Jennifer Lawrence Speaks Out About Reclaiming Her Body After Her Nude Photos Were Published Without Her Consent

by Erika W. Smith


Jennifer Lawrence’s new film Red Sparrow marks the first time Lawrence has filmed a nude scene since her nude photos were published without her consent in 2014. While promoting the film at an event with jewelry brand OTEM at The Wing in New York on Friday, Lawrence spoke about her decision to do the film.

She explained that she had hesitations about doing the film after “what happened to me in 2014 — my nudes got hacked in 2014 — but also, I grew up in Kentucky, I grew up in a conservative home, and I’ve always felt so afraid of being judged for using my body or being sexual. I felt like I would be judged for that. And then I got this script and I found it empowering and I thought it was an important character and an important message, and I thought, if I don’t do this movie because of these fears, and these fears and insecurities now ruin my life, then they win. I did it, and after I finished the first scene where literally it’s a nightmare come true — I strip naked in front of a classroom — I thanked the director. And after I dropped the robe, I was like, ‘I don’t have a tail.’ I thanked the director, as crazy as that sounds, because I walked off that set feeling like a different person.”

Lawrence also spoke about her decision in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast.

“When the hacking thing happened, it was so unbelievably violating that you can’t even put it into words,” she said. “I think that I’m still actually processing it. When I first found out it was happening, my security reached out to me. It was happening minute-to-minute — it was almost like a ransom situation where they were releasing new ones every hour or so. And, I don’t know, I feel like I got gang-banged by the fucking planet — like, there’s not one person in the world that is not capable of seeing these intimate photos of me. You can just be at a barbecue and somebody can just pull them up on their phone. That was a really impossible thing to process.”

Lawrence shared how long-lasting the effects were: “I think, like, a year and a half ago, somebody said something to me about how I was ‘a good role model for girls,’ and I had to go into the bathroom and sob because I felt like an imposter — I felt like, ‘I can’t believe somebody still feels that way after what happened.’ It’s so many different things to process when you’ve been violated like that.”

Of deciding to do Red Sparrow, she explained, “[The film] was really sexual, which has always scared me. I’ve always been like, ‘Absolutely no way’ — especially after what happened [with the nude hack] — ‘no way am I ever gonna do anything sexual.’ So, for me, doing Red Sparrow — I felt like I was getting something back that had been taken from me.”

Lawrence has always been adamant that the leak of her nude photos was a sex crime. She’s absolutely right. This act is called “nonconsensual pornography” (NCP) or “revenge porn” (though most people who share nonconsensual pornography are not motivated by revenge). 

In a paper called “Revenge Pornography: Mental Health Implications And  Related Legislation” published by Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, psychiatrists Mudasir Kamal and William J. Newman describe the negative mental health effects. They write:

“The distress includes anger, guilt, paranoia, depression, or even suicide. There may also be deterioration in personal relationships and feelings of isolation. Many of the long-term negative consequences of revenge pornography are similar to those seen in victims of child pornography. The humiliation, powerlessness, and permanence associated with these distinct but similar crimes leave victims engaged in a lifelong battle to preserve their integrity. Consequently, victims of revenge pornography suffer from similar enduring mental health effects as described by victims of child pornography, such as depression, withdrawal, low self-esteem, and feelings of worthlessness.”

According to a study by the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, 90% of vicitms of nonconsensual pornography are women, and 93% of victims suffer “significant emotional distress” as a result. Yet, although 38 states have at least some laws against it, nonconsensual pornography is not illegal at a nationwide legel. According to the Cut, in late 2017, Senators Kamala Harris, Richard Burr, Amy Klobuchar, and Representative Jackie Speier introduced the Ending Nonconsenual Online User Graphic Harassment (ENOUGH) Act, which would make nonconsensual pornography a federal crime.  

top photo: Red Sparrow

More from BUST

Jennifer Lawrence Adds Her Voice To The Tsunami Of Disturbing Stories About Hollywood Harassment

Rob Kardashian, Revenge Porn Is Never Okay

Google Is Stepping Up To Help Revenge Porn Victims

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