Sunny Leone is an Indian Canadian actress and model,and former pornstar, also possessing the American citizenship. She has also used the stage name Karen Malhotra. She was named Penthouse Pet of the Year in 2003, was a contract performer for Vivid Entertainment, and was named by Maxim as one of the 12 top porn stars in 2010.
She has played roles in independent mainstream events, films and television shows. Her first mainstream appearance was in 2005, when she worked as a red carpet reporter for the MTV Video Music Awards on MTV India. In 2011, she participated in the Indian reality television series Big Boss. She hosts the Indian reality show Splitsvilla.
In 2012 she made her Bollywood debut in Pooja Bhatt’s erotic thriller Jism 2 (2012) and shifted her focus to mainstream acting which was followed up with Jackpot (2013), Ragini MMS 2 (2014) and Ek Paheli Leela (2015).
Apart from her acting career she has been part of activism campaigns including the Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half-Marathon to raise money for the American Cancer Society and has also posed for a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ad campaign with a rescued dog, encouraging pet owners to have their cats and dogs spayed and neutered.Sunny Leone was born in Sarnia, Ontario to Sikh Punjabi parents. Her father was born in Tibet and raised in Delhi, while her mother (who died in 2008) was from Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh. As a young girl, she was a self-described tomboy,very athletic and played street hockey with the boys.
Although the family was Sikh, her parents enrolled her in Catholic school as it was felt to be unsafe for her to go to public school. She lost her virginity to a basketball player at another school at 16, and discovered her bisexuality at age 18.When she was 13, her family moved to Fort Gratiot, Michigan, then to Lake Forest, California a year later,fulfilling her grandparents’ dream that the family be together in one place.Before working in the porn industry, she worked at a German bakery, a Jiffy Lube, and later a tax and retirement firm. She also was studying to become s nurse.When picking a name for her adult career, she has said that Sunny is her real name and Leone was picked by Bob Guccione, former owner of Penthouse magazine. She posed for Penthouse magazine, and was named Penthouse Pet of the Month for the March 2001 issue, followed by a feature in the Holiday 2001 edition of Hustler magazine as a Hustler Honey. She has also appeared in other magazines including Cheri, Mystique Magazine,High Society, Swank, AVN Online, Leg World, Club International and Lowrider, while her online credits include ModFX Models, Suze Randall, Ken Marcus and Mac & Bumble.
In 2003, she was named “Penthouse Pet of the Year” and starred in the video Penthouse Pets in Paradise alongside Tera Patrick and Kyla Cole. In 2005 Adam & Eve appointed her as their West Coast Internet Sales Representative.
unny Leone at AVN Awards 2006That same year, Leone signed a three-year contract with Vivid Entertainment with which she transitioned into the world of hardcore pornography, stating that she would only do lesbian scenes. Her first movie released was titled Sunny and was released in December 2005. Her next movie, Virtual Vivid Girl Sunny Leone, was the first interactive title for Leone, who was the first Vivid Girl to make such a movie.Taking only four days to film,the movie won her her first AVN Award (Best Interactive DVD). She followed this with Sunny Loves Cher, which featured her first on-screen squirting, and The Female Gardner co-starring Mikayla Mendez and Daisy Marie.
Leone’s last two movies under her contract with Vivid were It’s Sunny in Brazil, which was filmed in Brazil,and The Sunny Experiment also starring Monique Alexander and Brea Lynn. The movies were released in October and December 2007 respectively.In 2011, she participated in the Indian reality series Bigg Boss, entering the house on day 49.However she refused to divulge her porn star status, and replied to fellow house-mate Pooja Bedi that she was a model and a TV star in America for the last ten years or so. It was reported that she caused a stir in the larger populace with her Twitter feed gaining 8,000 new followers in just 2 days and Google saying searches for her experienced a “breakout”. There were also complaints lodged with the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting alleging that the Colors TV channel was promoting pornography by having Leone appear on the show; among those who filed are the Indian Artistes and Actors Forumand Anurag Thakur, member of Lok Sabha and head of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s youth wing.