She was known as the world’s hottest porn star, with over 275 starring roles behind her – but now Jenna Presley has turned her back on the adult industry that left her suicidal and embraced God thanks to a campaigning church.
After seven years of filming sex scenes up to three times a day, Presley’s life fell off the rails as she descended into a drink and drugs fuelled depression – before she met members of the anti-porn XXXChurch at a convention.
Known for picketing porn sets and conventions to hand out Bible’s titled, ‘Jesus Loves Porn Stars’, the XXXChurch managed to convince Presley, whose real name is Brittni Ruiz, 26, that she should choose God over a career in the sex industry.
Speaking in a YouTube video released over the weekend to mark her re-birth as a Christian, Ruiz emphatically declares, ‘Thank you, Jesus! I found him, I’m home.’
‘It’s been a long seven-year journey of porn, prostitution, stripping, drugs, alcohol and several failed suicide attempts.’
In an interview with Rachel Collins, who Ruiz met at pornography conventions, the former porn star tells the XXXChurch member how she entered the porn industry at the age of 18.
Before that she began her career at a topless dancer in Mexico where she was recruited by a talent scout from the porn industry.
Beginning shooting porn almost the second she became 18, Ruiz made her first start in X-rated hardcore movies, shooting up to three sex scenes a day, being paid around $900 for each movie.
Her career took off. In 2006, she came in second place on ‘Jenna’s American Sex Star’, a reality TV show hosted by porn legend Jenna Jameson.
In 2010, Maxim magazine named her one of the top 12 hottest porn stars in the world.
On filming her first scene, Ruiz said, ‘I felt so loved that day because I was put in hair and makeup. I was told I was beautiful. I was going to be a star.’
However, Ruiz was introduced to the seedy and desperate side of the porn industry very soon afterwards as producers made her work relentlessly and dressed her up to look extremely young.
‘I already looked like I was 12,’ said Ruiz. ‘It’s disgusting how they can portray you as a little girl. It’s complete perversion.’
Losing her self respect, the pornographic industry began to have a debilitating effect on Ruiz’s life.
‘It left me feeling drained,’ said Ruiz, who turned to drink and drugs to numb her pain.
‘I was so robotic, I was like a rubber Barbie doll. I had no emotions, I was no longer Brittni. I became Jenna Presley. I had an alter ego.’
Ruiz made an attempt to get her life back in order and met a man at church in San Diego, who she began dating.
Tragically though, he was killed in front of her at a Las Panchos restaurant by members of a motorcycle gang.
‘He got murdered, stabbed in front of me,’ said Ruiz.
Traumatized by this, Ruiz fell into a destructive spiral of drinking and using drugs and attempted to kill herself.
XXXChurch.com was founded online in January 2002 by Pastor Craig Gross.
He noticed a recurring issue during his work as a pastor in Southern California – an addiction to pornography.
This inspired him to create XXXchurch.com, a non-profit website that aims to help those struggling with pornography addiction.
The online church made its first appearance at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas where they set up a booth to encourage pornstars to leave the industry.
Craig Gross also regularly debates male porn star Ron Jeremy on campuses across the United States. The popular event was featured on ABC News’ Nighline show and was the most watched in Nightline’s online viewing history
Left feeling ‘robotic’ and ‘emotionless’ following that first attempt – Ruiz tried and failed to take her own life at least once more.
‘I felt so hopeless and so empty inside that I turned to drugs to numb my pain, to get me through,’ she said in the interview with Collins.
It was at her lowest ebb that Ruiz met with Collins at a porn convention and the two began talking.
XXXChurch was founded by Craig Gross in January 2002 and is designed to help Christian’s who struggle with pornography.
Collins says that the organization’s goal is to bring ‘these amazing women the knowledge that somebody cares and loves them.’
They attend porn conventions handing out Bible’s entitled ‘Jesus Loves Porn Stars’, hoping to recruit new members.
The organization describes itself as ‘the #1 Christian porn site designed to bring awareness, openness and accountability to those affected by pornography.’
Convinced by the message of Collins and The XXXChurch, Ruiz filmed her last sex scene in November 2012 and left the industry to start work for a limousine company.
‘It was seven long years,’ she told Collins. ‘I hated what I was doing, but I wondered what I would do next.’
Relieved to have left her life in pornography behind, Ruiz said, ‘I never found love in my life and was looking for it in all the wrong place….I have finally encountered the unconditional love of God, And I will never go back.’
Turning Point: How the ‘World’s Hottest Pornstar’ Found God at the XXXChurch (PHOTOS)
In an open letter to the XXXChurch, Brittni thanked Rachel Collins for her help in leaving the church.
‘I don’t know if she realizes how she impacted me or not,’ says Brittni. “But her being so kind and nonjudgmental always felt so good.
‘I never felt love in my life and was looking for it in all the wrong places,’ she says.
‘It felt great to speak to a woman as beautiful as Rachel who would tell me that I was her favourite, and to just have a regular non-porn girl talk. Please tell her that I thank her from the bottom of my heart.’