The photos were allegedly posted on 4chan and Reddit, echoing the 2014 leak of stolen nude photos referred to as Celebgate and the Fappening. According to a Reddit thread cited by the Telegraph, Watson and Seyfried are the big names in the latest leak, but there may be others involved. It’s unclear how the photos were obtained and leaked.
A spokesman denied that nude photos of Watson were released but confirmed that some of Watson’s photos were stolen.
“Photos from a clothes fitting Emma had with a stylist a couple of years ago have been stolen,” Watson’s spokesman told the Telegraph. “They are not nude photographs. Lawyers have been instructed and we are not commenting further.”
According to a letter obtained by TMZ, Seyfried’s legal team sent a letter stating that photos of Seyfried were stolen and leaked without her consent and demanded their removal.
Watson was among those who had spoke out against the invasion of privacy and the internet’s lack of empathy after hundreds of female celebrities’ private and nude photos were stolen and leaked in 2014.
Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated on social media is reading the accompanying comments that show such a lack of empathy.— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) September 1, 2014
A few weeks later, after making a feminist speech in her role as a U.N. goodwill ambassador, a website threatened to release nude and intimate photos of Watson. It was later revealed to be a hoax.
“If anything, it made me so much more determined,” she said at the time. “I was just raging. It made me so angry that I was just like … ‘This is why I have to be doing this!’ … So if anything, it actually, if they were trying to put me off it, they did the opposite.”
The latest stolen photos appeared online exactly one year after Ryan Collins pled guilty to running a phishing scam to access the iCloud accounts of female celebrities and download their nude photos. At the time, it was believed that he stole the photos but didn’t post them online to 4chan and Reddit.