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Tuesday, 27 April 2021

EXCLUSIVE: Montreal mansion of embattled Pornhub founder - under investigation for child exploitation - burns down in suspicious arson just weeks after putting the still unfinished property on the market for $15.9M

 Embattled Pornhub boss Feras Antoon's unfinished chateau in Montreal has burned down in a suspected arson after recently listing the sprawling property for CA$19.8million (US $15.9million), DailyMail.com can reveal. 

Exclusive photos show the charred remains of what was once Antoon's multi-million dollar dream home that sat on land next to the Bois-de-Saraguay nature park on the northern edge of Montreal.  

Montreal police were called around 11.30 Sunday night and responded to reports of two people breaking into the construction area of the home. 

It took nearly three hours and 80 firefighters to put out the three-alarm fire that raged on until 2.30am. 

There were no injuries and no arrests have been made as police continue to investigate the suspected arson. 

In December, DailyMail.com reported that Syrian-born Antoon, 45, bought two lots of land for CAN$2.3 million (US$1.8 million) cash four years ago and spent millions more building the home of his dreams that now sits in piles of rubble. 

The home boasted a nine-car garage, seven bathrooms and eight bedrooms before it went up in flames. 


Realtor Joseph Montanaro said Monday morning the damage was 'very extensive' and that 'everybody is in shock,' according to CTV News. 

Pornhub boss Feras Antoon's unfinished chateau in Montreal has burned down in a suspected arson just after listing the sprawling property for CA$19million, DailyMail.com can reveal

Pornhub boss Feras Antoon's unfinished chateau in Montreal has burned down in a suspected arson just after listing the sprawling property for CA$19million, DailyMail.com can reveal

In December, DailyMail.com reported that Syrian-born Antoon, 45, bought two lots of land for CAN$2.3 million (US$1.8 million) cash four years ago and spent millions more building the home of his dreams that now sits in piles of rubble

In December, DailyMail.com reported that Syrian-born Antoon, 45, bought two lots of land for CAN$2.3 million (US$1.8 million) cash four years ago and spent millions more building the home of his dreams that now sits in piles of rubble

Exclusive photos show the charred remains of what once was once Antoon's multi-million dollar dream home that sat on land next to the Bois-de-Saraguay nature park on the northern edge of Montreal

Exclusive photos show the charred remains of what once was once Antoon's multi-million dollar dream home that sat on land next to the Bois-de-Saraguay nature park on the northern edge of Montreal

Montreal police were called around 11.30 Sunday night to reports of two people breaking into the construction area of the home

Montreal police were called around 11.30 Sunday night to reports of two people breaking into the construction area of the home

It took nearly three hours and 80 firefighters to put out the three-alarm fire that raged on until 2.30am

It took nearly three hours and 80 firefighters to put out the three-alarm fire that raged on until 2.30am

There were no injuries and no arrests made as police continue to investigate the suspected arson at the Pornhub boss' home

There were no injuries and no arrests made as police continue to investigate the suspected arson at the Pornhub boss' home

It took about 80 firefighters to put out the inferno that raged on into the early hours on Monday morning

It took about 80 firefighters to put out the inferno that raged on into the early hours on Monday morning 

The property backs on to Montreal's 'Mafia Row' where many crime figures live. On the very spot that Antoon's home is being built, a gunman stood and fired a single bullet through a double-paned window, killing Nicolo Rizzuto — 'The Canadian Godfather' — in his kitchen in 2010.

'It's an area well-known as home to people who, let's say, didn't necessarily make their fortunes legally,' said one long-time Montreal when DailyMail.com visited the site last year. 'You ask anyone in the city about this area and they would say 'Oh, Mafiaville.'

'Antoon's home is very opulent and completely over the top in everything. The front alone has 20 windows.' he added. 'But it fits in perfectly with other homes in the area.'  

The previous owners of the site where his palace is being built went to court to win a planning battle to allow 220 trees to be felled to make room for it. 

The Montreal Heritage Council argued that the wooded land should be left alone as it played 'an important ecological role…particularly with regard to biodiversity, the movement of fauna and the flow of water.'

Antoon was only granted permission to build if he agreed to fund the planting of 160 trees elsewhere.

The mansion was listed for sale on real estate website Centris for $19.8 million just weeks ago

The mansion was listed for sale on real estate website Centris for $19.8 million just weeks ago 

The house had seven bathrooms, four powder rooms and nine parking spaces

The house had seven bathrooms, four powder rooms and nine parking spaces

When DailyMail.com visited in December, a two-story arch that forms the front door was in the process of being installed at Antoon's luxury chateau

When DailyMail.com visited in December, a two-story arch that forms the front door was in the process of being installed at Antoon's luxury chateau 

Antoon, the CEO of Pornhub's parent company MindGeek, faces a money crunch nightmare. His empire is in danger of crumbling following allegations that much of the content on his leading site contains videos of underage girls.

'Its site is infested with rape videos. It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags,' wrote Nicholas Kristof in a New York Times column that first exposed Pornhub.

'A search for 'girls under18' or '14yo' leads in each case to more than 100,000 videos. Most aren't of children being assaulted, but too many are.'

Already major credit card companies Mastercard, Visa and Discover have cut ties with Pornhub forcing it to delete 80 percent of its content in a bid to clean up its act. It has also severely curtailed uploading of videos and completely banned downloading.

And lawmakers in both the United States and Canada were drafting legislation to make it easier for child victims to sue companies that post videos of sexual acts.

The property backs on to Montreal's 'Mafia Row' where many crime figures live. On the very spot that Antoon's home is being built, a gunman stood and fired a single bullet through a double-paned window, killing Nicolo Rizzuto — 'The Canadian Godfather' — in his kitchen in 2010

The property backs on to Montreal's 'Mafia Row' where many crime figures live. On the very spot that Antoon's home is being built, a gunman stood and fired a single bullet through a double-paned window, killing Nicolo Rizzuto — 'The Canadian Godfather' — in his kitchen in 2010

The arch in the doorway is one of the last pieces of the home that still remains standing 

Antoon runs MindGeek alongside his Chief Operating Officer David Tassillo. 

The two men were been called to testify before the Canadian parliament's ethics committee on the New York Times allegations and did so in February.

Tassillo also has opulent taste in real estate. He lives in this house on a quiet cul-de-sac in Laval, just north of Montreal. The home backs onto the Prairies River. 

'I would...like to ask them how they expect to remedy the harm caused to individuals who never provided their consent for images and videos to be shared,' said Member of Parliament, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who introduced the motion.

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