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updated: 9/1/2014 9:29 PM

Lawrence calls for investigation into stolen pictures

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  • Jennifer Lawrence, seen here in the film "Silver Linings Playbook," was one of many actresses victimized this past weekend by an apparent hacker who posted private images of her to the Internet.

      Jennifer Lawrence, seen here in the film "Silver Linings Playbook," was one of many actresses victimized this past weekend by an apparent hacker who posted private images of her to the Internet.
    Associated Press

  • Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead confirmed Sunday that stolen nude photos of her were posted online. "To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves," Winstead tweeted.

      Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead confirmed Sunday that stolen nude photos of her were posted online. "To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves," Winstead tweeted.
    Associated Press

 
By Anthony McCartney
AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Jennifer Lawrence has contacted authorities to investigate who stole and posted nude images of the Oscar winner online, a publicist for the actress said.

Intimate images of Lawrence, who stars in "The Hunger Games" film franchise and won an Academy Award for her role in "Silver Linings Playbook," began appearing online Sunday. Naked images purporting to be of other female stars were also posted, although the authenticity of many couldn't be confirmed. The source of the leak was unclear.

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"This is a flagrant violation of privacy," Lawrence's publicist Liz Mahoney wrote in a statement. "The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence."

Mahoney declined to provide further details, including which authorities were contacted. Lawrence, 24, is a three-time Oscar nominee.

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said the company was investigating whether any iCloud accounts had been tampered with, but she did not give any further details.

"We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report," she said.

Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead also confirmed that nude photos of her were posted online.

"To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves," Winstead posted on Twitter. Winstead, who starred in "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" and "Live Free or Die Hard," wrote that she thought the images had been destroyed. "Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this," Winstead wrote.

The FBI has investigated previous leaks of nude celebrity images, including leaks involving Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Christina Aguilera and footage of television sports reporter Erin Andrews in a Tennessee hotel room. Those cases resulted in convictions.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller declined to comment on whether the agency was involved.

How widespread the hacking of celebrities photos was is not immediately clear. Some of the images were quickly denounced as fakes.

Some cybersecurity experts speculated that hackers may have obtained a cache of private celebrity images by exploiting weaknesses in an online image-storing platform.

"It is important for celebrities and the general public to remember that images and data no longer just reside on the device that captured it," security researcher Ken Westin wrote in a blog post Monday. "Once images and other data are uploaded to the cloud, it becomes much more difficult to control who has access to it, even if we think it is private."

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