Gigi Hadid is reportedly the latest celebrity whose nude photos were stolen by hackers, but the Victoria Secret model is dealing with a slightly different situation than Kaley Cuoco, Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and the other female stars whose nude photos were leaked online last year. Instead of simply posting Gigi Hadid’s naked photos on the web, the group of hackers in possession of Gigi’s pictures is trying to blackmail her by threatening to release the photos unless she pays up.
According to TMZ, Gigi Hadid’s hackers gained access to the nude photos on her phone through her iCloud account. If Gigi doesn’t pay a certain amount of cash to keep them from being released, the hackers are hoping that they can convince a media outlet to pay for the stolen pictures. Instead of complying with the hackers’ wishes, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model is reportedly trying to fight them — Gigi Hadid has alerted law enforcement officials about the blackmail scheme, and she’s also hired a private security company to track down the criminals who are trying to profit from her stolen property.
Because they accessed the photos through her iCloud account, Gigi Hadid’s blackmailers likely obtained her nude photos by employing the same method that hackers previously used to steal hundreds of personal celebrity photos and videos. Last year, members of a celebrity nude photo trading ring leaked nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kaley Cuoco, and dozens of other female celebrities online. According to Gawker, it possibly took hackers months or even years to collect the massive cache of stolen pictures.
— The Independent (@Independent) September 1, 2014
NBC News reports that almost 600 iCloud accounts were breached, and the Los Angeles Times says that the hackers likely used a simple phishing scheme to gain access to the accounts. Phishing usually involves sending out fake emails that are made to look like they come from a certain service provider. The emails direct victims to sham websites where they are asked to enter login or account information, and the scammers can then use this information to access their victims’ real accounts.
— PeopleStyle (@People_Style) August 4, 2015
Obviously, Gigi Hadid doesn’t want her stolen photos leaked online. However, the model doesn’t have anything against the world seeing her naked when it’s on her own terms. She’s posed nude in a PG-13 ad for Tom Ford’s Velvet Orchid fragrance, she’s posed topless for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, and she’s stripped down for a strategically-posed VMan magazine photo shoot that involved posing naked on a train. During an interview with the Daily Front Row, Gigi revealed that the shoot wasn’t supposed to be all about the nudity.
“It was just about a natural acceptance of myself,” Hadid said. “That shoot was a lot more to me than just taking my clothes off. It was about acceptance. Nudity is so frowned upon these days. If you look at sculptures from hundreds of years ago, everyone’s naked.”
“It’s not a bad thing. We’re all naked at least twice a day.”
During an August interview with W Magazine, Gigi Hadid said a little more about her stance on nudity. While she’s completely comfortable with posing in the buff, Gigi won’t do it simply to shock or show off her body — she’ll only bare a lot of skin if she thinks nudity is necessary to convey the message that a photographer or company is going for. For example, Gigi stripped down for her Tom Ford ad because “nude works with fragrance” — she was selling perfume, not clothing.
“I’ve never been scared of being naked in pictures, but I wouldn’t do naked for naked’s sake,” Gigi Hadid said.
Hopefully Gigi Hadid’s hackers are caught so she can continue having complete control over the way she presents her naked body to the world.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]