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March 01, 2018

Mia Khalifa Tells Lance Armstrong ISIS Drove Her to Quit Porn

CYBERSPACE—Even by porn standards Mia Khalifa’s tenure in the business was short, but her impact in the mainstream continues to be felt. Former cycling champion Lance Armstrong was the latest athlete to feel the heat Khalifa can still generate when he interviewed the social media phenom on his podcast The Forward. Since the February 26 podcast went online, it’s gone viral—not unlike the publicity generated when the native of Lebanon wore a traditional Muslim hijab while performing hardcore sex scenes. But as quickly as she shot to fame, almost immediately becoming the world leader in porn internet searches, she disappeared from the adult industry just as fast. Though her videos continued to be released into 2016, Khalifa actually worked as a performer over a mere three-month span in 2014 before retiring. At the time, reports noted that Khalifa had faced unspecified death threats. Khalifa discusses those threats and her experiences in porn—including her regrets—with the former cycling champion, who himself had much to regret after his fall from grace in a doping scandal.  Appearing on The Forward, Khalifa—who is not Muslim but instead a Lebanese Christian by birth—told the fallen Tour de France hero that soon after news of her “hijab” videos went viral, the terrorist group ISIS started threatening her life. “It all started to spiral out of control when the death threats from ISIS started coming in. That's when I stepped away,' the now-25-year-old Khalifa, who recently relocated to Texas after living for the better part of a decade in Florida, told Armstrong. “This was not what I was trying to do whatsoever. I just wanted to let loose and rebel a little bit.” She also told Armstrong that she now felt that her porn career was a “huge mistake,” but at the same time, she also told the athlete-turned-podcaster that she is attempting to “rebrand” herself, which likely gives her an incentive to distance herself from her brief stint in porn. She said on the podcast that her porn career began when a man handed her his business card in Florida, noticing her surgically enlarged breasts. Khlaifa had the operation not, she explained, to help her career—but because she suffered a sudden weight loss in college that resulted in her breasts becoming “deformed.” After the man offered to get her a start in porn, she said she thought it over for two weeks—then took the plunge. “I never put myself out there like that in college. I never had those crazy party nights,” she said. “I was very studious. I was trying to graduate early because I graduated high school early and I just wanted to get out of school and start my life.” Why did Armstrong have Khalifa as a guest on his podcast? Turns out that the pair have been friends for several years, and both now reside in Austin, Texas. Armstrong has even hosted Khalifa for dinner at his home, with his sons. And for Khalifa, the publicity boost could be quite handy for her most recent endeavor: a new show on Twitch.tv.

 
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