WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
35-year-old porn star Molly Cavalli had the scare of a lifetime during an underwater promotional shoot when she had a close encounter with a lemon shark. Although the Florida-born adult model was inside a shark cage while shooting a commercial for adult webcam service Cam Soda, she ended up with a massive gash on her foot after the shark bit her. However, some sources are now disputing the story as a publicity stunt.
Lemon sharks, which can grow up to 11 ft in length live in shallow subtropic waters, are not thought to be a large threat to humans. According to the description of the now-viral video which has been viewed more than 14.3 million times, the shoot had to be cut short when the shark bit into the adult entertainer’s left ankle.
“The underwater broadcast had to be cut short when Molly’s foot stuck out of the cage and was bitten by a lemon shark,” the description reads. “Don’t worry though, Molly is doing just fine. She had to get 20 stitches, but she is in good spirits and grateful for her quick recovery.”
“I love how they failed to film the incident as well. How did the shark possibly bite her foot with all that protection around her? The shark smells fish but I smell bullsh*t,” one Youtube comment says.
Vice President of CamSoda, Darren Press, explained: “From what we gathered, lemon sharks are predominantly docile and relatively harmless. During the broadcast, a shark approached the cage which made Molly nervous. She swam up to the surface as the shark approached. Her foot rose above the protective net and was bitten. We immediately pulled Molly out of the cage and rushed to shore.”
In total, there have been only ten registered incidents of humans being bitten by lemon sharks according to the International Shark Attack File, with none of the incidents having fatal consequences.
Samuel Gruber, PhD, an expert on lemon sharks at the Bimini Shark Lab spoke to Yahoo! about the authenticity of the event in a telephone interview.
“Well, the lesion looks pretty real; it just doesn’t look like a shark bite,” Gruber said. Upon watching the video, the researcher admitted that due to the cage being wide, no matter how unlikely, there is still a possibility that “a shark got in there, got scared, and bit her.”
“There have been thousands of people that have dived with lemon sharks with no problems. And this woman was in a cage and she got bitten,” Gruber says, although he was puzzled how someone in a cage was bitten and no one from the divers outside of it weren’t. “There’s a guy outside the cage and we don’t see a picture of the bite. I don’t see how he could have missed that shot.”
Meanwhile, Cavalli took to social media to reach out to her fans and the Cam Soda people, downplaying a shark bite as ‘not as bad as it seems’.
“Thanks for your well wishes guys. I’m totally fine. It’s not as bad as it seems. I’m healing quickly. It was still an amazing experience. Much love to my @camsoda team for taking good care of me,” she wrote.
She also released a statement saying: “I want to thank my fans for their outpouring of support as I heal my foot following the shark bite. Luckily it only required 20 stitches. I’m fine. It’s not that bad. I had a great experience anyway and now I have a story to tell forever.”