I've just realized that, yeah, like, probably it's my best friend right now. Lotts' computer isn't just her best friend -- it's her main revenue generator and her connection, not only to her fans but also to the outside world.
With the right tools and an ID that says they're 18 or older, these 21st-century push-button celebrities don't even have to leave their bedrooms to make a living, and they all have one woman to thank.
When Jennifer Ringley picked up a webcam at her college book store in 1996, she had no way of knowing she'd serve as the catalyst for an industry that's been estimated to pull in more than $1 billion in revenue annually.
A New York Times report described the story of Justin Berry, a 13-year-old boy who, after hooking up his webcam and listing himself on an online forum in order to make friends, was propositioned by older men to strip and masturbate on camera.
CNN referred to him as "in the language of cyberspace... He started his own paysite, prostituted himself, sold video recordings of his encounters with Mexican prostitutes, and helped hire other underage models.
He made several hundred thousand dollars over five years before turning all information over to prosecutors in exchange for immunity.