Caitlin Fink, a Bear Creek High School student, told her school newspaper that she was in the process of entering the porn industry. The publication of the interview is the source of huge controversy in the Lodi Unified School District in Stockton, California, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Fink, who goes by Zerella Skies in her adult movie career, became an international trending topic on Google as a result of her school newspaper interview.
The controversy was over whether or not the interview, which was done by junior Bailey Kirkeby, should be published at all. It could also result in the firing of the Bruin Voice’s faculty advisor, Kathi Duffel. The issue is due to be published on May 3. Kirkeby told the Chronicle that the interview is not really about sex but is about Caitlin “as a person.” Kirkeby added that the story focuses on Fink’s struggles and that criticism of the piece goes against the newspaper’s first amendment rights.
The story was published in the newspaper as planned on May 3. Heavy.com has reached out to Fink for comment. Though Kathi Duffel noted in an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review, “We have told her to hold off on doing any interviews for the time being, until the story has been published.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Fink Doesn’t Understand the Controversy Saying: ‘I’m 18, What I’m Doing Is Legal’
Fink, 18, told the San Francisco Chronicle regarding the scandal, “People see the porn world as taboo. But I see it as a natural thing. You’re just taking off your clothes. It’s the human body… I’m 18, what I’m doing is legal, and I don’t see why everyone is making such a big deal out of it.” The Chronicle report also mentions that in the midst of the controversy surrounding the article, a police officer came to Bear Creek High to ask Duffel questions about sex trafficking.
In her interview with the Bruin Voice, Fink said she began in porn by selling photos on Kik and Tinder. At one point, Fink said she made $475 in three hours. From there, Fink said that she auditioned at a strip club in San Francisco and subsequently began working there. Fink says, “The only hard thing so far is making sure I have enough money. Other than that, I’ve honestly been doing really good with myself.”
2. Fink Is Part of Pornhub’s Model Program
Fink went on to tell the newspaper that she has sold naked videos on Snapchat and Pornhub and is in the process of trying to become a stripper in San Fransico. Fink is reported to have signed a contract with Pornhub. Fink said that she has not been paid yet by Pornhub as she hasn’t hit the viewing figure necessary to qualify for compensation.
Pornhub Vice President Corey Price told Heavy, “Caitlin Fink, aka Zerella Skies, is one of over 100,000 independent models who use Pornhub to monetize their content via ad revenue on views, tips, selling videos and fan clubs through the Pornhub Model Program.” While Fink told Heavy.com, “I have a porn name and it’s not Caitlin Fink and I’m apart of the Pornhub model program they have on the site that you can sign up for.”
Price later added, “The minimum payout is $100 and Caitlin is now past that threshold and will be paid on the next monthly payment. We are also reaching out to her to provide support and tips to ensure her success on our platform.”
Fink went on to say that her first official porn shoot was canceled after the filmmakers asked her to get rid of her body acne.
Fink also said that she is affiliated with the adult modeling agency, Motley Models. In a statement to Heavy.com, Motley CEO David Rock said, “We have had conversations with Ms Fink about getting booked by our agency, but we have not set a date for that to happen. Waiting on her to complete some pre-shooting tasks before doing so.”
According to Fink’s Facebook page, which was last updated in March 2019, she works at a Red Robin Gourmet Burger restaurant. Fink also runs track for Bear Creek High School.
3. Fink Is Estranged From Her Family
Fink told the Stockton Record in an interview that she is estranged from her family. Fink also told the newspaper that a career in pornography is not “all fun and games.” Fink says that the toll it takes on her body is substantial and that, “You can’t stay in it forever.”
In the same article, Bailey Kirkeby is quoted as saying that Fink began associating with the “wrong group of people” in her freshman year. Kirkeby also said that Fink now “has a successful career and is living on her own money — she is self-reliant.”
4. Fink Has Asked for Financial Support From a ‘Sugar Daddy’ in the Past
Fink has numerous posts on her Twitter page that see her asking money from “Sugar Daddy’s” who will support her. In another tweet, from March 2019, Fink asks if Pornhub or Brazzers, another porn company, would be interested in signing her. On another social media profile, a user seemed surprised saying, “i’d thought you’d be more sexual?” Fink responded by saying, “I see it as strictly business.” Posts on that page also indicate that Fink is a bisexual but that she plans to perform in straight pornography after she leaves high school.
Fink told Heavy.com, “I’m not a lesbian either, I prefer women over men. And I’m starting out with boy/girl then going into only girl/girl later on.”
5. Fink Said People Regularly Say ‘Hurtful Things’ to Her at School
Speaking to the Columbia Journalism Review, Kathi Duffel said that Fink told her, “Everyday on this campus, people say things about me, sometimes very hurtful things and I would really welcome the opportunity so that people understand that I’m not just the girl who does porn, but that I’m a real person.” Duffel also told the publication’s website that Fink and Bailey Kirkeby share a class together. Duffel added that she hoped the story would result in “maybe every boy who reads the story is going to think the next time they’re on one of those sites like Pornhub, that the woman he is viewing is a person. She has bills to pay, she has rent, she has utilities, and she’s not just some object for their pleasure. She’s a real person.”
The San Francisco Chronicle quoted a letter that Duffel received from the Lodi Unified School District regarding the story that read, “You are hereby directed to refrain from publishing the article prior to the District’s review and approval. Should you fail to provide a copy of the article as directed, you may be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal.”
Duffel’s case has been taken up by the Student Press Law Center while she is personally being represented by lawyer Matthew Cate.