Jennifer Lawrence fell victim to a photo hack in August 2014 that resulted in her nude selfies making rounds on the Internet. Now, the Mother! star has opened up about the incident and how it’s had lasting effects on her life.
“When the hacking thing happened, it was so unbelievably violating that you can’t even put it into words,” she said in an episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast, which aired on Monday, November 20. “I think that I’m still actually processing it. When I first found out it was happening, my security reached out to me. It was happening minute-to-minute — it was almost like a ransom situation where they were releasing new ones every hour or so.”
Lawrence, 27, revealed how vulnerable it made her feel knowing so many people had access to her private photos. “I feel like I got gang-banged by the f–king planet — like, there’s not one person in the world that is not capable of seeing these intimate photos of me,” she said. “You can just be at a barbecue and somebody can just pull them up on their phone. That was a really impossible thing to process.”
She added: “I think, like, a year and a half ago, somebody said something to me about how I was ‘a good role model for girls,’ and I had to go into the bathroom and sob because I felt like an impostor. I felt like, ‘I can’t believe somebody still feels that way after what happened.’ It’s so many different things to process when you’ve been violated like that.”
The hack has also affected the Oscar winner’s career. “[Red Sparrow] was really sexual, which has always scared me. I’ve always been like, ‘Absolutely no way’ — especially after what happened [with the hack] — ‘no way am I ever gonna do anything sexual.’ So, for me, doing Red Sparrow, I felt like I was getting something back that had been taken from me.”
Other celebrities who were hacked during the incident included Ariana Grande, Victoria Justice, Kate Upton and Kirsten Dunst. “A lot of women were affected, and a lot of them reached out to me about suing Apple or suing [others] — and none of that was gonna really bring me peace,” Lawrence said. “None of that was gonna bring my nude body back to me and [ex-boyfriend Nicholas Hoult], the person that they were intended for. It wasn’t gonna bring any of that back. So I wasn’t interested in suing everybody; I was just interested in healing.”
The photos were originally posted on the /b/ thread on 4chan. At the time, the site claimed to also have nude photos of Gabrielle Union, Hayden Panettiere, Hilary Duff, Kaley Cuoco, Lea Michele, Selena Gomez, and others.
In January, Edward Majerczyk was found guilty of hacking 30 celebrities and was sentenced to nine months in prison. The Associated Press reported that he was also ordered to pay a $5,700 fine to one undisclosed celebrity victim.
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