Leslie Jones is embroiled in a naked photo scandal after someone vandalized the comedian’s personal website with graphic images allegedly showing her nude, but much of the anger over the incident is now being reserved for controversial writer Milo Yiannopoulos who appeared to gloat about the attack.
The Saturday Night Live and Ghostbusters star has been the target for internet trolls for several weeks, starting in July when Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos wrote a harsh review of Ghostbusters and allegedly encouraged his followers to take aim at her. Milo was kicked off of Twitter after the incident, but Jones has remained a target for abuse since then.
Wednesday’s attack was the largest yet, with someone hacking her website, justleslie.com, and posting images of her driver’s license and passport along with racist images and nude photos. Some of those photos allegedly showed Leslie Jones engaged in sex acts, Mic reported.
“It has since been taken down, but photos of Jones engaging in sex acts are still up on 4chan and currently being hosted by Imgur,” the report noted.
As the New York Times noted, there was no way to independently confirm whether the nude photos were actually of Leslie Jones. While details of the attack are still coming to light, TMZ reported that the hacker or hackers most likely “gained access to Leslie’s phone or iCloud” to steal the personal information.
Before the release of the nude photos, Leslie Jones had spoken about the sadness she felt in the attacks, which were especially tinged with racism and misogyny.
“Unfortunately I’m used to insults, but what scared me was the injustice of a gang of people jumping against you for such a sick cause,” she told the Seth Meyers in an interview earlier this month. “It’s so gross and mean and unnecessary.”
The attack on Jones brought many celebrities to her defense, including may of her co-stars on Saturday Night Live.
But even as many came to her defense, there were a number of others on social media who celebrated the attack on Leslie Jones and called it retribution for Milo Yiannopoulos being kicked off of Twitter. As TheWrap noted, Yiannopoulos himself gloated about the release of the nude photos and the racist attack on Jones.
The Breitbart editor made another oblique reference to the Leslie Jones nude photo hack, one that appeared to claim the actress resembled a man.
“People keep sending pics of this black dude they found online but I’m like nahhh,” he wrote.
Yiannopoulos had a more diplomatic response to CNN Money about the incident, saying simply, I’m distressed to hear that Leslie Jones has been hacked and naked pictures of her have been posted online.”
But Milo Yiannopoulos has been active in gathering his internet followers to attack Leslie Jones in the past. He was accused of organizing many of them to attack Jones — with the racist aftermath leading Yiannopoulos to be kicked off Twitter permanently — but the writer denied any involvement.
While there is no evidence that Milo was involved in Wednesday’s hacking attack on Leslie Jones, many of the people celebrating the attack made reference to him. As TheWrap noted, Milo has become a de-facto leader of the online movement known as the “alt-right,” a group that has been accused racism.
“#FreeMilo became a top trend on Twitter after the Jones brouhaha that got him booted from the site. He is considered a leader of the ‘alt-right’ movement, which is a segment of right-wing supporters who rely largely on Internet memes to spread their messages.”
Yiannopoulos himself is no stranger to controversy, including recent allegations that he pocketed the money for a so-called “privilege fund,” a scholarship open only to white men.
For her part, Leslie Jones has not responded publicly to the nude photo leak or the apparent gloating from Milo Yiannopoulos.
[Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Images]