Michael Parmelee/NBC(NEW YORK) — Every Law & Order “ripped from the headlines” episode runs a coda stating that any similarities to any person is “purely coincidental,” but for a Duke University student who became a household name when she was “outed” last year as porn star Belle Knox, Wednesday’s episode of Special Victims Unit hits extremely close to home.
Belle Knox, which is not her birth name, is currently a sophomore at Duke. She began making movies under a stage name to pay her hefty tuition, and freely admits her side-job makes her feel empowered about her body and her sexuality.
In Wednesday’s episode of NBC’s crime-drama, a college student is sexually assaulted by men who discover she’s been shooting porn to cover tuition.
The so-called “slut shaming” Knox felt after her cover was blown — including death threats from some on campus — figures prominently with the victim in the episode.
A longtime L&O fan, Knox told ABC News Radio she can’t wait to see art imitate life. “I think that this will be a really good episode in terms of raising awareness about…sexual assault on college campuses, and — I haven’t seen it, but the central theme I think they’re trying to get at is that just because a woman is sexual or promiscuous, doesn’t give anybody the right to sexually assault her or violate her.”
Knox tells us that slut-shaming isn’t limited to those in the adult industry. “I think the celebrity nude hacking scandal is a good example of how we slut-shame women,” the performer said, before allowing, “I think that the people involved in it, like Jennifer Lawrence, they handled it really well. And I hope we reach the point where a woman’s body isn’t used against her, like Emma Watson was saying.”
In June, Knox penned a Time magazine article about the spiraling costs of higher education in which she cheekily admitted, “Faced with either a degree from a less prestigious school or decades of crushing debt, a few hours of work on a porn set revealed itself to be the best way to avoid getting screwed.”
With her tuition getting paid, and her star in the adult world white-hot, Knox says she’s looking towards the future. “My goal is to be a lawyer. Actually, SVU is like part of why I was…really inspired to be an advocate for women,” she says, before laughing, “I learned a lot of…courtroom procedure just from…watching SVU.” Fighting for victims of sexual assault in real life, like special victims cops and prosecutors do, “would be amazing,” the 19-year-old maintains.
Law & Order: SVU, “Pornstar’s Requiem,” airs Wednesday night at 9 p.m. Eastern time on NBC.
A documentary about the adult industry star, Becoming Belle Knox, recently debuted online.
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