When Jennifer Lawrence’s nude photos were leaked online in 2014, social media descended into madness.
Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t the only celebrity whose photos were exposed against her will, however. The actress’ breach of privacy happened in connection to a larger leak that exposed the nude photos of celebrities including Hope Solo, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Kate Upton, though it was probably not any consolation.
Edward Majerczyk, the Chicago man responsible for illegally gaining access to the photos, which include Jennifer Lawrence’s nudes, has just been sentenced to nine months in prison.
According to the The Guardian, Ed played a key role in illegally gaining access to Jennifer’s nude photos by using an email phishing scheme.
Apparently Majerczyk, under the front of being an internet service provider, emailed his victims asking for their various login information, which he eventually used to gain access to people’s private photos. Of the roughly 300 total victims, some of which he knew personally, 30 were celebrities.
In 2016, he pleaded guilty to “one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information.
Now, he will pay restitution and serve time behind bars. In addition to his nine-month prison sentence, Edward Majerczyk is required to pay back $5700 an unnamed celebrity victim spent to undergo counseling to deal with the embarrassment.
Edward Majerczyk will pay for his crimes, as far as the law goes. But to Jennifer Lawrence and the other celebrities that were affected, this nine-month sentence probably doesn’t feel like justice is being served, especially since this crime can have a maximum sentence of up to five years.
Shortly after the incident, dubbed as “celebgate,” Jennifer Lawrence spoke with Vanity Fair about her leaked nudes and likened herself to being the victim of a “sex crime.”
“It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime,” Jennifer said to writer Sam Kashner. “It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these Web sites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it. It’s so beyond me. I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.”
“Just because I’m a public figure, just because I’m an actress, does not mean that I asked for this,” she added. “It does not mean that it comes with the territory. It’s my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting.”
Jennifer Lawrence’s nude photos are still out there somewhere, along with other countless victim’s known or unknown, because nothing is truly ever erased from the internet. All because of one man who felt entitled to not only invade the private lives of women he didn’t know, but didn’t even bother to secure the photos that he stole from being accessed by third parties. (There’s no evidence that Ed is the person who sold or distributed the photos.)
According to Ed’s attorney, Majeryzk is not a monster, however. In an attempt to humanize his client, Thomas Needham claimed that Ed had been suffering from depression and had used pornography and these photographs to cope. He also claimed that Ed has been “deeply affected” by the backlash to his actions.
Hopefully, Ed Majeryzk’s sentencing, though somewhat lenient, will discourage behavior from other would-be hackers and copycats from around the world.
What do you think about Jennifer Lawrence’s nude photo scandal? Do you think that she’s happy with Ed Majeryzk’s sentence? You can join in on the conversation by commenting below.
[Featured Image by Emma McIntyre /Getty Images]