Sunny Leone, the porn star-turned-actress took India by storm when she arrived in the country after a successful career in the adult film industry. Ever since her appearance on Indian reality television show Bigg Boss in 2011, the internet has exploded with searches on Sunny Leone. However, despite her immense popularity, people mainly focus on one aspect of her life which is in the past. Even after all these years that Sunny has been active, people seem to remain oblivious to every other aspect of her life.
Fortunately, thanks to Dilip Mehta (and Netflix), Sunny Leone’s documentary titled ‘Mostly Sunny’ reveals a lot more about the woman we all love. Here are some of the most shocking facts you didn’t know about Sunny Leone:
1. ‘Sunny’ is her brother’s name, which she stole to use as her stage name- When Karenjit Kaur Vohra (yes, that’s her real name) stepped into the adult film industry, she needed a stage name and ‘Sunny’ was the first name that popped into her head. After that, she felt obligated to tell her brother, Sunny Singh Vohra, about her career.
2. She has been aware of her bisexuality since she was 13 – Sunny Leone has always maintained that she is attracted to both men and women. She has performed sexual acts with women back when she was working as a porn star.
3. Before she started working for Penthouse magazine at 18, she’d never seen an adult magazine – As surprising at it may sound, Sunny Leone had never even picked up an adult magazine before she stumbled upon an agent who got her into working for Penthouse magazine. And then, pretty soon, she was earning about USD 10,000-15,000 per week!
4. Her brother sold autographed photos of her in college to make money – When her brother needed money in college, Sunny helped him out by sending autographed photos of herself, which he would then sell in his fraternity. Sunny told her brother specifically not to charge anyone under 10-15 dollars.
5. She was noticed on Howard Stern by a family member, after which, she told her parents about the adult film industry – After she was named Penthouse Pet of the Year in 2003, Sunny Leone started getting popular and she was discovered by a family member on The Howard Stern Show. After the incident, she decided to tell her parents about her career.
6. Her mother struggled to cope with her porn career – Her mother couldn’t handle the truth about Sunny’s career. Although she was used to having a drink every now and then, the shock took a toll on her and she turned to alcohol. Her health gradually deteriorated and she passed away soon after.
7. Sunny’s father told her to be the “best at what you do” – Seeing that Sunny had made her career choice, her father’s advise to her was: “Whatever you’re going to do in life, make sure that you are the best at what you do.”
8. At first, she’d turned down Bigg Boss ’cause of hate mail – When Sunny was first contacted to participate in Bigg Boss, she had turned the opportunity down since, in the past, she had received a lot of hate mail from India for “violating their cultural values.”
9. She frequently visits the coast of the Indian Ocean, where her parents’ ashes rest, to seek their blessings – Sunny Leone immersed both of her parents’ ashes in the river Ganges, which drains into the sea. Sunny feels that a part of her parents is with the sea and she visits the coast whenever she needs their blessings.
10. She is a foodie by nature- Her all-time favourite dish is steamed lime fish with sliced chillies. She loves Delhi’s street food and gol-gappas and dahi chaat are her favourites. She cheats on her diet with chocolates and parathas.
11. She made it to BBC’s 100 Most Influential Women list in the year 2016. With her on this list were four other Indian women, including a 105-year old environmentalist. At the time, she had said: “It’s your right as a woman to follow your dreams.”