On Saturday, former Disney star Bella Thorne preemptively released private nude photos of herself after hackers attempted to extort the actress. “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg seemingly felt no sympathy for the 21-year-old, slamming Thorne over the incident.
Literally sitting on the edge of her seat as co-host Sunny Hostin expressed her sadness over the young star’s misfortune, Goldberg chimed in, “If you’re famous, I don’t care how old you are, you don’t take nude pictures. Once you take that picture, it goes into the cloud, and it’s available to any hacker who wants it.”
Thorne was not pleased, offering a tearful response to Goldberg through a video message posted to Instagram.
“Whoopi, now that everyone’s seen my shit, and I just want to say watching this interview, you made me feel really bad about myself, and I hope you’re happy, I really do,” Thorne said.
“Shame on you Whoopi,” the actress continued. “Shame on you for putting that public opinion out there like that for every young girl to think that they’re disgusting for even taking a photo like that.”
In a note posted to Twitter with the accompanying nude photos, Thorne informed her followers of the hack and that she was being extorted, explaining that she’d rather take her “power back” and leak the photos herself.
“For the last 24 hours, I have been threatened with my own nudes,” Thorne said. “I feel gross, I feel watched, I feel someone has taken something from me that I only wanted one special person to see.”
“For too long I let a man take advantage of me over and over and I’m f***ing sick of it,” the actress wrote, adding, “NOW U DON’T GET TO TAKE ANOTHER THING FROM ME. I can sleep tonight better knowing I took my power back. U can’t control my life, u never will.”
Screenshots of text messages from the alleged hackers said “YO BELLA” and “Got all the videos” along with the nudes of Thorne.
So-called “revenge porn” and extortion over privately sent nude photos have become far more prominent in the digital age. Actress Jennifer Lawrence, for example, spoke out about her nude photos being leaked. “Just because I’m a public figure, just because I’m an actress, does not mean that I asked for this. It does not mean that it comes with the territory,” the “Hunger Games” star told Vanity Fair in 2014. “It’s my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting.”
Some states have even adopted laws combating “revenge porn,” such as California. According to the Shouse California Law Group, the California Penal Code Section 647(j)(4) PC describes revenge porn as “‘any person who intentionally distributes the image of the intimate body part or body parts of another identifiable person, or an image of the person depicted engaged in an act of sexual intercourse’ as someone guilty of a disorderly conduct offense,” The Daily Nebraskan reported, adding: “This law is among the many California computer crimes. It is a misdemeanor offense, where people convicted for their first offense can be sentenced to up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. If the victim was a minor, however, the penalty can be increased to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.”