The massive celebrity photo leak that hit the web over the weekend has taken an even more illegal turn, and it could even have viewers of the material in hot water, as one of the celeb victims claims she was underage in the posted photos. On Tuesday, TMZ revealed that the stolen photos of Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney were allegedly taken when she was under the age of 18. An attorney for the Olympic champ, who turned 18 this past December, promptly took action to get the pics removed from a pornography site.
According to Fox News, naked photos of Maroney, who was a member of the 2012 US Olympics gymnastics team known as the Fierce Five, also turned up on Reddit as part of the massive weekend hack. But once the Olympian’s legal team got involved, the social networking site sent a message to its users stating: "Effective immediately: any images/galleries/torrents/megadumps/etc containing McKayla Maroney or Liz Lee will be immediately due to the fact that they were underage (<18) in the photos taken." The site warned users that images of Maroney or Lee, a star of MTV’s “My Life As Liz,” would be considered child pornography.
Maroney initially claimed the naked pics were fake, and thanked fans for standing by her. "The fake photos of me are crazy!!” she posted on Twitter. “Was trying to rise above it all, and not give 'the creator' the time of day.” While Maroney hasn’t admitted that the photos are real, the threat that she is being depicted in pics taken when she was underage had Reddit moderators in a panic.
Other victims of the attack, including pop star Ariana Grande and Nickelodeon alum Victoria Justice, have also gone on record as saying the photos posted of them online were fake. Justice, who starred on Nickelodeon’s “Victorious,” promptly took to Twitter to post:”These so called nudes of me are FAKE people. Let me nip this in the bud right now.” The star then added: “pun intended.”
The FBI and Apple are currently investigating the massive hack, which targeted Oscar winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, supermodel Kate Upton, and dozens of other female celebrities.