Neighbours' Olympia Valance victim of 'traumatic' revenge porn

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

Aussie actor Olympia Valance has confirmed she is the victim of revenge porn, in a powerful public statement addressing the ‘profound violation’ she suffered.

The Neighbours actress, who plays Paige Smith in the hit Aussie series, took to Instagram to confirm rumours she has had private, intimate images hacked and shared online without her consent.

Olympia Valance confirms she is victim revenge porn Neighbours still
Neighbours star Olympia Valance has confirmed she is the victim of revenge porn in a powerful statement. Photo: Ten

In Australia, revenge porn is a criminal offence and includes any distribution of intimate photos or video without the subject’s consent.

The 27-year-old became the victim of the hideous cybercrime more than a year ago when her phone was hacked, explaining recent recirculation of the images has plunged her back into the deeply traumatic experience.

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“I am writing this as confirmation that I know I have become a victim of cybercrime,’’ she wrote in a statement shared with her followers.

“I have been dealing with this for over a year now since my phone was compromised by a hacking of private images, which were then published online.

“I have since had to deal with this again recently, when new images were recirculated, retraumatising me and pushing my anxiety into a space it has never been.”

Images ‘stolen and hacked’ off private phone

Olympia Valance private images leaked nude photo hacking
Olympia explained the private photos were obtained when the perpetrator hacked her phone. Photo: Instagram/olympiavalance

Olympia explained her images had been hacked and stolen from her phone and then shared online, a ‘criminal and abusive’ offence.

“Image-based offences are considered abusive and criminal acts,” she wrote.

“Such offences involve leaking (in my case hacking) images without consent in order to humiliate, degrade, control and blackmail a person.

“As a victim of this, I have had to fight to try and contain these images from reaching the broader public and for media not to publish stories using my name.”

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Olympia Valance combats revenge porn stigma in bold statement 2020
Olympia called for the focus to be put on perpetrators rather than the victims. Photo: Instagram/olympiavalance

The star went on to make a bold statement combatting the stigma often associated with intimate image offences.

“2020 has been challenging for us on every level, and this time has really rocked me,” she wrote. “Taking intimate photos for yourself, or to share with a partner is not a shameful thing to do.

“Stealing them and sharing them online without consent is. We should be allowed to embrace our sexuality without fear that someone will take those images and manipulate them for their own gain.”

The star then made a plea to anyone who has the images to delete them, inviting them to imagine themselves or loved ones in a similar situation.

“They were private images not meant for you or for the public eye,” she wrote.

“Imagine the level of profound violation if this happened to your daughter, your sister, or to you. I am a public figure, but I am also a human being. I am not immune to these scandals. I hurt and I certainly feel pain.”

Neighbours actress Olympia Valance, AFL star Tom Bellchambers
Olympia thanked AFL star boyfriend Tom Bellchambers for his support through the ordeal. Photo: Instagram/olympiavalance

She went on to thank her loved ones, including AFL star boyfriend Tom Bellchambers, for their support.

“If I didn’t have my incredibly supportive boyfriend, my loving family, my fierce friends, my lawyers, management, psychologists and the angels at Image Cyber Crime, I know I would have not coped through this,’’ she wrote.

Finally, the star made a bold call to start shifting the blame onto the perpetrators, rather than the victims of cybercrime, particularly when it comes to naked images.

“We have to figure out a way to stand together and say it’s hacking and destruction of illegally obtained images, not the taking of them that is shameful,” she concluded.

“I’m not ashamed. I’m not embarrassed. I will not apologise. I have done nothing wrong.”

Following the passing of new legislation in 2018, revenge porn is criminally punishable by up to seven years in prison and civil fines of up to $525,000 for corporations and $105,000 for individuals in Australia.

For image-based abuse support, visit www.esafety.gov.au or you can call 1800respect on 1800 737 732.

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