Christy Mack was a porn star and model best known to a particular group of people when all of a sudden, her name was everywhere. And not because her star had risen as far as it could go.
Mack was brutally attacked last August, allegedly at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, MMA fighter Jon "War Machine" Koppenhaver, and since then she's been recovering. Physically, the pain has been unbearable at times; Mack had a liver injury (reportedly from kicks delivered to her side from Koppenhaver) that was so brutal, doctors waited to operate on her face because they were afraid to put her under anesthesia. But one of the worst things about the attack was how personal it was. After beating her face so badly that she needed extensive dental and eye socket surgery, she says, Koppenhaver deliberately cut off her trademark mohawk with a knife.
"Just feeling my face, I knew it wasn't right. So when I'd look in the mirror, it's not me -- that person wasn't me. It's so hard to go every day without being you anymore," she said in a recent interview with ESPN.
Christy said that her ex didn't become abusive until several months into the relationship, and by that time she was already deeply in love with him. Like many victims of abuse, she thought the pattern would end, especially since she says he would become the best version of himself afterward because he felt horrible about what he'd done. Koppenhaver has pleaded not guilty on all charges, which include sexual assault and attempted murder.
While in the hospital, she chose to document her injuries to share on social media because she wanted to speak out about violence, and while she had a lot of supporters--some of whom donated money to help her with dental surgeries--there were also plenty of people backing War Machine, and some of them were of the opinion that she had been at fault, whether by not leaving him when the abuse began or because of her lifestyle.
"This is not acceptable. I'm not going to sit around in my hospital bed and have people say that I did something wrong. This is what happened, so I decided to put it out there," Mack said about her decision to share her story.
These days, Christy is still recovering from her injuries and says her next goal is to get a tattoo to add to several intricate designs already on her body. This one will cover up another that reads, "Property Of War Machine".