornHub, quickly become a contentious figure in the Middle East after videos of her performing sexual acts wearing the hijab were broadcast online. The BangBros clip sparked the most outrage in her home country, Lebanon, where certain sectors claimed she had brought disgrace upon the nation, and insulted Islam to boot.
Khalifa, however, has always been outspoken in her defence. She claims that she has been made a scapegoat for internet censorship in certain Islamic countries, and has closely aligned herself with the feminist movement - which strives for female sexual autonomy.
Now, the erstwhile adult performer has opened up about that infamous hijab sex scene in an interview with BBC HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur, where she revealed that she had no choice but to do the scene, even though she was opposed to it.
Watch Mia Khalifa discuss her former porn career:
"I verbatim told them, 'You guys are going to get me killed'", Khalifa told Sackur, who proceeded to ask why she didn't just say no. "Intimidation," she replied. "I was scared. I knew that if i said no, it would... you know, they're not going to force you to do it, at that point that's rape. No one is going to force you to have sex. But I was still scared..."
"I mean, I have you ever felt scared to... not scared, but nervous to speak up and say something at a restaurant when your food's not right, and the waiter comes by and says, 'How is everything?' I was intimidated, I was nervous," she continued.
After the scene started making the rounds on the internet, Khalifa was threatened by numerous religious groups online, including ISIS. The militant group threatened to behead her, and also sent her mocked-up photographs of her own execution. This, understandably, was one of the reasons why she decided to leave the adult industry;
"They photo-shopped a picture of me being beheaded and threatened that that would happen to me. It does worry me but I try not to show it, because you can't show weakness.
That's exactly what they're looking for. I really try and just make it look like it rolls off, but I'll admit, it gets to you after a while."
Mia Khalifa speaks out about her breast surgery:
After quitting the adult entertainment industry, Khalifa went onto work as a paralegal and bookkeeper, but in recent years she has become more of a social media personality, thanks to her work as a sports commentator.
Khalfia's segment will air on BBC News TV on Monday, and will also be able to stream online.