Crime | April 28, 2021 11:14 am

It Seems Like Someone Burned Down This Pornhub CEO’s Giant Mansion

Police suspect arson in a fire that ravaged a Pornhub exec's multi-million dollar mansion last weekend

Match flame on black background
Police suspect arson, which sound about right given the rampant anti-porn sentiment afoot these days.
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It’s no secret that some people really, really hate porn, and even more people really, really hate Pornhub — particularly in the aftermath of an ongoing scandal ignited last year when a New York Times editorial accused the platform of hosting illegal and exploitative content. In this age of anti-porn sentiment fueled by evangelical, right-wing extremism insidiously veiled in misleading anti-sex trafficking rhetoric, it comes as little surprise that police suspect arson in the fire that ravaged a mansion belonging to Pornhub exec Feras Antoon last weekend.

The massive blaze that took out the sprawling Montreal estate late Sunday night is currently under investigation by the Montreal Police arson squad, a media relations officer told Vice. Police were reportedly called to the scene at 11:30 p.m. Sunday night after receiving reports of two trespassers on the property. By the time authorities arrived, the multi-million dollar mansion was already engulfed in flames that would require more than 80 firefighters to extinguish. The fire was under control by 2:30 a.m., and no one was hurt, though the elaborate residence — which was under construction and had recently gone up for sale — was decimated.

“Over the weekend, a fire occurred at my residence,” Antoon told VICE in a statement. “The residence was under construction. I am grateful that my family and I and our neighbors are safe. Out of respect for the ongoing police investigation, I will not be commenting further.”

Prior to the blaze, the lavish home had been listed for nearly $20 million dollars. The luxury residence sat on 1.4 acres of land in Montreal’s upper class Ahuntsic-Cartierville neighborhood, boasted eight bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, and a “‘Multi Sport Complex’ for basketball, volleyball and badminton designed to double as a magnificent ballroom,” according to the listing.

While the source of the blaze remains unknown, the timing hardly seems coincidental. The incident occurs as Pornhub — and the porn industry in general — weather increased scrutiny from anti-porn activists, which, in the hands of some extremists, has turned violent. If the fire was indeed an act of arson, it would hardly be the first violent act committed against the porn industry. Earlier this month, a Pornhub spokesperson told Vice the company’s security team is monitoring continuous threats against staff.

“Rampant anti-porn rhetoric has drastically increased instances of death threats and doxing against our employees,” the Pornhub spokesperson told Vice. “Unfortunately, it has also been detrimental to the hundreds of thousands of models who seek to use our platform to earn a living.”

Let this alleged arson be a very tangible reminder that anti-sex-industry activism — even when it’s wrapped up in the seemingly well-intentioned guise of anti-sex-trafficking rhetoric — is a real and dangerous threat that puts lives at risk.