In order to make some extra money to pay bills and help her child, a single mom and Marine reservist said she created an account that sold sexual videos and photos of herself online.
The Marine said she now has to stop the account because a subscriber took the videos and pictures off her page and started distributing it to Marines in Twentynine Palms, California, during an large division exercise.
This is the latest complaint of Marines sharing intimate videos and pictures of female service members without their permission. The Marine Corps has taken a harsh stance against the sharing of intimate pictures or videos without the owner’s consent since the Marines United scandal broke in 2017.
Marines United was a secretive Facebook page that had nearly 30,000 members, many of them active-duty troops, which shared pictures and videos of female service members and civilians.
One year after the Marines United scandal, the Corps has disposed of 80 cases of alleged misconduct.
“Marines are expected to maintain their commitment to one another and treat each other with dignity and respect," Capt. Joseph Butterfield, Headquarters Marine Corps spokesman, said in an email to Marine Corps Times Wednesday.
"We do not condone any behavior that degrades or demeans any person. It is a duty and responsibility of all Marines and Sailors to take a proactive role against prohibited activities and conduct. Actions that involve harassment, to include sexual harassment, unlawful discrimination, and abuse (specifically, hazing, bullying, ostracism and retaliation), as well as addressing nonconsensual distribution or broadcasting of certain images, videos, audio recordings, and active advocacy of, or active participation in, supremacist, extremist, or criminal gang matters erode the trust and cohesion essential to our team, and are incompatible with our core values,” he wrote.
In the recent incident with a female Marine with the Marine Corps Forces Reserve, the Marine told Marine Corps Times she had been tipped off by a friend from her old unit Monday evening who told her that someone had taken videos off her page and was passing them around Camp Wilson, California ― the staging area for many units that conduct exercises at the Marine Air-Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California.
“Bro there’s videos of you being air dropped... entire camp Wilson girl and etc," the friend texted the Marine, according to a screenshot sent by the Marine to Marine Corps Times.
After she found out about the unauthorized sharing of her pictures and videos, the Marine took to Twitter to vent her frustration.
The tweets came to the attention of Marine Corps Times early Tuesday morning, and the Marine was interviewed through Twitter messages and emails to Marine Corps Times.
The Marine said she only showed her face in one of the videos, but knew that her tattoos and the nature of posting videos online meant there was always a possibility people would find out what she was doing to make money. But she did not think the videos would ever be shared so freely among her old unit.
“I knew the risk of doing something like this but never expected it to be air dropped to an entire exercise,” she said in direct Twitter messages to Marine Corps Times.
When the Marine found out the photos were being shared, she said she moved to close her account with OnlyFans.com, an England-based website that advertises itself on Twitter as a “subscription site that enables content creators to monetise their influence."
The site allows members to charge a monthly subscription fee that provides access to all the content it pushes, and often is used to share adult content.
But, she said, because there were active subscribers on her page, she could only delete content or the account if she gave them a full refund.
OnlyFans.com has not yet responded to Marine Corps Times’ multiple attempts to contact them about how the service handles stolen content.
The Marine added she was hesitant to go to the Marine Corps with the complaint because she is still pursuing a career in the reserves and did not know if her page could jeopardize her future.
Representatives from the Marine Forces Reserve have not responded to inquiries from Marine Corps Times as to whether her page violated any orders or policies.
But a representative of the Marine Corps said that by distributing the content for free, without the Marine’s consent, the active-duty Marines who shared her photos may be violating a Marine Corps order against wrongful distribution or broadcasting of intimate images, and the incident may trigger a command investigation.
The Marine compared the stealing and sharing of her photos and videos to the Marines United scandal.
“Broadcasting intimate images has been a shamefully huge issue in the Marine Corps over the last few years,” the Marine said in an email to Marine Corps Times Tuesday. “Since the MU scandal and Marines signing the page 11, you would think they would learn, but they haven’t and this MUST be something that is no longer tolerated in The Corps.”
The Marine said she started selling the pictures and videos to take care of her son.
“I’m a single mom and full time student so I was doing what I could to pay the bills,” the Marine said to Marine Corps Times.
“It doesn’t make sense for me to get a night job because I already pay for his school during the day, and then I’d have to pay for night care and which would just be my whole pay check anyway,” she added.
For now, the Marine said she has stopped posting new content to the account and is planning on ending it as soon she can, giving up one of her major sources of income because of the leak.
“It’s unfortunate because it’s something I already feel terrible for doing,” the Marine said. “Not that I wanted to do it long term, but now that income is gone because people are stealing my content.”
Editor’s note: This story has been republished to remove the name and rank of the Marine who complained that her photos were taken. The story photo, which she had provided to Marine Corps Times, also has been changed.