Former professional surfer Ellie-Jean Coffey has revealed how she overcame years of mental and physical abuse during her younger years in surfing.
Recently, Ellie-Jean and her sister Holly-Daze Coffey joined a growing trend of athletes and celebrities across the globe opening X-rated websites for money.
‘EVEREST OF WAVES’: Aussie woman makes surfing history
‘WON’T STOP’: Gracie's racing comeback after X-rated windfall
The sisters, who both competed in the World Surf League’s qualifying series between 2012 to 2017, have launched their own websites selling X-rated content to subscribers.
Coffey said while the attention has brought its critics, the “overwhelming support” is more important.
But she has now revealed the “terrifying” abuse, both physically and mentally, she suffered during her surfing career in an industry she labelled ‘toxic’.
“At first I thought and believed I was the luckiest girl in the world to be living such a life, and not long after that, the darker side of the surfing industry soon revealed itself to me, and it was terrifying,” Coffey told News.com.au.
“The abuse, both mentally and physically, I endured during my teenage years far away from home with adults in positions of power has haunted me my whole life.”
Coffey said the “male-dominated” industry caused such trauma on her that it “almost drove me to ending my life”.
But Coffey said she was lucky she received therapy and is able to talk about the ‘terrifying’ trauma now.
“It was absolutely devastating the abuse that I had to face … so I’m just glad that I was able to come out of it stronger and better than ever, to be honest,” she said.
The former professional surfer said while she gave up competitive surfing in 2017, she still enjoys the water.
Coffey hopes career move empowers other women
Coffey admitted that every step of the journey to creating the subscription site was carefully thought through.
She said before launching the the XXX-rated website she spoke her family and received their support.
The surfer had created a strong following of more than one million followers on Instagram before launching the site.
Coffey said the lucrative business has “changed her life” and hopes it “empowers” other women to not worry about criticism.
Coffey sisters blazing a trail in surfing and modelling
Between the four of them, the sisters have a social media following of over three million.
But that doesn’t mean they’re not serious about their surfing careers.
“We wear sexy bikinis and we surf good and that’s just what we do,” Holly told Yahoo Lifestyle last year.
Ellie added: “For such a long time in the surfing industry it’s been so male dominated where women were expected to talk like a guy, act like a guy surf like a guy.
“We can have pink surfboards and surf the same.”
According to Holly: “Why can’t we post sexy photos in bikinis and be taken seriously, why does that take away from anything?”
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.