Kirsten Vaughn is a 24-year-old automotive mechanic from Indiana who said on Twitter she was fired from her job at a Honda dealership for making porn on the website OnlyFans. According to BuzzFeed News’ interview with Vaughn, she was terminated from her job at Don Ayres Honda dealership in Fort Wayne, Indiana, after colleagues found out she had an OnlyFans account.
OnlyFans is a subscription-based website that allows individuals to create content, usually sexual content, for their subscribers. On the website, Vaughn goes by the names “Ms. Red” and “vermilionvixen.” Vaughn told BuzzFeed she believes her colleagues found her OnlyFans account after she mentioned it in an Instagram story on an account that includes her real name. She added they started watching her OnlyFans videos at work, at which point she said she experienced sexual harassment from her colleagues. According to Vaughn, management blamed her for the situation, citing her OnlyFans account as the reason she was being harassed.
She said to Buzzfeed News, “If the guys just would’ve watched their porn at home, none of this would’ve happened. But instead of looking at it like, ‘Hey, the guys are kind of creepy,’ it’s, ‘Oh well, you’re the girl that brought this to their attention, and you’re responsible.’”
Heavy reached out to Don Ayres for a statement but did not immediately hear back.
Here’s what you need to know about Kirsten Vaughn:
1. Vaughn Was Fired in Mid-February, But Her Story Went Viral After BuzzFeed’s Report
The mechanic was fired from the Honda dealership in mid-February, the outlet reported. Her firing went viral on April 20 when she tweeted a video of her working on a car and a caption reading: “Really a shame they had to fire me for having my only fans page, cuz I got down at my dealership. Here’s me doing a complete a/c system replacement due to ‘black death.’”
On April 21, Vaughn posted to Twitter:
She said, “B/c yall have asked, yes my dealership fired me, even though I was a very capable mechanic, for my [OnlyFans] page b/c they deemed be a ‘distraction’ & affected productivity. They claimed I threatened their image, would you be offended to let a sex worker re-ring your engine?”
The same day, she tweeted, “Since being fired for sexwork, I’d say the best revenge is success and happiness, I will be doing [OnlyFans] full time, and working on getting the rest of my ASE certifications! As well as working on my MIG welding skills, onward and upward, I will be stronger from this experience.”
2. Vaughn Had Worked at the Dealership Since 2017 & Also Has a Popular Instagram Profile Where She Posts About Her Work as a Mechanic
On Twitter, Vaughn says she is a “former dealer mechanic gone independent.” According to her LinkedIn profile, Vaughn had worked at the Indiana dealership as a lube technician since March 2017. She studied at Ivy Tech Community College in Fort Wayne.
Vaughn told BuzzFeed News she had been praised by the dealership for her work, and was even featured in a Facebook post on the company’s page highlighting her as a valuable member of the team. Vaughn recently finished in second place in a National Automobile Dealers Association competition for women who work in the industry.
Before her OnlyFans career began, Vaughn already had a popular Instagram page where she posted videos about her career as a mechanic called “ms.reds.wrenching.” On that page, Vaughn has received support from other women who work in the auto industry and who are trying to break into the field. One woman commented on her most recent post, “I’d just like to say that I’m a lady that’s always loved cars, and I wanted to be a mechanic, but my parents never supported it because of field sexism and harassment, so, you’re a huge inspiration to me! I think you should start your own shop and be your own boss, but whatever you end up doing, good luck! Hope it all works out!”
3. The Honda Dealership Denies Firing Vaughn Over Her OnlyFans Account
Jason Johnston, Don Ayres Honda’s human resource manager, told BuzzFeed News that they did not fire her for making porn. Johnston said that Vaughn “violated company policy,” however the human resources manager did not comment on what she did.
Vaughn supplied BuzzFeed News with audio that she had taken during a couple of meetings she had with Johnston and the dealership’s general manager, John Watkins. According to the outlet, Johnston said to Vaughn, “If there were coworkers over there who had access to your page, that might encourage them to approach you with unwanted sexual conduct or comments.”
Watkins said, “If I walked out into the shop and spread a rumor, how other people react to it, that’s their responsibility, but I’m still the one who yelled fire.” According to BuzzFeed News’ report on the audio, the statement by Watkins appeared to insinuate that Vaughn is responsible for her colleagues’ actions toward her.
Heavy reached out to Watkins and Johnston for a statement but did not immediately hear back.
4. Vaughn Was a Semifinalist in the Women Driving Auto Retail Video Contest
The third annual Women Driving Auto Retail video contest started in August 2019. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, the contest calls “on women working in the auto retail industry to share their career path, why they love the auto retail industry and encourage other women to pursue automotive careers in a three-minute video.”
Vaughn was named one of the ten semifinalists in the contest for her video submission. Her video has since been deleted, however.
5. Vaughn Said That She’s Making More Money as a Sex Worker Than as a Mechanic
Vaughn told BuzzFeed News that because of the coronavirus, the dealership had to reduce the number of hours employees work. She also said that she’s making more money from porn than she ever made as a mechanic.
She said that she is interested in getting involved in activism for sex workers. Vaughn told Buzzfeed, “It highlights how sex workers are not properly protected, and it can also be used as a lesson learned for people who want to keep their day job.”