Via America’s Lawyer: Attorney, author, and founder of Runaway Girl Carissa Phelps joins Mike Papantonio to explain how outlets like PornHub often turn a blind eye to child porn and rape scenes shot in hotel rooms well outside of Hollywood. What’s worse – Wall Street firms have played a major role in the growth of these practices.

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*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             You have Wall Street is now in this business. They’ve been in this business for a long time, Fortress, Fortress Investment. I mean, if you want to, if you want a real look at this company, just, just Google Fortress Investment. Fortress Investment brags about, they will do things that other people won’t do. Like we will, we know what’s going on. We know what’s going on with the, with the trafficking. Full disclosure, I’m getting ready to sue Fortress as an agent for, for MindGeek and vice versa. So we’re bringing Fortress into the lawsuit because they’re funding this.

Carissa Phelps:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             And they, they should know what they’re doing. It’s not just them, it’s Chase. Who else is?

Carissa Phelps:                  Yeah. I mean, JP Morgan, Cornell University, these, and a couple of very smart people in terms of investments and how to structure them, tried to hide that information. It was actually a pornographer that exposed it. In 2013 Fox businesses did a story on it. This information has been out there and now investors, and we want to say woke investors, people who are conscious and know what they’re doing with their capital, need to take a look at where they’re putting their money and where Fortress is putting their money, which is in pornography and which is, is involved in trafficking.

Mike Papantonio:             This isn’t a pornography story here. I mean, this is not a pornography story. This is a trafficking story. They know exactly what goes on. There’s no guesswork. Now this company, when you Google Fortress, you see they’ve got hundreds and hundreds of employees, they brag about, we’ve got offices here. We’ve got offices there. We’re big. We’re bigger than life. Okay. Well, they’re so big that they, they did, I can promise you some due diligence had to be done on this. What did they, they, they loaned MindGeek, was it over $300 million. Wasn’t it?

Carissa Phelps:                  Altogether, they were part of a consortium of investors that came together for about $326 million into this group. And yes, loaned them at high rates of return to measure because of the risk they knew they were taking, they measured that risk and so they charged an interest rate accordingly, and made money off of this investment that was, that was based on trafficking. You’re right. It’s based on trafficking.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. So as we look at this and we will bring these people in, I mean, you, you see the connection, you, they, they have a, if they say we did due diligence, they have investors with their company. They have shareholders with their company. And you said, well, we did due diligence and really? You couldn’t find out what they were talking about in 2013 on Fox news of all places? Where they’re investing, they know what, that we know what Fortress and Chase and, and JP Morgan, even Cornell University putting money behind this and saying, oh, well, gee whiz, we just didn’t know. How ridiculous is that argument? Explain to me how out there this is, how evident it is.

Carissa Phelps:                  Well, I mean, when you take investors’ money and you say you’ve done your due diligence, then you need to have done your due diligence. Because when, when that gets hit, because you haven’t done your due, you haven’t, you haven’t explained where your investments really are going, and you’re doing harm to people with them and you put those people’s money at risk. And these investors, these limited partners, they have in their $50 billion fund, they include hardworking people who have their retirement in that, in those funds that get invested into them. So there are many Americans out there right now, many people around the world who are invested in pornography, and don’t even know it. Who are invested in trafficking and don’t even know.

Mike Papantonio:             I hate to even say, invest in pornography. We have, people have the right to put something on YouTube or porntube if they choose. That’s the first amendment in this country. But you don’t have the right to say, I’m going to add a different feature to it. We’re going to put trafficked girls on our site who are raped. Some, you know, the, the, there’s such sickness out. They want to see them raped. They want to see them beat. They want to see teenagers. There’s even some of these sites that they, they’re for toddlers. Talk about that just a little bit. How outrageous it’s become.

Carissa Phelps:                  I mean, it’s heartbreaking the level that we’ve let this go to in the United States and globally really because we’re part of this problem at this point. We’re part of this problem. And, and it’s our money again, that was invested in creating this conglomerate, this huge pornography industry, that’s harming many people.

Mike Papantonio:             One thing is that is very evident in all these, these lenders aren’t just lenders. I think he pointed that out. They know they’re making a risky loan in a lot of ways. I mean, who are the, there’s a guy named Bergemar. They don’t even know who this guy is. Talk about that.

Carissa Phelps:                  No. The secrecy behind this, this company that is supposed to be, and being invested in by a public company that’s investing in them is, is really alarming because they don’t want to use their real names. They don’t want to put information out there about themselves and about who they are and about what they’re investing in. And so he’s one of them that, that is the largest owner that would, should, should, because of the ties to a public company and public money, have to tell us who they are.

Mike Papantonio:             Have some fun. Go online in Google Bernard Bergemar, Bernard Bergemar. Okay. What is Bernard Bergemar? First of all, we know Bernard Bergemar has a relationship with Fortress. They’ve come down and they’ve shaken his hand. They said, yeah, we want to do business. This guy is such a slime ball, you can’t even find anything about him and they cover it up. They do every effort. But if you were to Google, Bernard Bergemar has the biggest porn business in the world, probably, and part of that is the human trafficking part.

Carissa Phelps::                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             But if you were to Google him, we don’t know anything about him, do we?

Carissa Phelps:                  Right. And that, I mean, it’s so appalling because they put out so much private information about individuals. You hear young girls and parents beg for information to be taken off of their site, yet they hide in all of this secrecy.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Carissa, thank you for joining me. We got a lot of lawsuits coming.

Carissa Phelps:                  Yes.

Mike Papantonio:             We’re gonna to get a lot closer to understanding what fortress did here, aren’t we?

Carissa Phelps:                  Yes.

Mike Papantonio:             And we’re going to take some tough depositions. That’s my promise, that is my promise.

Carissa Phelps:                  Thank you, Mike.

Mike Papantonio:             Thank you for joining me. Okay.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.