A VETERAN shark diver claims a viral video featuring a porn star being attacked by a shark during a promo shoot last week was faked for publicity.
Bryce Rohrer, owner and operator of Florida Shark Diving, said cam girl Molly Cavalli wasn’t really attacked by a lemon shark off the coast of Florida during a promotional video for sex cam website CamSoda.
“[Molly] said ‘we want to do a film shoot with a few scantily-clad women diving with sharks,’ and we were kind of sceptical of even that,” Mr Rohrer told RealClearLife.com.
“Then once we started getting the facts of what they actually wanted to do … we declined.”
Mr Rohrer claims Ms Cavalli laid out her plans in a string of text messages, saying she wanted to stage the shark attack to make the clip go viral. He claims she sent him a text message detailing her stunt.
“Just wanted to show you what the bite would look like. It’s more of a little knick,” the alleged text says.
“We were doing this as I was speaking to you today. I know that you are shark lovers and don’t want it to be a negative thing on sharks but I just wanted to show you that it’s not some huge aggressive a bite if that makes a difference.”
Darren Press, CamSoda’s vice president, later said in a statement that Ms Cavalli was bitten as she swam near the surface.
“Our intention was to have Molly quickly dive into the shark cage with the camera and begin broadcasting as lemon sharks circled nearby,” Mr Press said, Yahoo7 News reports. “From what we gathered, lemon sharks are predominantly docile and relatively harmless.”
Mr Rohrer said he declined Ms Cavalli’s pitch, but she found another company for the alleged encounter — which had racked up more than 14 million views on YouTube by Wednesday. The company claimed Ms Cavalli needed 20 stitches for the wound.
Mr Rohrer blasted Ms Cavalli for the “unnecessary” and “unhealthy” stunt. Messages seeking comment from Ms Cavalli by The New York Post were not immediately returned.
“I’ve been working with sharks my entire adult career, 300 days a year, I’m on the water diving with sharks,” he said. “They’re incredible animals, they’re a cornerstone species, meaning they need to be in the oceans at a somewhat healthy level, or else the entire ecosystem literally breaks down.”
He continued: “So many people these days are working towards saving sharks and the environment is in such a focus right now … when someone comes up with a fake shark attack it just kind of is a blow to all that work.”
This story originally appeared in The New York Post and has been republished here with permission.