Mischa Barton Targeted By ‘Revenge Porn’ Peddling Ex, Lawyer Takes Action
Mischa Barton has hired a lawyer amid an alleged plot to shop around a sex tape and/or nude images of the actress and Dancing With the Stars alum without her consent, according to a story first reported by the Daily Mail.
Barton held a press conference on Wednesday, March 15, and said (quotes via Daily Mail), "This is a painful situation and my absolute worst fear was realized when I learned that someone I thought I loved and trusted was filming my most intimate and private moments, without my consent with hidden cameras."
The former star of The O.C. said that in addition to preventing her own privacy-violating images being sold, she was speaking out "not only for myself, but for all the women out there," saying "I want to protect them from the pain and humiliation I’ve had to go through."
High-profile civil rights attorney and legal analyst Lisa Bloom, present during Barton's statement, said they had already filed action against the man they believe recorded the images, who "briefly" dated Barton.
"The court has blocked the selling, distribution, giving away or showing of any of these photos or videos of Ms. Barton. We thank the court for its swift action," Bloom announced during the press conference.
Bloom described her client's situation as such in a statement issued on March 14: "It has been reported that naked or sexually explicit images of Ms. Barton are being 'shopped around.' Ms. Barton does not consent to any disclosure of any such images. She believes that she was recorded without her consent by someone she was seeing at the time."
"There’s a name for this disgusting conduct: revenge pornography," Bloom continued. "Revenge pornography is a form of sexual assault, and it is also a crime and a civil wrong in California. And we will not stand for it."
It is indeed a crime: In 2015, a California-based revenge porn site operator named Kevin Bollaert was sentenced to eight years in prison and 10 years of "mandatory supervision" for 21 of counts of identity theft and six counts of extortion, after posting dozens of nude images of women without their consent which were often sent in by ex-boyfriends or other men seeking retaliation. Bollaert, who said in testimony that he ran his site because it was "fun and entertaining," also often included the women's names, social media account links and information about their location. (To make matters even worse, Bollaert charged terrified women $250 or more to have their photos removed through a second site he ran called ChangeMyReputation.com).
Bloom finished with a strong message for the unnamed party and any possible porn sites who choose to run nude images of Barton without her permission: "I have a message for anyone who attempts to traffic in these photos or videos of Ms. Barton: we will find you, and we will come after you. We will fully prosecute you under every available criminal and civil law. You proceed at your peril."
"I've been doing women’s rights cases for 30 years," Bloom told People, "and what I see over and over again is women who are very scared, but when they stand up on their own two feet and they say, 'No, I’m not going to stand for this, I’m going to fight back,' it’s very empowering. I think this is a very healthy step that Mischa step is taking."
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