Bella Thorne apologises over OnlyFans controversy: ‘I hurt you’

Former Disney star caused uproar after charging hundreds of dollars so website users could view photos of her in lingerie

Roisin O'Connor
Sunday 30 August 2020 09:15
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Bella Thorne issued an apology after her success on the website OnlyFans sparked a backlash in defence of sex workers.

The 22-year-old former Disney star claimed to have made millions within 24 hours of launching her page, on which she charged fans $200 (£150) to view photos of her wearing lingerie.

However, fellow users who charge fans to view fully nude and sexually explicit content on their own pages were furious, as Thorne’s success was speculated to have caused a change in the website’s rules.

The website now prevents members from charging more than $50 (£38) for photos, while payment waiting times were increased from seven to 30 days.

A spokesperson for the website dismissed claims that the changes were linked to Thorne’s success, and said instead the transaction limits had been introduced “to help prevent overspending and to allow our users to continue to use the site safely”.

“We value all of the feedback received since this change was implemented and we will continue to review these limits,” they said.

Sex workers accused Thorne of lying to fans over the nature of the photos she was sharing, as a screenshot appeared to show her promising nude content. Fans also accused her of creating a “scam”.

Thorne, who has said from the beginning that her venture into OnlyFans was part of her research for a film role, has now apologised.

“PT1 Remove the stigma behind sex, sex work, and the negativity that surrounds the word SEX itself by bringing a mainstream face to it that’s what I was trying to do, to help bring more faces to the site to create more revenue for content creators on the site,” she tweeted.

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“I wanted to bring attention to the site, the more people on the site the more likely of a chance to normalize the stigmas, And in trying to do this I hurt you.”

Thorne said she had risked her career in her attempts to “remove the stigma behind sex work, porn, and the natural hatred people spew behind anything sex related”.

“I wrote and directed a porn against the high brows of my peers and managers because I WANTED to help with the stigma behind sex,” she said.

“I am a mainstream face and when you have a voice, a platform, you try to use you in helping others and advocate for something bigger than yourself. Again in this process I hurt you and for that I’m truly sorry.”

Thorne added that she plans to meet with the people behind the OnlyFans website to discuss the new restrictions, calling them “f***ed up”.

Last week, director Sean Baker dismissed Thorne’s earlier announcement that her OnlyFans experiment was research for his film, in which she was set to appear.

“I would like to make it clear that the news of me making a film (documentary or fiction narrative) about Onlyfans and using Bella Thorne as research is false,” he wrote in a statement on Twitter.

“I’m NOT attached to this project. I’m actually in development on two features that I’ve put years of research and love in to and neither of these films have anything to do with Ms Thorne or Onlyfans.

Baker said that he had engaged in a conversation with Thorne about “a possible collaboration in the far future” involving OnlyFans, but a project had not been confirmed.

“On that call, I advised her team to consult with sex workers and address the way she went about this as to NOT hurt the sex work industry. This has been the extent of my involvement,” he said.

He added: “I am an ally and have literally devoted my career to tell stories that remove stigma and normalise lifestyles that are under attack.

“I would never do anything that could possibly hurt the community. So please know that this news is not correct. Thank you.”

The Independent has contacted Thorne’s representatives for additional comment.

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