Tiziana Cantone: Police Question Suspects After Revenge Porn Sex Tape Leak Leads To Italian Woman’s Suicide

Tiziana Cantone took her life this week after a revenge porn sex tape leak led to months of brutal harassment, and now police in Italy are moving closer to finding the person responsible for the explicit video hitting the internet.

The video was released in the spring of 2015, allegedly showing Cantone in a racy scene with an unidentified man. The tape went viral, leading many people to create mocking memes and even move the harassment into real life. Cantone was allegedly confronted on the street by people who recognized her, leading the 31-year-old Naples woman to go into hiding and even file documents to have her name legally changed.

Police in Italy have vowed to find the source of the leak, and the Independent reported this week that they are moving in on potential suspects.

Four people have now been questioned by the police, according to local media, after a criminal investigation was launched by the Italian authorities.

Chief prosecutor Francesco Greco said on Friday that the investigation into possible charges of instigating suicide was being coordinated with another probe based on a defamation complaint Ms Cantone brought against four individuals last year.

Reports claimed that Tiziana Cantone sent six different videos to a small group of close friends, and the most explicit of these hit the internet within a day, La Repubblica reported.

Family members said the leaked sex tape left Tiziana Cantone deeply depressed, and she even tried committing suicide a handful of times. This week, while staying at her mother’s house, Cantone finally took her life by hanging herself.

“She had always been a healthy, normal girl,” her mother, Maria Teresa, told La Repubblica.“Recently, she had been very unhappy. She suffered from everything she saw and heard, and in particular from the lawsuit, because she believed justice had not been done.”

Maria was so distraught at Tiziana’s funeral this weekend that she had to be carried inside, the Independent reported.

Friends have said that Tiziana did nothing to deserve the international mocking she faced after the video was released.

“I wonder how anyone can be so fierce, how to rage against a girl who has not done anything wrong,” friend Teresa Petrosino told the Corriere della Sera. “I think that they should be ashamed of all those who have filled the web of insults and meanwhile secretly watched the images.”

Tiziana Cantone’s suicide has also sparked a renewed debate on the nature of online bullying and privacy rights. Though these issues have existed for as long as the internet, they have come to the forefront more in recent years through a series of high-profile incidents. In 2014, dozens of celebrities were targeted in a massive leak of naked images, including Kate Upton and Jennifer Lawrence.

There have been a number of other more recent incidents, including one targeting actress and comedian Leslie Jones. Someone hacked the personal website of the Ghostbusters star earlier this summer and posted racist images along with naked pictures of Jones.

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And these leaks have also targeted normal people, including one case strikingly similar to that of Tiziana Cantone. In June, a 15-year-old named Tovonna Holton took her life after naked Snapchat photos and video circulated at her school. Like Cantone, Holton became deeply depressed and ultimately took her life.

In a tragic twist, both women were found by their mothers.

“I go into the bathroom, I couldn’t get into bathroom,” Tovonna’s mother, Levon Holton-Teamer, told WFLA. “The bathroom light was off so I tried to get in and I looked down and I saw the puddle of blood. I tried to apply the pressure, the pressure to her head. I tried to save her. My baby … my baby.”

Police have not yet said what charges will be filed in the Tiziana Cantone sex tape leak once a suspect is identified.

[Featured Image by Tiziana Cantone/Instagram]