In early April, Sydney Raines become at her nanny job, searching after the kids she has minded considering the fact that she become a teenager, while she acquired a textual content from a pal asking if she knew Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy.
“They despatched me a video and stated it become despatched to them,” Raines, 22, informed The Post. “Then I were given a textual content from every other pal asking if I become OK. I become like, ‘What the hell goes on?’ ”
The video in query become a intercourse tape she had made in July 2020 with Portnoy, whilst traveling him at his Nantucket, Mass., home. When Raines Googled her personal name, the Atlanta resident discovered that the video — which confirmed Portnoy maintaining a leash connected to a collar round her neck — become plastered throughout the Internet.
Raines stated she doesn’t realize how the raunchy photos become leaked, making clean she didn’t do it herself. She texted Portnoy to invite what had happened, however he didn’t realize lots extra than she did.
“I didn’t have a second of my coronary heart losing or panic till my mom stated we had to talk. But she ended up being supportive,” Raines recalled. “A lot of pals commenced checking in and Dave reached out a couple of instances to ensure I become OK.”
After the video made headlines, inventory expenses for Penn National Gaming, which owns a 36 percentage stake in Barstool Sports, took a transient dip. Portnoy brushed it off, saying: “Somebody committing against the law through leaking an vintage video of intercourse among consenting adults looks as if a dumb purpose for a inventory to move down.”
As for Raines, the younger lady did some thing almost unprecedented the age of cancel culture: She issued an unapologetic response. Instead of collapsing right into a teary confessional and wallowing in victimhood, she owned her moves in a announcement that she ran through pals and Portnoy earlier than posting to Instagram.
“I have become conscious the day prior to this that a video has surfaced at the net and yes, that become me,” she wrote, including it become in no way supposed to come to be public. “Some won’t approve of the video content material however it become totally consensual and it’s unlucky it’s far not personal however [Portnoy and I] are nonetheless pals with out a animosity . . . I won’t label this a mistake considering the fact that we’ve each taken obligation for it.”
“I’ve constantly been without a doubt open approximately my sexuality,” she informed The Post. “Maybe I don’t care after I must however I without a doubt noticed it as only a bump withinside the road. It wasn’t going to smash me. I sense like humans may see me as a sufferer in that situation, however I haven’t visible myself that way.”
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She signed off with a display of bravado: “With no apologies, Syd.”
Her inbox become flooded with each nice and bad messages. Some accused her of having paid through Portnoy. She vehemently denies it.
“I haven’t gotten something from this. It wasn’t approximately cash, it become approximately my conscience. Nothing lots has changed,” she stated, including that she has declined gives to strip and be an envoy for diverse apparel companies. Her mother even joked that she must begin an OnlyFans account.
“She become like, ‘in case you are posting those half-bare snap shots [on Instagram], you may as nicely make cash from it.’ But she doesn’t realize that loads of women on [OnlyFans] do porn. My snap shots are R-rated, now no longer X-rated. I need to maintain it that way.”
Raines can also additionally have carried out infamy, however she continues to be a self-proclaimed “u . s . woman.”
Raised in Brooks, Ga. — pop. 527 — she grew up hunting, fishing or even composting so she’d constantly have clean bait. “I’m very lots a rustic woman. I like football, and my own circle of relatives is massive into camping,” she stated. “When I become more youthful I attempted to develop out of it due to the fact I idea I become too u . s .. But it’s who I am. I love it.”
Raines admits she become a wild youngsterager and later went to a personal Christian excessive faculty to get her act together. She enrolled in university hoping to be a physician’s assistant however dropped out after dropping hobby withinside the profession. In 2019 she entered a Tropic Beauty bikini contest and won reputation on Instagram, in which she now has extra than 16,000 followers.
Her attractive snaps stuck the attention of Portnoy, who slid into her DMs in early 2020. The pair chatted on line for some months earlier than their New England rendezvous.
“Dave is a candy guy. I bear in mind him my pal,” she stated.
Now Raines, who’s single, works as a part-time nanny, a bottle woman at an Atlanta lounge, and additionally at a hospital. She is thinking about going lower back to highschool for enterprise to take over her own circle of relatives’s paving company. And she’s now no longer involved what each person else thinks.
“If there’s something I discovered from the video, it’s far that everybody will constantly have their evaluations whether or not right or bad. The maximum critical component is to now no longer make an apology for some thing you’re now no longer sorry for. I haven’t any regrets how I treated the situation,” she stated.
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“At the give up of the day, I’m the best character I should show myself to.”