Mia Khalifa has finally spoken up about the pressure she felt to enter the adult entertainment industry while she was still married to her ex-husband. She confessed in a new edition of Steven Bartlett’s Diary Of A CEO podcast that her “abusive” relationship in her late teens was one of the reasons she got into the p*rn industry.

The 30-year-old, Mia Khalifa, who is now known as Sarah Joe Chamoun, said she was in an “extremely abusive” relationship with someone who was “grooming” her, adding that it was similar to one “a lot of girls get into when they’re in their late teens.”

“I got talked into eloping to Las Vegas four days after my 18th birthday,” she told the host. “I didn’t have a sense of self so I attached myself to someone who was more than happy to abuse that and someone who could see that and see someone easily manipulatable… but at the same time eager to please. It was just the perfect storm.”

Mia Khalifa
Mia Khalifa’s Instagram Post

However, things appear to take a darker turn when Mia Khalifa’s husband, who was in the US Army at the time, introduced her to the adult entertainment industry.

She further mentions, “[He] put that whole [p*rn] world in front of me and encouraged it,” she said before also adding that she prefers not to refer to it as a “relationship.” “I even feel weird calling it a relationship, because the dynamic was not one of a relationship – it was more one of someone who saw a toy to play with,” she said.

A p*rn scout handed the former performer a card when she was only 20 years old, launching her into a brief but hugely influential career in the industry. Mia Khalifa gained prominence after appearing in a highly publicized s*x scene where she wore a hijab while doing s*xual actions with Sean Lawless and Julianna Vega. The video went viral, and due to s*xualizing the religious headdress, Chamoun faced tremendous opposition, including death threats from ISIS. It also made the 30-year-old one of the world’s most sought-after p*rn performers at the time.

Mia Khalifa

On an edition of BBC’s HARDtalk, Chamoun discussed how her controversial career affected her future relationships with boyfriends and with her own family. “I shocked even myself,” she said to the interviewer, Stephen Sackur, who asked if her family knew what she was doing when she started.

“No… And they disowned me when they found out.”

Mia Khalifa BBC HARDtalk Interview

She continued: “I felt completely alienated by not just the world but my family and the people around me. Especially after I quit, when I was still alone, even though I left. And I just realized some mistakes aren’t forgivable.

“But time heals all wounds, and things are getting better now,” she added.