In what is quickly becoming one of the biggest stories of the year, today saw more alleged celebrity nude pictures leaked as well as further steps taken in the investigation into how these pictures and now videos were attained. Apple has also released information regarding its investigation into how this security break of their iCloud service occurred.
In addition to those pictures that have been released over the past few days, The Daily Mail is reporting that additional pictures that allegedly feature TV stars Aubrey Plaza and Jessica Brown Findlay have emerged today as has a video that reportedly features Jennifer Lawrence and photos of American Idol Season 12 contestant Tenna Torres. These are just the newest photos and videos that have emerged over the last few days that included numerous celebrities including Victoria Justice, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst and the aforementioned Oscar winner Lawrence.
The leak originated on the popular internet chat board 4 Chan and quickly migrated around the internet including causing the creation of an entire new subsection on the website Reddit. Reactions from the celebrities involved have varied from slight amusement to sarcasm to denial of legitimacy and legal action. Singer Ariana Grande denounced the pictures of her as fake. Victoria Justice and Olympic Gymnast McKayla Maroney also denied that the pictures were real. Both have since taken legal action. Ms. Justice reported on her Twitter account reported that after her initial post regarding the pictures being fake that her privacy was once again violated so she will now be taking legal action to protect herself. Ms. Maroney denied the validity of the pictures, but since then her lawyer has contacted a few different sites demanding the picture be removed because she was allegedly under the age of 18 when they were taken. Model Kate Upton has announced that she will take legal action and representatives for Jennifer Lawrence have said she is taking legal action as well.
The FBI has confirmed that they are aware of the hacking allegations surrounding the leak and that they are “addressing the matter,” but they have declined further comment. After an initial silence, Apple has begun answering allegations that their iCloud storage service was hacked. In an official statement the company has said that the entire iCloud service was not hacked, but that this leak was the result of a “very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the internet.” The company went on to state this leak did not break any of Apple’s systems.
There has been recent precedent for legal action taken against those who steal and leak celebrity nude pictures. In 2012 Christopher Chaney, 36, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for hacking into the email accounts of more than 50 people. During the hack he gained access to and released nude photos of Scarlett Johansson as well as private information for Mila Kunis and Christina Aguilera.
Celebrities have had a varied past with leaked nude pictures and videos. While it is an embarrassment and violation of privacy for most of them, there have been some celebrities who have used these leaks to help build momentum for their careers. Most notably Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton both used the release of their leaked sex tapes to garner reality TV show deals which helped launch them to stardom and wealth. The difference between that and this current batch of leaked nudes is that Ms. Kardashian and Ms. Hilton both had control over how and when their tape would be released whereas these current victims of the leak neither asked for the release nor had any prior knowledge that it would happen.
As the FBI begins its investigation and various celebrities begin to take legal action, those behind the leak have released a master list that shows 101 different celebrities they likely have pics and/or video of and they promise to continue releasing them, but they have not said when or how those leaks will take place.