A Brazilian woman sparked outrage when she posted a video on Youtube, offering her virginity to the highest bidder. But when the people in her small town discovered the reason why, much of their anger turned into sympathy.
Rebecca Bernardo, an 18-year-old high school student, posted a video on Youtube last month.
"I made up my mind right after my 18th birthday," she said. "That's when my mother suffered a stroke."
The stroke left Rebecca's mother bed-ridden, unable to feed herself or go to the bathroom alone. Rebecca said other jobs she held only covered the salary of a caretaker for her mother.
"There comes a time when you have to make decisions to get what you want," she said. "You have to be strong."
The first day, her video got 3,000 hits. The reaction in her hometown was swift and hostile.
"When she started the auction, people in the street threw coins at her," said a Brazilian mechanic.
But attitudes now have started to shift. Most people in town are sympathetic with Rebecca's situation. Neighbors said Rebecca's sister died years ago and she never knew her father. They said she had no one to go to, no one to help and that this was the only solution she found.
Rebecca's bed-ridden mother is devastated.
"She should look for work," her mother said. "She shouldn't prostitute herself."
Rebecca said she received three bids so far, the highest for $35,000.