Mischa Barton, the former star of The O.C., recently opened up about her leaked sex tape. According to Refinery29, Barton’s sex tape has been distributed for purchase to porn sites. The tape in question was filmed by her former partner without her knowledge or her consent.
Barton revealed during an interview on The Dr. Phil Show that she will be taking legal action against her ex. “It is a serious crime to tape people without their knowledge like that and I had made the mistake of putting myself in the situation with the person so I just removed myself as quickly as I could, and then it just continued to be complete emotional abuse after that for the last several, several months.”
While the crime itself is a total violation, Barton’s privacy has also been completely dismantled as a result of the "revenge pornography." In a statement, the actress’s lawyer Lisa Bloom said, “There’s a name for this disgusting conduct: revenge pornography. Revenge pornography is a form of sexual assault, and it is also a crime and a civil wrong in California. And we will not stand for it.”
According to Variety, Barton wants to “protect” other women from the “pain and humiliation” that she has had to endure over the last several months. Unfortunately, revenge pornography is illegal in only 35 states, as well as Washington D.C.. However, more severe ramifications should be put in place for this heinous act, especially since revenge porn can be used as leverage to extort someone into staying in an abusive relationship.
Unfortunately, there is limited data on how many men and women are affected by non-consensual pornography, University of Miami School of Law professor Mary Anne Franks told Wired. Regardless of the statistics, Barton is not the first woman to become a victim of revenge porn, and regrettably she won’t be the last. Sex is an intimate time in anyone’s relationship, and it’s sickening to realize that someone could use this to extort their partner’s vulnerability.