Kate Hudson says she believes the nude celebrity photo leak that targeted Jennifer Lawrence and more than 100 other actresses earlier this month was illegal but not sexist.
Speaking at a junket to promote her latest film, the Zach Braff-directed comedy Wish I Was Here, 35-year-old Kate claimed female stars were targeted in the nude picture scandal because "women are a lot prettier" than men - but she added that the perpetrators should be held responsible.
There was widespread outrage after a hacker uploaded naked photos and videos of public figures including Lawrence, Avril Lavigne, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Kirsten Dunst, Aubrey Plaza and Winona Ryder to the 4chan website, in a major breach of privacy at the beginning of September.
"I don’t think that has anything to do with sexism," Kate said. "I think sex does sell and we all know that, it’s why it’s used as such a tool. Women sell magazines. There’s facts there that you can’t ignore.
"That issue to me is just illegal. That’s not about anything but some men who think that it's OK. And because there’s too many blurred lines [in the law] they come out with it [and leak naked photos]," she said.
"I don’t know about that," the mum-of-two responded, when Stylist suggested men would not be victimised in a similar way. "I think I’ve seen a lot of videos with guys in them – I just don’t think it’s as pretty. Women are a lot prettier.
"I think anybody who publishes it should be scrutinised and should probably pay for it," she added. "The law is just not in place enough to make sure that things like that do not happen. "
Kate Hudson at an Oscars after-party in March this year
Kate, who declares herself "a bit of a feminist", said the issue that concerns her more in terms of sexism and gender politics is the pay gap between men and women.
"I think that the question is, are women being compensated for the work they are doing?" she said.
"Women just do not get paid as much as men, that’s the problem. Across the board – whether in movies, or corporate America – it’s a problem. It’s something that’s relevant and should be addressed. I think women have come a long way but I’m a bit of a feminist so I don’t think we’re even close to being there yet, there’s just a long way to go."
Kate Hudson and Zach Braff star as husband and wife in Wish I Was Here
Kate is brilliantly cast in Wish I Was Here, a bittersweet, offbeat comedy that sees her play a beleaguered mum struggling to keep her unconventional, sometimes dysfunctional family afloat.
The film really gets under the skin of family relationships, a subject close to Hudson's heart.
The star has two sons - Ryder, 10, from her relationship with her ex-husband Chris Robinson, and three-year-old Bing with her fiancé, the Muse frontman Matt Bellamy.
She is famously close to her movie star mum Goldie Hawn and her actor stepfather Kurt Russell and she tributes their parenting as an inspiration for her own.
"I love my mommee!" she exclaimed, when asked about their bond.
"Someone goes, 'What are you first, a parent or a daughter?' and I’m like, 'A daughter!' I’m obviously always a parent but I was a daughter before I became a parent and so that relationship defines how I am as a parent.
"Everyone always talks about my mum forgetting that I had a very present father," she went on. "Kurt and my mum together were an incredible dynamic for parenting. They were very different but their values are so similar. You’ve got two completely different personalities, grounded in the same value systems. And so it was a really interesting upbringing.
"You have the tough dad and the real compassionate mum. Family’s everything to them. For me growing up, the main value growing up was to be honest with each other and truthful even if the truth hurts.
"I definitely bring that to my family and with my children. I liked how honest my parents were, even when they made mistakes. Nothing was hidden, there was no sweeping anything under the rug – everything was really out there and open as a family.
"We were a really close family. We’re still to this day really close. There’s no tricky relationship between siblings or between parents, we’re really super solid. So I hope that I can do that with my kids. I hope I can create that kind of longevity in family relationships."
Kate Hudson with her stepfather Kurt Russell, her mum Goldie Hawn and her brother Oliver at an event in 2004
"I think the other thing my parents did that I really want to emulate is the freedom to make mistakes," Kate said. "They never held any expectations. The only things they expected of us was to be polite and a good person – to be generous and empathetic. But there was nogrand expectation of what we should look like or how we represented the family – there was none of that stuff. It was just real freedom to be an individual. And I loved it and it showed that they trusted us. When you grow up with that kind of trust, you want to pay it back."
The actress was also disarmingly honest about the challenges of being a mum.
"It’s not an easy thing to do," she said. "You realise that when you become a parent – you’re like 'Whoa, this is… ' You don’t always know if you’re making the right choice, you don’t always know whether you’re doing the right thing to be the disciplinarian - you know, you think 'Should I have let that one go? Should I not have let that one go?' You’re constantly weighing the choices you make as a parent.
"When you have children and you’re a mother, your every day is a balancing act. I think we’re brilliant at being able to balance a lot of spinning plates. "
Kate with her fiance Matt Bellamy, at an event in 2013
Among its pithy one-liners and wisecracks, Wish I Was Here also manages to cast a subtle, moving light on a marriage that is under pressure.
But marriage is not top of the list of priorities for Hudson in real life, despite having been engaged to Bellamy for the past three years (the couple have homes in London and LA).
"It’s like Willy Wonka," she said. "You think you’ve got the golden ticket because you’ve got a certificate of marriage but a relationship is not defined by a piece of paper. It’s defined by what we put into it, right? And if we stop putting something in, that certificate doesn’t really mean anything. A relationship is an ongoing thing and something that you want to have with someone as a choice."
Explaining her character's quandry in the film, she went on: "When you meet someone young, you’ve got all these ideals and dreams. You build a life [but] the construct of what you thought that life was going to be is not turning out that way.
"When you’ve known someone for that long, you love them. And I think that sometimes you can grow away from each other. And I think there’s a lot of people who can relate to that."
Kate plays a harassed working mum in Wish I Was Here
Hudson said it was "admirable" for "a young man" like Braff to tackle a gender role reversal in the film - Hudson's character is the family bread-winner, while her husband (played by Braff) stays at home with the kids.
"The really interesting thing to me is that this generation of families are starting to realise that the male presence in the home - versus just being the provider - is incredibly important to their children’s development and the family unit," she said.
"I love the fact that there was a role reversal and the woman was saying to the husband, 'You need to pull some of this weight with me.'"
Wish I Was Here hits cinemas this Friday 19 September. Watch the trailer below.
Photos: Rex Features, Words: Anna Brech