Hollywood hacker jailed for 10 years

ANTHONY MCCARTNEY
Last updated 10:44 18/12/2012
Scarlett Johansson
Getty Images
VICTIM: Scarlett Johansson was not the only victim of Hollywood hacker Christopher Chaney.

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A federal judge has sentenced a man who hacked into the personal online accounts of Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis and other women to 10 years in prison.

US District Judge S. James Otero sentenced Christopher Chaney in Los Angeles after hearing from a tearful Johansson in a videotaped statement..

The biggest spectacle in the case was the revelation that nude photos taken by Johansson herself and meant for her then-husband Ryan Reynolds were placed on the Internet.

Chaney, 35, of Jacksonville, Fla., pleaded guilty to counts that included wiretapping and unauthorised access to a computer.

Chaney also targeted two women he knew, sending nude pictures of one former co-worker to her father.

The women, who both knew Chaney, said their lives have been irreparably damaged by his actions. One has anxiety and panic attacks; the other is depressed and paranoid. Both say Chaney was calculated, cruel and creepy.

Their accounts as cybervictims serve as a cautionary tale for those, even major celebrities, who snap personal, and sometimes revealing photos.

Christina Aguilera said in a statement issued days before the sentencing that although she knows that she's often in the limelight, Chaney took from her some of the private moments she shares with friends.

"That feeling of security can never be given back and there is no compensation that can restore the feeling one has from such a large invasion of privacy," Aguilera said.

Prosecutors said Chaney illegally accessed the email accounts of more than 50 people in the entertainment industry between November 2010 and October 2011. Aguilera, Kunis and Johansson agreed to have their identities made public with the hopes that the exposure about the case would provide awareness about online intrusion.

Some of Aguilera's photos appeared online after Chaney sent an email from the account of her stylist, Simone Harouche, to Aguilera asking the singer for scantily clad photographs, prosecutors said.

Chaney was arrested in October 2011 as part of a yearlong investigation of celebrity hacking that authorities dubbed "Operation Hackerazzi." Chaney's computer hard drive contained numerous private celebrity photos and a document that compiled their extensive personal data, according to a search warrant.

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- AP

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