In a shaky video claiming to be Mia Khalifa's first porn scene, the then-21-year-old is sitting on the lap of a caramel-skinned dude named Carlos. Her breasts are like newly inflated volleyballs on her tiny frame, her makeup is more Miami nightclub than horny hipster, and she giggles incessantly at the cameraman's jokes. 

"You are looking at Mia," the disembodied voice on the other side of the lens says. "And she is here for—Mia, what are you doing today?"

Red-lipped smile, coy glance sideways, tits squeezed together: "I'm gonna get fucked!" 

The video was posted to Scoreland, a blog for the adult entertainment company Score, on October 17, 2014, and in the ensuing nine months a lot changed for the Lebanese-born woman. On December 28 PornHub—one of the biggest porn piracy sites in the world—announced Khalifa had become its most searched. Somehow, that story landed in the hands of the Lebanese Examiner, which ran an article saying Khalifa was creating a shitstorm in her home country. 

"Lebanese natives are upset and offended by her work," the website wrote, "Especially because she often boasts her Lebanese heritage on Twitter and Instagram."

Two days after that story appeared Khalifa uploaded a video to her brand new website. In it she and her “stepmom”—both clad in hijabs—have a threesome with her white “boyfriend.” Khalifa allegedly began getting death threats from Muslim extremists around the world—one showed her head juxtaposed onto the body of an orange-jumpsuit-clad ISIS beheading victim—and, as if on cue, the American media picked up the news. Stories about the "Lebanese porn star getting death threats" ran at CNN, The Washington Post and Newsweek, as journalists who typically cover political upheavals and international diplomatic relations spilled pounds of ink about a nubile young porn star. 

"Since breaking into the business," says Megan Wozniak, director of marketing for adult entertainment company Adult Empire, "[Khalifa] has reached stardom in the industry on a global level."

But now people have taken a step back. Why, many are wondering, did Khalifa get so popular so fast? Lots of girls shoot to fame quickly in the porn world, but most of their careers are trackable. They film scene after scene in Los Angeles, crafting an image and building a brand. Khalifa, on the other hand, works out of Florida, never does press (she declined to be interviewed for this story), and appears to have only shot about 12 pornographic scenes in her entire life. 

When one industry insider tried to ask around about her, he says, "I had a bunch of people go, 'Who?'"