In an effort to boost awareness about domestic violence, former adult film actress Christine Mackinday took to social media soon after she was brutally beaten by her ex-boyfriend, a mixed martial arts fighter, she testified Thursday.
“Once I became involved with the domestic violence community, they really helped me understand that what was happening to me was not a healthy relationship,” she told jurors, dabbing tears from her eyes. “They really just helped me understand the gravity of the situation and how I could turn my situation into something so helpful for other women that if I decided to stay strong and I decided to testify and really stand up for this that it could help so many other women.”
She raised upward of $100,000 on the crowdfunding site GiveBack.com after the August 2014 attack she said she endured from now jailed and banished fighter War Machine, also known as Jonathan Koppenhaver. Mackinday said she donated all the money to charity.
Koppenhaver is on trial for 34 counts, including attempted murder, kidnapping and sexual assault, for the alleged attack on Mackinday and Corey Thomas, who was in her home at the time.
Mackinday has since created a line of emojis, including one of her with a black eye and a bruised cheek.
Defense attorney Jay Leiderman pointed out that Mackinday’s social media pages saw a significant boost after she posted photos of her bruises and scars.
Under the stage name Christy Mack, she has more than 756,000 followers on Twitter and more than 2.7 million followers on Instagram.
“I believed I was going to die,” she posted on Twitter after the attack. “He has beaten me many times before but never this badly.”
Of the increase in traffic on Mackinday’s pages, prosecutor Jacqueline Bluth asked, “Was it worth it?”
Mackinday choked up and replied: “I would not want to almost die for a few followers.”
Leiderman focused much of his questioning on lewd text messages between Mackinday and Koppenhaver, along with racy promotional photos of the two together.
Mackinday told jurors that in the days after the attack she still felt love for Koppenhaver but no longer does.
Mackinday testified that she did not defend herself when Koppenhaver was beating her.
“There’s no way I could physically overpower him,” she said. “And if I were to fight back it would be 10 times worse.”