The Internet is tripping over itself trying to confirm whether the leaked nude photos of Emma Watson and Amanda Seyfriend are legit.
The photos began hitting Reddit and 4chan Tuesday night. There is no information yet on the source of the leaks or how the photos were obtained. The event is being compared to 2014’s “Fappening,” where a breach in iCloud allowed hundreds of personal photos of dozens of celebrities to leak via 4chan.
The photos were originally posted on a site on the “dark web,” a section of the Internet only accessible with the Tor encryption browser.
A spokesperson for The Beauty and the Beast, which stars Watson, confirmed to the BBC that the non-nude photos of Watson were stolen from a “clothing fitting Emma had with a stylist a couple of years ago.” The spokesperson did not comment specifically on whether the nude photos were real.
“They are not nude photographs. Lawyers have been instructed and we are not commenting further.”
The nude photos that the leaker says are of Watson show a person in the bathtub but don’t show her face. There are also graphic videos-—one featuring a woman in the bathtub and another showing her masturbating—that the leaker says is also Watson, though they also don’t show her face.
Researchers on 4chan are working tirelessly to match up birthmarks in the leaked pictures claiming to be of Watson to ones in her public photos. They are also using EXIF data from some of the photos to match the geolocation of Watson’s known locations.
Seyfried, on the other hand, had a bunch of nude photos released, including one of her performing fellatio on her ex-boyfriend Justin Long.
There’s talk on 4chan that these leaks are only the tip of the iceberg and an anon “in the know” posted a list of what it said would be the next batch of celebrities to get their photos leaked. The most famous appear to be Marisa Tomei, Kylie Jenner and Jennifer Lawrence.
This was posted by someone completely anonymous so there is no way of confirming the list to be true, and it could just be trolling.
There will likely be huge legal consequences for those involved in the leak. One of the men responsible for the 2014 Fappening, Ryan Collins, received 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to hacking about 100 women.
Many of the blogs hosting the photos could also feel the wrath of Watson and Seyfried’s lawyer. The Hulk Hogan v. Gawker case proved media companies could be made to pay huge settlements for hosting stolen sexual content of celebrities.
We’ll have to wait and see if this explodes into another massive leak, or will stop at only a few pictures.