Anyone with a passing interest in WWE wrestling or celebrity culture will know by now that WWE superstar Charlotte Flair has become the latest victim of phone hacking. As reported in the Inquisitr yesterday, nude pictures of Flair were circulated on the internet last week, reportedly as a result of her cell phone being hacked. Charlotte has confirmed that the pictures are hers, and asked for them to be removed from the internet. The photographs in question show Flair posing naked in front of a mirror whilst taking selfies on her cell phone.
Of course, the whole matter was blown out of proportion by the tabloid press. Flair’s nude images were described as X-rated, but in truth, Charlotte’s images are no more explicit than thousands of similar shots taken every day. Flair’s images were certainly innocent when compared with the images and video leaks suffered by fellow WWE star Paige. In those images, Paige was pictured performing sexual acts with two different male wrestlers. WWE fans were not amused to discover that Paige had used her championship belt as a prop in one of the leaked videos.
Paige and Flair are not the only female WWE stars who have suffered leaks. WWE stars Alexa Bliss, Victoria, and Former WWE Divas Maria and Kaitlyn have also been subject of photo leaks. Bliss denies that the images leaked are of her and say’s they are badly photoshopped fakes.
Sadly, it seems that WWE stars like Charlotte and Paige need to be much more careful with their personal data. Celebrity photo scandals are nothing new, there have been hundreds in recent years, though it does seem that female WWE stars are at high risk at present.
Of course, Flair and Paige suffer huge personal embarrassment when private images are leaked, but such leaks can be far more damaging than mere embarrassment.
Is Charlotte Flair Subject Of A Blackmail Attempt, Is Someone Trying To Damage The WWE Brand?
At present, we do not know the reason that lies behind Charlotte Flair’s phone hack. Flair has been a trailblazer in women’s wrestling. A four-time women’s champion, Charlotte has done much to raise the profile of women in sports entertainment, and she recently became the first woman to have a headline bout on all three of Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live, and a WWE PPV event.
Flair is a role model; she works hard to show young women that with dedication, they can be high-achievers. The leak of Flair’s private images will hurt her image and that will be a real blow to her. Just as importantly, Forbes speculates that Flair’s leak, on top of similar leaks, is hurting the WWE’s family-friendly image. They argue that, in the digital age, the WWE brand must depend on its family-friendly image if it is to survive and prosper.
Charlotte is the public face of WWE women’s wrestling, so such a public embarrassment for Flair is also an embarrassment for the WWE network. It is sad, that in the modern world, there is money to be made from getting hold of private images of stars like Charlotte Flair and Paige. The photos can be used to extort money from celebrities whose image could be damaged by private photo leaks. There is a market for nude celebrity images from websites and “revenge porn” sites, and of course, companies sometimes seek to damage rivals by causing them public embarrassment.
Sadly, WWE stars like Flair and Paige are not the only female sports stars to be hacked recently. My MMA News reports that current UFC stars Raquel Pennington and Angela Magana have recently had hacked private pictures released on the internet. Former UFC star Jessamyn Duke has also been a victim. They speculate that the hackers may be targeting victims for financial gain.
Whatever the real motivation, both WWE and UFC would do well to support their athletes and to try to help them ensure that similar issues are avoided in the future.
[Featured Image by WWE]