We’ve all taken pictures and then seen the results, and marveled at how differently we look in an image, compared to the person we see when we look in the mirror. It’s an oddity about human nature. There’s an indescribable difference, which is also apparent when we hear our own voices played back, or see our movements in a video. Something always seems a little bit off, like the camera finds something we didn’t notice, or simply displays aspects of our appearance that we normally ignore.
Now, think of yourself as a young, attractive celebrity. Your entire livelihood depends on your appearance. Naturally, you would want to snap a few pictures of yourself to see what others see. And then, you might like that image, it looks great, and you want to pass it on, maybe sharing it with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Then later, you’re embarrassed that you took any of these private pictures, delete them from your smartphone, and think they’re gone forever. But, sorry sweetie, nothing ever disappears that easy.
A really sleazy old dude in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, realized that these smartphone images weren’t truly getting deleted, and he hacked into the system. Ryan Collins, age 36, is currently serving an 18-month sentence in federal prison for unauthorized access to a protected computer. Collins only admitted to accessing eighteen celebrity accounts, but the number of celeb victims stretches to one hundred. Reddit banned the tag “Fappening” after it reached 100,000 followers on the day the mass-release occurred, on August 31, 2016. But it’s not over yet. Many hackers have followed Collins’ lead, most have avoided any such prosecution, and the images continue to flood the internet. Here are some of the biggest name actresses and celebs who have been affected so far.
15 Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence was in the height of promoting her Hunger Games series when her private photos were released. She was also in the midst of negotiating her highest paid contract yet. Then these images came out and it was a shock to her credibility. Not only were these images naked, but some of them involved highly intimate situations, like the bedroom scenes you only see in the hard adult films. And there were tons of them. However, this was thought to all be a private matter. A gag photo, you could just delete and then forget about. When these photos surfaced, Lawrence was beyond pissed off. She threw the book at anybody who googled them, saying it was unlawful and wrong on so many levels. Even saying that viewers of these images should “cower in shame.” She had the most militant reaction of all the actresses on this list, probably because her photos were the most popular.
14 Aly and AJ
Aly and AJ, the Michalka sisters, first made it big with their band back in 2004. Then after their increasing success, they renamed themselves 78violet, then they went back to Aly and AJ, and are supposedly working on a new album. Progress with their music has been slow though, as both sisters are busy pursuing their acting careers. Aly, the older sis, (above) has had many roles on CW dramas, and AJ, currently stars as Lainey Lewis, on the ABC hit comedy The Goldbergs. The sisters have spoken out in interviews about their strong Christian beliefs, even doubting the theory of evolution, so with this strong religious foundation, it came as a big surprise when the leaks were seen. You could see either Michalka sister in the sheets, wearing little to nothing. Certainly not the ideal behavior of a good church goer, but the sisters have since admitted that they aren’t as strict with their religion as they used to be.
13 Emily Ratajkowski
Emily Ratajkowski is one of those girls that didn’t need to be hacked at all because she’s constantly naked on social media. She made her career off her breasts and she wants that career to continue, so there is very little reason to stop showing off the twins. She has a very, what most guess would call, awesome attitude about nudity-- it's no big deal. When Jennifer Lawrence was outspoken about the leaks being shameful and unlawful, Emily disagreed. She thought that googling nude images of celebrities was totally acceptable, and that the viewer shouldn’t feel bad at all. Sure she acknowledged that the invasion of privacy was unethical, but the average viewer had nothing to do with that part, and once the images were public, they were public, so why fight it?
12 Amber Heard
Remember that girl who took Johnny Depp for the ride of his life, in more ways than one? Surely her bedroom antics won Depp over, but then she flipped the script on him and demanded a divorce. The whole scandal rocked the pop news circuit and Amber made a big name for herself. However, many people ended up siding with Depp, and now many fans associate the name Amber Heard with lies and manipulation. After starring in the film the Informers, most people just associated Amber Heard with intimate bedroom scenes. She did about everything in that movie, and many of her roles since then have involved nudity. So it wasn’t that big of a surprise when her leaks were revealed, and maybe she was even pleased with the publicity.
11 Blake Lively
Lively is the type of blond with the girl-next-door relatability and the hot bombshell sex appeal, all wrapped up tightly into one pretty little package. Most of the dudes in the world were jealous that Ryan Reynolds landed this young starlet, after Leonardo DiCaprio had tried to woo the girl and she shut him down. Reynolds must have some major game, because before Blake came along, he was married to another super-hot Hollywood blonde, Scarlett Johansson. Blake is certainly a beautiful woman, and even in her leaked images she seems relatively normal and down to earth. And blurry. Perhaps these images were meant for Ryan back when they were dating, or possibly a sext meant for Leo. Sadly, the whole invasion of privacy issue somehow gets swept aside sometimes when looking at these images and wondering about the subtext behind them.
10 Vanessa Hudgens
Vanessa Hudgens is one of the hottest brunettes in the business and she is also somewhat of a pioneer in the image-hacking business. She was first hacked way back in 2007, when pictures of her posing naked, and wearing lingerie, were revealed. She was worried about the leak affecting her career, but she recovered pretty well. Of course as far as taking intimate photos was concerned, she didn’t “learn her lesson” at all. She took more naked pics, and then was hacked again. Speaking of “learned her lesson” Ricky Gervais publicly said that this whole hacking business could actually be the fault of the actresses. He Tweeted: “Celebrities, make it harder for hackers to get nude pics of you by not putting nude pics of yourself on your computer.” He received a firestorm of rebuttals and quickly deleted the Tweet.
9 Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson came on the scene years ago, way before we even realized it, back in Home Alone 3. Not many people know about this, because compared to the first two films, the third Home Alone was a flop. It was still written by cinematic genius John Hughes, but he was the only one who came back. The director, Chris Columbus, and one of the best composers, who did Star Wars and ET, John Williams, weren’t involved. Nor was the uber-charismatic lead Macaulay Culkin and his burglar buddies, Joe Pesci, and Daniel Stern. And speaking of burglary, ScarJo was not too happy that her intimate images were leaked. She has since sworn off social media, which had helped the leaks spread across the universe. The photos of her really aren’t that revealing compared to scenes she has done on film. Most of the fappening leaks are blurry and poorly lit, so you’re better off watching films like Under The Skin.
8 Ariana Grande
Grande has a bad reputation in the business, so it may have been malice that leaked this photos instead of the obvious desire to see her nude. Grande has feuded with two of her former Nick co-stars Victoria Justice and Jennette McCurdy. These two women were also victims of the fappening leaks. Ariana has maintained that the images of her are not real. But come on, if you see big stars like Jennifer Lawrence admit to it, then why don’t you too, Ariana? Although she was victimized by the leaks, this is another example of her using dishonesty to try to weasel her way out of a sticky situation. Kind of like when she got busted on camera spitting on that donut in the donut shop.
7 Emma Watson
Just like Hermione, the Harry Potter character that lifted her to fame, Emma Watson is a big fan of politics. In 2014 she was named the freaking UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, for crying out loud. She is very outspoken for equal rights, especially women’s rights. And she's extra careful, by not taking selfies with fans, and fears the thought of being tracked by followers. But then she turns around and does an underboob photoshoot for Vanity Fair?! And of course she had some sexy stuff on her smartphone. It’s only natural for a 26 year old beauty to want to be sexual now and then. You can’t expect anyone to be perfect all of the time, even Emma Watson. The leaks are a crime, but she did kind of set herself up for a knockdown after being SO damn ethical all the time.
6 Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba has been the topic of fantasy for years now, ever since she showed up in the James Cameron Sci-fi drama Dark Angel, back in 2000. She soon followed up with sexy film titles like Honey and Sin City. But what may have led Alba to her highest level of lusted after status are her photoshoots, especially those candids taken by the paparazzi on the beach. The thing that's so appealing about Alba is that she always seems to be looking good. She doesn’t need the lights and studio, all she needs is a bikini. She even looks great pushing a stroller around in some yoga pants. So when the leaking began, everyone knew she was a prime candidate for viewing. But guess what? The leaks aren’t that scandalous. All we got was a bad taste in our mouth for invading her privacy. Nothing we haven’t seen, already in the paparazzi.
5 Kaley Cuoco
Kaley Cuoco came to prominence on The Big Bang Theory, a show that seems to have been on television for an eternity. Kaley was on cruise control for years, while acting on the show, and then after her marriage and quick divorce, she seemed to have gone through a personal sexual revolution. She started dressing way more provocatively, and it was no surprise when the leaks came out. She has become quite the exhibitionist and admitted freely on Instagram, that the leaks were 100% real. That’s the funny thing to mention about these leaks. It’s nothing new here. Dudes have been superimposing celeb heads onto naked bodies for years. So what’s the difference now that it’s real?
4 Kat Dennings
Everybody has come to know Kat Dennings due to her prominent role on 2 Broke Girls. She has a gift for comic timing and does a great job of bouncing jokes off of her hot co-star Beth Behrs. And while Beth is the lean, leggy, blonde, Kat is the buxom brunette. On 2 Broke Girls her cleavage is barely held into her waitress uniform and most guys were dying to see what was hiding underneath her bra. Well, the fappening did reveal a lot more than Dennings ever intended, since she has yet to appear nude on film. Several pictures may have been meant for her ex, Josh Groban, and his eyes only. Or they could have been intended for Tom Hiddleston, another one of Kat Dennings' famous exes.
3 Kate Upton
Oh, man, Kate Upton may have the most embarrassing leaks of this entire list. First off, she shows off her ENTIRE body, nothing left to the imagination. But who hasn’t already seen that in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, right? I mean, those bikinis are so small, that you can pretty much see whatever you need to see. But the embarrassing part comes in because her boyfriend, MLB Cy Young Award winning pitcher, Justin Verlander, was also involved in the leaks. There were several photos of the both of them naked, smooching all goofy-style in front of the bathroom mirror. Then, what’s more embarrassing, is that the hackers dipped into Verlander’s iCloud. There they found some nearly identical goofy-styled pics, but it wasn’t Upton cheesing this time, it was several other women. Somehow the couple persevered and are now engaged.
2 Bella Thorne
Bella Thorne is the beautiful young actress who rose to fame on the Disney channel show Shake it Up. She is constantly on social media working out, showing off her body and taking hundreds of selfies, so she was the perfect candidate for an iCloud invasion. But, I know what some of you might be thinking… How old is this girl? Well she’s 19, so it’s all good, but some of these fappening victims were in fact underage, which is absolutely abhorrent. The most prominent name on that minor list is McKayla Maroney. She’s the former USA Olympic gymnast who turned into a bit of a social media star. Maroney first claimed that the leaked pics of her weren’t real. Then later, when she came clean, she admitted to being seventeen at the time, which officially made those stolen pics child p*rnography, which meant a whole other level of prosecution for the image burglar.
1 Selena Gomez
Our final beautiful victim on this list is none other than Selena Gomez. For some reason Selena seems to get railed by pop culture media. Ever since she dated Bieber, their relationship follows her like a shadow with her every move. Plus there’s her reputation, similar to Ariana Grande, where she doesn’t exactly get along with everyone she’s ever worked with. But the fact remains, she's one of the most fantasized-about celebrities in Hollywood, so she was a prime target for a commandeered smartphone. And what the hackers found was interesting. Selena was smart. There were several nude pics of her chest, but most of them didn’t include her face. So she was free to deny, deny, deny. However, some Selena obsessed fans took a page out of a forensic identification manual. They located Selena’s moles in relation to the breasts in question, and confirmed, that yes, those breasts do in fact belong to Selena. Busted!
Sources: TMZ, Reddit, Twitter, Wikipedia