Olympia Valance has issued a powerful statement confirming she has been the victim of a “traumatising” cyber crime.
The Neighbours actress said her phone had been hacked and private images shared without her consent.
Valance explained she had been dealing with the “profound violation” for over a year, which had “pushed her anxiety to a space it’s never been”.
“I am writing this as confirmation that I know I have become a victim of cyber crime,” she posted on Instagram.
“I have been dealing with this for a over a year now since my phone was compromised by a hacking of private images, which were then published online.
“I have since had to deal with this again recently, when new images were recirculated, re-traumatising me and pushing my anxiety into a space it has never been.”
Valance, who plays Paige Smith on the popular Australian soap, is the younger sister of fellow actor and singer Holly Valance.
She also stars in the Australian drama television series Playing for Keeps.
The 27-year-old went on to explain that despite their efforts, her legal team had struggled to stop the spread of the images.
“Such offences involve leaking (in my case hacking) images without consent in order to humiliate, degrade, control and blackmail a person,” she added.
“As a victim of this, I have had to fight to try and contain these images from reaching the broader public and for media not to publish stories using my name.”
‘I have done nothing wrong’
The actress and model admitted that the situation had “really rocked” her this year, but noted that “taking intimate photos for yourself, or to share with a partner is not a shameful thing to do”.
“Stealing them and sharing them online without consent is,” she said.
“We should be allowed to embrace our sexuality without fear that someone will take those images and manipulate them for their own gain.”
She thanked her family, friends and psychologists for helping her cope, and stressed that she will not apologise as she had done nothing wrong; urging other women to come together to make a stand over cyber crime.
“I have had days where I have been exhausted and where the depths of my sadness have scared both myself and the people I love,” she said. “I want to be at peace. I am tired trying to fight.
“We have to figure out a way to stand together and say it’s hacking and destruction of illegally obtained images, not the taking of them that is shameful.”
“I’m not ashamed. I’m not embarrassed. I will not apologise. I have done nothing wrong,” she said.