Female Radio Host Claims She Was Nearly a Victim of Sex Trafficking in Sochi
Well here’s a pretty shocking story. In an article for xoJane, Brittney Carson, who hosts an ESPN radio show about motor sports out of Charlotte, claims she was nearly lured to Sochi by a human trafficking operation.
As an on-air sports media personality with big goals for herself, Carson didn’t find it strange when she was contacted by a “talent acquisition agent” who said he was looking to hire a couple of correspondents for an L.A. production company. She took a look at his website and saw his credentials. She checked him out on Twitter and saw a whole web of connections to the industry, including some interactions with celebrities. She asked people she worked with about this agent, and somebody confirmed his work history.
On top of all that, the agent seemed extremely knowledgeable and professional. He didn’t just hire her on the spot. She had to send him reel after reel of her work and, to paraphrase her words, jump through hoops for four months before finally landing the gig. Then came all the paperwork—visa applications, preliminary contracts, nondisclosure agreements, flight itineraries—which all seemed totally legit.
So when did things start to seem fishy? Here is Carson’s account:
Two weeks before we were slated to depart for Russia, this “Talent Acquisitions Agent” said he needed to expand his host team and asked if I could get some more of my girlfriends in the industry to come to Sochi. I made some suggestions, then his “assistant” (who we later discovered through an IP search was really him) sent me the link to print out a hard copy of a visa application for a girl to fill out and give to him.
I spent four months applying and interviewing and he’s sending my friend a work visa without even seeing her work? Now, my friend is really talented, but wanting her passport and social security number before her reel just seemed fishy to me.
At that point Carson contacted the L.A. production company and, low and behold, they’d never heard of this guy. So the company put her and the other woman he’d hired in touch with their lawyers, and the FBI got involved.
Of course, there is no definitive proof to back up Carson’s belief that she was nearly the victim of human trafficking. It’s just her theory, based on the advice of a human tracking expert and activist. Apparently human trafficking is a big problem at major international sporting events because they give criminals a way to lure young, attractive women looking for a career in show business.
That being said, I’ve never heard of anyone as relatively well-known as Brittney Carson being the victim of human trafficking, and you have to admit it’s at least possible this was some sort of identify theft scheme, given that she handed over sensitive info like her social security number.
But either way, this is pretty terrifying. Luckily Carson and her colleague were smart and skeptical enough to ask questions, or who knows what might have happened.