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My name is Bree Olson, I’m a former porn star, and since retiring I remained silent. Silent about being discriminated. Silent about being segregated, silent about being threatened, silent about being depressed, humiliated, and disgraced.
The things I talk about in Real Women Real Stories filming project are brief. Real Women Real Stories by Matan Uziel brings awareness to critical issues that millions of women face every day. As a result of many different factors, however, many of them will never come forward to get the help they need—they will remain silent, like I did for so long. I hope that because I shared a bit of my story through Real Women Real Stories, others will have the courage to use their voices, too. I won’t stay silent anymore. I chose to speak up.
When I got into the industry at 19 I was just experimenting sexually. I found it fascinating. I was a full time student at Purdue University studying pre-med biology and also had a full time job as a telemarketer. I flew out to L.A. just to try it and was very shocked at the money to be made. I decided to drop out of school eventually and make the most I could. I saw nothing wrong with being open with my sexuality and my family and friends supported me. I never lived in L.A. the entire time I even did porn. I flew there for work and carried on here in Indiana with what people would consider a very typical Midwest lifestyle.
It wasn’t until I decided to leave the industry at 25 that I realized how much society was judging me. I had always pushed them out of my mind but because I had gotten sucked into a media frenzy I was exposed to the masses and it killed me to see how they thought of me.
Porn is the one industry where the more successful a woman is, the more she will suffer for the rest of her life.
I left a career where I made millions to try and gain respect. I pushed and struggled for years. People look at me as if I am the same as a sex offender. They look at me as though I am less than in every way, and they assume the absolute worst in every way. I had never realized how progressive my mind was and how scared people were of sexuality until this. I also realized I could never go back and be a nurse or a teacher, or work for any company really that can fire me under morality clauses for making customers feel “uncomfortable” because of who I am.
There are no royalties in porn. I see ads to this day, and my movies are everywhere on the Internet. These faceless people behind the industry still make millions and face no repercussions, and I am left to try and come up with ideas of how to have my own business because there’s not much else I can do. We are the only entertainment industry that doesn’t offer talent royalties after they are gone. So now I am shunned by society and broke.
I’ve had people recognize me off just my voice alone. Porn is the one industry where the more successful a woman is, the more she will suffer for the rest of her life.
My biggest regret was leaving the industry. Leaving all of that money and trying to get the world to like me. They still don’t, and they never will. I should have just put in another five years at least so that in more my smart financial years as I was older, I could have saved enough to live comfortably for the rest of my life.
I left a career where I made millions to try and gain respect.
People hate me and if they knew me, I’m one of the nicest people they’d ever meet. It’s a shame. It’s a shame for everyone.
My message to young girls is to be careful. Things don’t just work themselves out when you get into the industry or leave it. You become a segregated part of society that has no civil rights group behind it. Life is already hard enough, don’t do this to yourself. The money isn’t worth the pain of what society will put you through forever.
Porn didn’t hurt me. The way society treats me for having done it does.
Screengrab via Real Women Real Stories/YouTube
Bree Olson is an actress and former adult film star. Since leaving the industry in 2011, she's been an outspoken critic of its practices and lasting impact. She is based in Los Angeles. You can follow her adventures at BreeOlson.com.