Images of more than 100 well-known actors, singers and celebrities, including what appear to be nude photos and videos, may have been exposed by a hacker in a major breach of privacy.
On Sunday a user on the 4chan website posted a list of mostly female actors and public figures, including Jennifer Lawrence, Avril Lavigne, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Kirsten Dunst, Aubrey Plaza and Winona Ryder, of whom they claim to have explicit photographs or videos.
A number of photos from some celebrities, including Hunger Games star Lawrence, have since been circulating on file-sharing and photo sites. 4chan quickly removed the posts from their site but screenshot of the list by one of the posters has a list of more than 60 names of celebrities who are alleged to have been hacked.
The release of the images has drawn varying responses from the celebrities, with some conceding they are real photos and others denying their veracity.
Buzzfeed that the user had also posted images of his desktop, one of which appeared to be an image of Jennifer Lawrence.
A spokesman for Lawrence said: “This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”
American actor and singer Victoria Judge, who was also named in the file, denied any nude photos of her were real in a tweet on Monday.
Actor Mary Elizabeth Winstead confirmed that the photos of her were real and condemned their release.
Glee star Becca Tobin, who was also named in the document, also tweeted shortly after their release.
There have been reports that the hacker accessed the files through the iCloud accounts of the celebrities, but this has not been confirmed. Apple has been contacted for comment but has not yet responded to questions.
The Huffington Post reported the Los Angeles police department told them they had “no knowledge” of any hacking at this stage.
Celebrity gossip columnist Perez Hilton initially posted censored and uncensored versions of some of the photos on his site, but has since removed them and apologised for the posts.
“I acted in haste just to get the post up and didn’t really think things through. I’m sorry,” he tweeted.
He later added: “Upon further reflection and just sitting with my actions, I don’t feel comfortable even keeping the censored photos up. I am removing them.