A sex tape featuring Blac Chyna was leaked online Monday, Feb. 19, without the model's consent. According to TMZ, Chyna has reported the sex tape to the police so that they can investigate the matter further. One of Chyna's lawyers, Walter Mosley, told TMZ that although he couldn't comment on the video, "It's a criminal matter."
Chyna also appears to have employed civil rights attorney Lisa Bloom, who Chyna previously worked with after her ex Rob Kardashian allegedly posted nude photos of her online, according to Us Magazine. Bloom tweeted,
"Revenge porn — posting explicit images without the consent of everyone in those images — is a crime, a civil wrong, and a form of domestic abuse.
It's also a way to try to slut shame women for being sexual.
Girls have killed themselves over revenge porn.
It's not a joke."
Bloom's strong words are absolutely correct. According to Shouse California Law Group, California added revenge porn to the list of California computer crimes in 2013. The law defines revenge porn as the intentional distribution of sexually explicit images without the knowledge or permission of the second party. Given her desire to take immediate legal action, it seems clear that Chyna didn't consent to the release of the tape, which was posted anonymously on Twitter. (Bustle has reached out to Bloom and Mosley for comment, but haven't yet received a response)
It sounds like Chyna is taking all of the appropriate steps in order to effectively deal with the situation. Unfortunately, prosecuting people who disseminate revenge porn can be difficult, and removing the images is particularly tricky due to the nature of the internet. There's no doubt that sharing sex tapes or sexually explicit photos is a serious crime, and it's one that can take a toll on the victim's reputation and mental health.
That shouldn't discourage victims of revenge porn from fighting back though. According to the Globe and Mail, in 2014, Hunter Moore, the creator of a revenge porn hub, was indicted by the FBI on charges of hacking. More recently, in Nov. 2017, legislation that would make revenge porn a federal offense was introduced with bipartisan support. The ENOUGH Act (Ending Nonconsensual Online User Graphic Harassment) would give all citizens affected by the unwanted sharing of sexually explicit images and videos a way to take legal action beyond the state level. Under the law, those who are found guilty would face a fine and five years in prison.
Previously, Sen, Kamala Harris told Bustle of the bill, "There's no federal law on the books that protects victims who have had their private images exploited online. It is long past time for the federal government to take action to give law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on these crimes. Perpetrators of exploitation who seek to humiliate and shame their victims must be held accountable."
Chyna's case is yet another example of why the government needs to enact tougher laws to protect people from having intimate images shared without their permission. There's no way around the fact that sharing sexual imagery without a person's consent is a serious violation that can permanently harm the victim. It's a situation that no person should ever have to find themselves in, but in the unfortunate event that they do, they should have the full support of the law as they pursue legal action.
This is no doubt a difficult time for Chyna, and she deserves nothing but support and respect as she deals with this situation. Hopefully, Bloom, Mosley, and the officers investigating the case can find the perpetrator, and punish them to the full extent of the law. Revenge porn is always a crime, and this is a matter that no one should be taking lightly.