Just before the premiere of #BeautyAndTheBeast, the 26-year-old former Harry Potter star and Goodwill Ambassador to the UN finds herself once again at the center of some internet gossip. Like so many young female stars, Watson may have been the victim of a hacking incident that resulted in the theft of some of the actress's private photos.
Twitter and Reddit users have reported that the photos are circling the dark web, which is basically the evil version of the internet where people circulate illegal information, goods or services. Some have said the photos were uploaded onto 4Chan, which is a message board favored by Trumpkins and the KKK, where anonymous posts delete automatically shortly after being uploaded.
A spokesperson for Watson stated that the photos in question were not nudes, but outtakes from a fitting with a stylist, and legal action is being taken:
"Photos from a clothes fitting Emma had with a stylist a couple of years ago have been stolen. They are not nude photographs. Lawyers have been instructed and we are not commenting further."
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One Twitter user claimed that there were 122 photos in circulation, along with 22 photos of actress Amanda Seyfried.
This latest rumor comes on the heels of a Vanity Fair photoshoot that stirred up some controversy, as Watson appeared in the magazine wearing a completely sheer top and artful cropped jacket that many deemed too risqué for "a real feminist." *eye roll*
Watson is hardly the first female star to fall victim to this crime. Just this past year, Maisie Williams was also targeted. In August of 2014, a mass leak of nearly 500 private photos from celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence were stolen and leaked on 4Chan. Thankfully, the hacker responsible for "The Fappening" was caught and sentenced to 18 months in prison. Let's hope Emma, Amanda and Maisie will be able to get justice for the crimes against them, too.
Emma Watson stars in Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, in theaters on March 17. Check out the trailer of the new movie side by side with frames from the original below.
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