Actress Bella Thorne thanks FBI following arrest of suspected hacker who threatened to leak her nude photos
Bella Thorne has thanked the FBI for arresting the suspected hacker behind her nude photo scandal.
In a candid Instagram post, the actress expressed her gratitude to investigators who were “searching tirelessly” for the culprit who threatened to leak her nude photos back in 2019. Prior to the FBI getting involved, Thorne released her topless pictures to thwart the blackmailer.
“I want to thank the FBI for searching tirelessly for the person who made my life and others a living hell,” she began in a lengthy Instagram post.
“I have felt violated many times in my life, but I thought I didn’t have a way out, so I made a choice. My choice. A choice I didn’t want to make but felt I had to because I wouldn’t spend another day feeling someone was taking away from me my body, my soul, my mental health, and my love and hope for the world.
“So thank you, FBI, for a step in the right direction and just one less bad guy to worry about.”
The former Disney star said it felt like a weight has been lifted off her shoulders since the Justice Department announced yesterday Joseph O’Connor, a 22-year-old man from the UK, had been apprehended by National Police in Spain. Thorne shared a photo of the department’s official announcement on Instagram. O’Connor is facing a slew of charges, including multiple counts of conspiracy, extortion, communicating threats, and cyberstalking.
In her post, Thorne wanted to make it clear scandals like the one she was subjected to are never the victim’s fault.
“For all the people who think because a woman is comfortable with their body and how they portray themselves that they are ‘asking for it’, for the people who think ‘she deserves it’ because she was there or had a beer in her hand or wore a short skirt, and for the people that think because she took the photo she deserves to be humiliated with it – and she deserves for everyone to look at it and inscribe every piece and bit of her in their mind. Or because she took the photo, she deserves that one moment to follow her, taunt her for the rest of her life through every waking moment. To those who made those remarks, they were disgusting. I hope you feel disgusting. To those few people. Sincerely f–k you.”
It was back in 2019 that Thorne’s Twitter and Snapchat accounts were compromised. To take back control, she released her own nude photos alongside a statement to the person who hacked her photos and threatened to leak them.
“For the last 24 hours I have been threatened with my own nudes. I feel gross, I feel watched, I feel someone has taken something from me that I only wanted one special person to see,” she wrote at the time.
“For too long I let a man take advantage of me over and over and I’m f—ing sick of it, I’m putting this out because it’s MY DECISION NOW U DONT GET TO TAKE YET ANOTHER THING FROM ME. I can sleep tonight better knowing I took my power back. U can’t control my life u never will.”
For support and advice regarding bullying and mental health, visit Lifeline.org.au or call 13 11 14.