Sarah Juree was fired from her teaching job after setting up an OnlyFans account. (Courtesy of Juree)
A single mother who created an OnlyFans account to supplement her income was fired from her job as a teacher earlier this year after her employer learned of the account’s existence.
Shortly after, and possibly related, a blogger posted photos from the OnlyFans account without their consent.
For about six years, Sarah Juree worked full-time as a teacher in South Bend, Indiana, as part of the Department of Defense’s STARBASE educational program, which introduces fifth-grade students to science, technology, engineering, and math. , or STEM. But the single mother of twins said she couldn’t support her family on the modest salary of $55,000 a year, especially as the cost of living continues to rise in the US.
Juree said her rent alone cost her nearly half her income and her employer didn’t offer health insurance. “That was another out-of-pocket expense,” Juree told VICE News. “Plus car insurance and groceries and expenses for my kids.”
A friend told Juree that she had made $10,000 in a single month after opening an OnlyFans account, and Juree was intrigued. It seemed like a “viable way” to her to make money and stop living paycheck to paycheck. She soon, she asked her friend to show her how to start a page.
Juree’s OnlyFans account went live in early June. At the end of June, she was fired from her job as a teacher.
Juree’s termination letter, seen by VICE News, states that she was fired for “posting inappropriate photos in violation of various Starbase policies” without the CEO’s consent. The letter added that the photos “pose a real and immediate risk of damaging the show’s reputation or business.”
Jura was surprised. When Juree created her OnlyFans account, she said she had a casual conversation with a colleague and his boss about side jobs that fall under the umbrella of sex work, including OnlyFans pages.
“My boss got really excited and said, ‘Yes, you can start a page. You can earn a lot of money. You can sell your panties on the page,’” Juree said. “In my mind I was like, ‘Great, I’m not going to have any problems with the job because my boss literally told me to sell my panties on OnlyFans.'”
STARBASE did not respond to a list of questions about Juree’s firing, even if the show was aware of the exchange Juree had with her boss. STARBASE Indiana Executive Director Thomas Foltz declined to comment during a follow-up phone call.
Juree’s firing likely occurred after a man in the community emailed his employer. Within 24 hours of the blogger allegedly emailing STARBASE, Juree’s work was finished, he said. She then wrote several blogs about Juree and included images that she was selling behind her OnlyFans paywall, Juree said, adding that she did so without her consent.
VICE News reviewed the blogs she posted and determined that edited nude images were included, with black spots covering parts of Juree’s body.
The blogger maintains that he did not post nude photos. “I included redacted images of the photos of him that he posted on his Onlyfans account in my stories. He never showed or posted nudes,” he said in an email to VICE News.
The man said a “concerned parent” tipped him off about Juree’s OnlyFans account. He also said that a source provided screenshots. “I sought feedback from her and wrote the stories. I confirmed the information,” he said. On his blog, the man also wrote about how he solicited comments from STARBASE, which Juree believes she may have alerted them to.
Juree said she was “so scared” when the blogs started popping up. “It was humiliating,” Juree said. In the articles, the man writes about Juree’s personal life, including her ex-husband. He included screenshots of her STARBASE employee page, her Instagram account, as well as her OnlyFans account, and said that Juree “looks like a porn star.” In a Facebook post that shared the article, the man also said: “All parents should celebrate that this woman was fired. I hope that she will be very successful out of the reach of children.”
(Shortly after VICE News sent the blogger a detailed list of questions about the allegations that he had harassed Juree online, he proceeded to post this reporter’s email, photo, and portions of his resume on his blog.)
Juree called the man’s portrayal of her “heartbreaking” and maintains that she has sold pictures but has not done pornography. She also said that she put her teaching job first and that she wasn’t going to search for OnlyFans seriously until summer vacation.
OnlyFans wasn’t the first hustle Juree tried. Over the years, he looked for all kinds of jobs, from working in a teeth whitening salon to tutoring, to supplement his income. However, she never paid enough to get her out of debt and ultimately she had to take out a second car loan from her to cover some credit card debt. So the flexibility of the OnlyFans job, along with the earning potential, felt to her, she said, as a “way out.”
Juree’s story is not the first example of someone losing their day job because they do sex work on the side. Last week, a 22-year-old OnlyFans content creator said she was fired from her nursing job after a colleague viewed its content. A 24 year old mechanic so in Indiana what Let’s go from a Honda dealer in 2020 after his managers discovered that his co-workers were viewing his OnlyFans page. In Canada, a railway conductor lost her job because her Instagram was “too sexy”.
“The truth is that what I do on OnlyFans is literally no different than what I was doing as a single woman on dating sites: I was sexting, I was exchanging photos and direct messages, I was Facetiming,” Juree said. “There was nothing I was doing on OnlyFans that I wasn’t doing as a single woman, except I found a way to monetize it.”
“It’s interesting what people choose and choose to approve of in their mind when it comes to sex and sexuality,” he added.