These Celebrities Have Been Victims of Embarrassing Social Media ‘Hacks’
With each day comes a new celebrity “scandal” and with each passing year, a new celebrity hacking. Social media hackers use malicious code to take over a famous figure’s online presence, usually hoping to get money out of it.
While the initial act of “hacking” is highly illegal, it’s also dangerous to a celebrity’s very public reputation — especially when the hacker in question gains inside information and photos they can use against a public figure. These celebrities were victims of embarrassing and controversial hacking scandals … and handled them with precision and grace.
Hudgens got her start as a Disney starlet and lead in the uber-popular High School Musical franchise in 2006. A year later, a hacker leaked nude photographs of Hudgens onto the internet, tarnishing her crystal clear reputation and sending Disney’s PR department into a frenzy.
“That was just a really shitty situation that sucked,” Hudgens told Paper Magazine. “That was by far the worst moment of my career.” Still, the photos gave Hudgens and opportunity to break down the perfect “Disney mold” she’d been placed into and address reality head-on: she was an 18-year-old girl with a cell phone and was entitled to her privacy.
Disney stuck by Hudgens’ side through the scandal as she apologized to her fans. They released a simple statement: “We hope she’s learned a valuable lesson.” She went on to star in the rest of the High School Musical movies and pursue an acting career outside of Disney following the franchise’s end.
Social media’s brightest star has fallen victim to a few separate hacking instances. In 2016 she was hacked by the same user as singer Katy Perry. Handle @lolsw4y sent rude and offensive messages to her millions of followers, including one that read, “I love being so famous with no talent.” Jenner’s team quickly deleted the tweets and found a few of the hackers responsible.
A year later Jenner fell victim to a Snapchat hack. Fans noticed questionable content on her Snapchat stories including a user called “chikri95” who claimed to have nude photos of Jenner. The hacker never shared the alleged personal photos and later admitted via Twitter they didn’t have any, to begin with.
Jenner Snapchatted a candid response to the Twitter hacker in 2016 saying she frankly “didn’t care” and was going to let the user “have his fun.” She also discredited claims she had a sex tape floating around and told her fans “You’re never going to see a sex tape from me … It’s just not going to happen.”
As one of the highest-paid actresses worldwide, it’s no wonder (and no excuse) that hackers thought they could make serious money off of releasing and selling Jennifer Lawrence’s nude photos. Lawrence was 27 years old at the time and opened up about how vulnerable and invaded she felt when she realized her private property had gone very, very public.
“I don’t know, I feel like I got gang-banged by the f***ing planet,” she said on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter Podcast. “Like, there’s not one person in the world that is not capable of seeing these intimate photos of me … 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.”
While Lawrence rightfully declared the ordeal as a “sex crime,” she opted not to sue for a legitimate reason — she didn’t feel it would bring her any peace. She did advocate for a change in the law to Vanity Fair for a cover interview she did following the scandal.
“It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting,” she said of the leak. “The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these websites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it … It’s so beyond me.” Leave it to JLaw to deliver the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even without a lawsuit.
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