The most “infamous” glasses on the internet are poised to raise a ton of cash for victims of the Beirut explosion.
Mia Khalifa, a Lebanese-American activist and one of the most-searched porn actors of all time, is auctioning off her signature glasses to benefit the Red Cross in Lebanon.
The 27-year-old posted the glasses on eBay over the weekend, where fans have one week to bid on the “infamous” accessory she wore during her brief porn career in 2014. She described their condition as “used and abused” — seemingly a nod to her bad experience with the adult industry.
Khalifa says all proceeds from the sale will go toward the Red Cross efforts in Beirut, where a massive explosion killed at least 158 people and wounded thousands more on Aug. 4.
Bidding surpassed US$100,000 on Tuesday and the auction closes on Sunday afternoon.
Khalifa has been outspoken about the Lebanon explosion on her various social media accounts, which have millions of followers. She’s posted several videos about the explosion on TikTok, where she’s tried to highlight Lebanon’s humanitarian needs while also pointing out corruption in its government.
She explained her glasses auction in a video posted on TikTok Monday. The video begins with her striking various modelling poses to lure in viewers before she starts talking about Lebanon.
“Now that the algorithm thinks that this is for white TikTok, I just want to let you guys know that there is a humanitarian crisis in Lebanon right now,” Khalifa tells her nearly 10 million followers. “They need our help because their government’s corrupt and not doing anything about it.
“So, I’m doing what I can, and what I can do is auction off the original Mia Khalifa glasses, which are on eBay right now.”
She adds that “every single penny” from the auction will go to the Red Cross in Lebanon.
Khalifa says she specifically cleared the auction with eBay and the Lebanese Red Cross, and she will live-stream the final bidding on Sunday. Global News has reached out to both organizations to confirm her claims.
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“The novelty glasses are the best prop, I will sign them (if you want), and take one last polaroid wearing them before sending them off to their new home!!!” she writes in the auction description.
Lebanese authorities say the devastating explosion was caused by a fire in the city’s port area, which spread to a warehouse filled with roughly 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate. The chemical is often used in fertilizers, but it has also been used as an explosive in terror attacks such as the Oklahoma City Bombing of 1995. Timothy McVeigh took out a federal building using about two tonnes of the chemical.
The ammonium nitrate had been sitting at the Beirut port for years.
The explosion triggered a new round of anti-government protests in Lebanon. The country has struggled for decades with political corruption and mismanagement among its ruling oligarch class, which has held power since Lebanon emerged from a civil war in 1990.
Hassan Diab resigned as Lebanon’s prime minister on Monday in the wake of the catastrophe.
Khalifa, who was born in Beirut, has become a social media personality and activist in the wake of her brief adult film career. She — and her black-framed glasses — appeared in a handful of scenes in 2014. Those few scenes catapulted her to fame in the NSFW corners of the internet, where she became the most-searched performer in the world at the time.
Her videos have been watched 949 million times and she was still the second most-searched porn actor in the world last year, according to Pornhub.
“Are you even a brown girl with glasses if you haven’t been called ‘Mia Khalifa’?” she writes on her Twitter profile.
However, Khalifa has come out in recent years to denounce the porn industry, which she claims took advantage of her and robbed her of any chance to profit from her videos. She claimed last year that she made about $12,000 from her film shoots and has not seen a “penny” since, despite the eye-popping numbers she continues to rack up online.
More than 1.8 million people have signed a petition to give her control of her domain names and to remove videos of her from the internet. The petition says Khalifa has suffered ongoing trauma and emotional distress because of those videos.
“It feels like being stuck in quicksand,” she told the Washington Post last year. “There are still millions of people who think I’ve done nothing but porn for the past five years.”
She added at the time that she regrets doing adult films, and that she wants to move on with her life.
“No amount of money would make it worth it,” she said. “The only thing I want is for people to stop seeing me naked.”