Gabrielle Union isn't one to sit idly by. Two months after a nude photo leak targeted her and several other celebrities, the Being Mary Jane actress is speaking out and fighting back. On Sunday, Nov. 9, she sat down with Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles at the Fun Fearless Life conference, where she opened up about the scandal and its effect on her.
"In the moment, I froze. I was mortified, terrified," she told Coles (via The Hollywood Reporter) of finding out she'd been hacked shortly after her wedding to Dwyane Wade. "I just didn't know what to do. I felt I had given so much of myself, but I had saved a little bit for myself and for my husband, and they had taken that from me."
She was worried at first about how her loved ones would react, but they — unlike some of the general public — offered her nothing but compassion and support. "Everyone I thought would have a negative reaction or blame me in some way, or kindly position it as something I could have avoided — no one did," the actress recalled. "Everyone that I love and respect looked at it for what it is, which is a crime."
Union, 42, went on to slam suggestions that she was somehow complicit in the crime because she'd taken the pictures in the first place. "I didn't do anything wrong — no matter what people describe to me, 'It's your fault, you're stupid to take nude photos, that's what happens when you're a celebrity' — all this nonsense…they're criminals," she asserted.
"What you do with your own body is your choice. Period. There's no gray matter there," she continued. "And when someone takes your choice away and your power away over your own body, it's a crime. Period."
She further took aim at Google and Apple for not doing more to prevent or address the leak. "I would have hoped that the tech community would realize this is a crime," she told Coles. "You'd hope they'd care as much about you as you do about the new iPhone 6."
Union also penned an essay on the subject for Cosmopolitan's December issue. In it, she describes how the leak has changed the way she feels out in public. "I am adjusting to my new reality," she wrote. "Everything feels tainted. On Instagram, people tell me they've seen me naked. Walking into my favorite pizza place, I wonder who has seen the photos and what they are thinking. It's part of daily life now."
That said, she doesn't want to let the criminals win. "Whatever your dreams were before, they still remain," she wrote. "You might feel like nothing will ever be the same. And that's true — nothing will be the same. Take that and change things."
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