Stranger Than Fiction: The House of a Top-Level Pornhub Executive Was Set Ablaze
The porn industry is messy and while this could be a euphemism, in this case it's not. Netflix's new documentary Money Shot: The Pornhub Story follows the Wild West style beginnings of internet porn, eventually finding its way to Pornhub. It's pretty safe to say that it's probably the most recognizable name when it comes to digital intimacy, and this documentary tracks the highs and lows of the company.
We briefly meet the CEO of Pornhub's parent company, Feras Antoon, who was at the center of some intense legal issues surrounding accusations of child pornography and sex trafficking on the website. Where is he now? Here's the naked truth.
Where is Feras Antoon now?
A title card at the end of Money Shot: The Pornhub Story states that Antoon, along with COO David Tassillo, resigned as executives of Pornhuub's parent company MindGeek. However, they "remain owners of the company." The big question is how did Feras Antoon become one of the kings of internet porn? To no one's surprise, it all started with breasts.
According to a January 2022 Vanity Fair piece, in 2004 Antoon’s brother-in-law Stephane Manos and his business partner Ouissam Youssef graduated from the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science of Montreal’s Concordia University. Before graduating, they created Brazzers, an online porn company that Antoon dubbed "MILF niche." The focus was well-endowed women.
Soon, Manos and Youssef created a holding company they called Mansef and brought on Matt Keezer, a master of search engine optimization. The three launched Pornhub in 2007 and Antoon and Tassillo to focus on sales management. When Mansef was accused of money laundering in 2009 and forced to forfeit $2.2 million, it was sold to a "German programmer named Fabian Thylmann for a reported $140 million," in 2010. Two years later Thylmann was accused of tax evasion and the only ones left to run Pornhub were Antoon and Tassillo.
Right as Pornhub was being accused of sex trafficking minors, Feras Antoon's house burned down.
On April 25, 2021 Antoon slept through his brother's numerous phone calls alerting him that his mansion was burning down. Obviously Antoon wasn't living there at the time and didn't wake up until he heard his landline ringing. He told Vanity Fair he was "devastated" after arriving to a scene that needed "80 firefighters to battle the blaze" that reached 150 feet into the night sky. The entire house was destroyed and whoever did it, knew what they were doing.
As of the time of this writing, the arsonist or arsonists remain a mystery and Antoon had no interest in speculating about what happened. "I don’t want to accuse anyone until I know the facts," he told the outlet. It certainly didn't feel like a coincidence that only months before the fire, in December 2020, Pornhub was on the receiving end of a "series of legal and P.R. scandals."
Antoon denied them all but once that ball got rolling, it was hard to stop it.
The company's profits were severely dented when a New York Times exposé "accused the firm of knowingly hosting child sex abuse materials (CSAM)." After a criminal investigation was launched by Canadian authorities, credit card processors suspended payments which really hit the verified content creators the hardest. It didn't folks long to start looking at Antoon's massively expensive building project. In speaking with Vanity Fair, Antoon revealed that he just wanted to forget about the mansion.
Money Shot: The Pornhub Story is currently streaming on Netflix.