The AP reports that the so-called “Hollywood hacker,” a creeper convicted of cracking the email accounts of starlets like Scarlet Johansson and Mila Kunis, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Mr. Chaney pled guilty to several charges, including wiretapping.
Just goes to show that crime doesn’t pay–especially when you splash your wrongdoing all over the celebugossip blogs.
Between 2010 and 2011, Mr. Chaney went on a year-long tear, hacking into scores of Hollywood types’ email accounts and leaking intimate photos across the Internet. Even for a population of people used to outlets like TMZ watching their every move, it was intrusive.
The judge delivered the news to Christopher Chaney after the court heard from Ms. Johansson in a videotaped statement described as “tearful.” Another victim, Christina Aguilera, released her own statement saying, “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.”
This from someone who’s had tabloids producing fevered fantasies about her comings and goings since she was a tween.
Chaney, who could have faced a maximum sentence of 60 years under the law, apologized in court but denied that he had sent naked photos of women he knew to their relatives.
“I don’t know what else to say other than I’m sorry,” Chaney said. “I could be sentenced to never use a computer again and I wouldn’t care.”
Chaney previously pleaded guilty to counts that included wiretapping and unauthorized access to a computer.
Actress and singer Renee Olstead said in court Monday that she attempted to kill herself after Chaney leaked nude photos of her. She said she had never before considered suicide.
“I just really hope this doesn’t happen to someone else,” she said, crying. “You can lose everything because of the actions of a stranger.”
Chaney looked up at her a few times as she spoke but kept his head low for most of Olstead’s statement.
Chaney will be placed on three years of supervised probation when he is released and will have to notify officials of his online accounts. But the judge feared that wouldn’t be enough and said he wished he could sentence Chaney to lifetime supervision.
The accounts of the cybervictims served as a cautionary tale for people — even major celebrities — who snap personal, sometimes revealing photos.
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, Mila Kunis and Johansson agreed to have their identities made public with the hope the move 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.
He continued to pursue his victims after the FBI seized his computer, a factor Otero said warranted a harsher penalty.
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