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Mischa Barton speaks out for revenge porn victims: “People should always have the right to protect themselves”

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Mischa Barton has spoken out once more on how women shouldn’t have to live in fear of revenge porn, after she testifed against an ex-boyfriend in court.

In March, she revealed in a press conference that she’d learnt an ex had made explicit videos of her without her consent, and that someone was attempting to release them to the public via porn companies.

Appearing in an LA court on 30 June, she described how Adam Spaw had been “lurking” around the area she was staying in and was granted an extension to a previous restraining order. The ban on Spaw releasing any explicit images or footage of the actor remains in place.

Speaking to reporters outside, she said the court’s ruling was another “victory”, after a judge ruled earlier in the month that he must return all explicit materials.

“We’re going to continue to fight for justice in this case,” Barton told reporters. “People should always have the right to protect themselves and especially women against people who stalk you, make you nervous, try to do things against you, try to release images without your consent. I consider this a victory today.”

In a video taken by nydailynews.com, attorney Lisa Bloom said: “It's another court victory for Mischa Barton and our continued fight against somebody trying to release explicit images of her without her consent […] every woman has the right to control which images of her body and face should be distributed. We have the right to make that choice; Mischa Barton has the right to make that choice.”

Another court date was set for 21 July to hear Spaw’s response (he wasn’t present in court due to family issues).


Read more: Victims of revenge porn share their horrific stories


Bloom added that Barton was willing to pursue the case for as long as it takes: “Mischa is […] coming back to court over and over again because she thinks it’s important that women have the right to decide which images of our own bodies should be out there. That’s what she’s fighting for.”

The judge indicated the next court date would be the final ruling, and Spaw must turn up if he wanted to respond.

During her testimony, Barton alleged that Spaw had kicked her, grabbed her arm and been hanging around her neighbourhood and trying to speak to her friends.

The restraining order states no contact and a distance of 100 yards between parties at all times.

 “He doesn’t seem to understand the TRO [temporary restraining order],” she told the judge. “I definitely feel he’s been stalking me. I look over my shoulder all the time when I’m walking. He’s intimidating. He’s 6 foot 4. I would be terrified to see him.”

There are two ex-boyfriends Barton alleges are involved in the revenge porn. She says explicit film of her was taken by Jon Zacharias without her knowledge or consent, and later learnt that the footage was being shopped around porn companies. She received emergency domestic violence restraining orders against Spaw and Zacharias in March.

Barton says Spaw told her about the recordings and attempted to delete them. However she said she later found flash drives containing “doctored and changed” copies she believed were altered by Spaw, and accuses one or both of the men of attempting to sell the footage. Zacharias and Spaw are both banned from releasing the footage.


Read more: Facebook takes aim at revenge porn with new technology


In March, Barton described the “pain and humiliation” of the experience, telling a press conference: “I just want to say I've been through an incredibly hard and trying time. This is a painful situation and my absolute worst fear was realized when I learned that someone I thought I love and trusted was filming my most intimate and private moments without my consent, with hidden cameras […]

“I came forward to fight this not only for myself, but for all the women out there. I want to protect them from the pain and humiliation that I have had to go through. No woman should have to go through this.”

During a recent TV interview, she called it “complete emotional blackmail” and “emotional abuse”.

Images: Rex Features

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