Star ‘traumatised’ by nude photo hack
Olympia Valance has issued a powerful statement revealing she is the victim of a "traumatising" cyber crime that saw her private images shared without consent.
The Playing For Keeps actor, 27, took to Instagram today with a lengthy post confirming she's been dealing with the "profound violation" for over a year, telling fans the scandal has "pushed her anxiety to a space it's never been."
"I am writing this as confirmation that I know I have become a victim of cyber crime,'' she wrote to her 215,000 followers.
"I have been dealing with this for a 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."
Neighbours star Valance, who is in a relationship with AFL player Tom Bellchambers, said despite the ongoing battle, her legal team have struggled to contain the images from being distributed.
"Such offences involve leaking (in my case hacking) images without consent in order to humiliate, degrade, control and blackmail a person,'' she wrote.
"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."
In a powerful display of solidarity for women with similar experiences, she went on to say she would not apologise for taking the photos as she'd done nothing wrong, adding that she hoped sharing her story would shed light on such "abusive and criminal" offences.
"2020 has been challenging for us on every level, and this time has really rocked me. 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 actor and co-owner of Splash Vodka, continued: "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."
She added that it is the perpetrators who should feel ashamed of themselves, and encouraged women to "stand together" in the fight against such cyber crimes.
She went on to thank her support network for helping her through a "scary and exhausting" time.
"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.
"I have had days where I have been exhausted and where the depths of my sadness have scared both myself and the people I love. I want to be at peace. I am tired trying to fight.
"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."
"I'm not ashamed. I'm not embarrassed. I will not apologise. I have done nothing wrong," she concluded.
Valance and Essendon Ruckman Bellchambers met on celebrity dating app Raya and confirmed their relationship last June.
She has been isolating away from her AFL playing partner while locked down in Melbourne, recently admitting maintaining a long-distance relationship has been challenging.
"There are some good days and there are some bad days," Valance told 7 News.
News.com.au has reached out to Valance for comment.
Originally published as Star 'traumatised' by nude photo hack