Real Victim Of ‘Zola’ Villains Says ‘There Is Nothing Glamorous’ About Sex Trafficking


A’Ziah King’s 148-tweeted thread went massively viral in October 2015, partly because the events she described were amazing and partly because she’s an incredible storyteller. The whole internet devoured Zola’s story with voyeuristic interest, even as it took dangerous and upsetting turns. It was easy to compartmentalize the dark adventure into 140 character increments. Even though it was meant to be true, the dramatic story felt like it was hyperbole.

Six years later, Twitter’s wild saga is a major movie, Zola, with Taylour Paige in the lead role and Riley Keough as “that bitch” she fell out with. Critics of the Sundance Film Festival called it “entertaining” and “crazy trick.” But as The daily beast reports, a young woman who was tricked by Jessica Swiatkowski and her “pimp” Akporode “Rudy” Uwedjojevwe, right after Zola escaped their ploys, says the film trivializes the real terrors of sex trafficking.

“There is nothing glamorous about it,” Jessica Forgie said. The daily beast. “It’s quite mind-blowing that someone finds the humor in this. Is it fun and funny for you? And the reason he’s in jail? They leave it out and they just make it all feel like fun and playful. It wasn’t fun and games.

When she was 19, Forgie and a friend found themselves broke and stranded in Nevada as they returned from a trip across the country. Friend, Breeonna Pellow, texted Swiatkowski for help. A limousine arrived to take them to Reno Airport, but it soon became apparent that Swiatkowski and Uwedjojevwe were flying to meet them. “Everything went downhill after that. [Jessica] was not innocent, and neither was my friend, ”Forgie said.

The women were taken to Reno’s Atlantis Casino Resort, where Uwedjojevwe pressured Forgie and Pellow to prostitute themselves with Swiatkowski. When Forgie refused, he confiscated her phone and then sexually assaulted her after she begged to come home. When Uwedjojevwe entered the bathroom, Forgie managed to escape.

“I took this as my time to run,” she said The daily beast. “I left the doors open; I ran for the elevator. He wasn’t behind me at the time, but he must have realized, ‘Oh my god, I just left her. alone.’ I ran to the front desk and said, “I need your guys help.” I felt a hand on my shoulder and when I turned around it was him. said, “Get out of me. Don’t touch me… you’ll fall. “Well, he ran through the doors.”

Uwedjojevwe was subsequently apprehended by the police and charged with sexual assault, bodily harm, two counts of trafficking and two counts of attempted pimping with the threat of physical force. He pleaded guilty to two counts, sex trafficking and coercion, and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. But just five years later, Uwedjojevwe is eligible for parole, which Forgie said terrified her. She claimed that during her trial Uwedjojevwe had beaten her. Authorities apprehended the suspected hitman before anything fell, but only when the suspect was three blocks from his house.

Forgie said she believes King should have done more to protect other women, rather than enjoying the entertaining value of his story. “If the tables were turned I would definitely let it be known that it’s out there,” she said. “It’s supposed to be a fun indie movie, but people need to know that sex trafficking exists. There are bad people.”

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