Note: This post discusses revenge porn, and may be distressing for some readers.
One day in 2017, Mischa Barton woke up to her friend standing over her.
“Wake up, you have to get up because this is all over the press and apparently all these porn sites are looking to buy it,” her friend said.
The Hollywood actress, most famous for her role as Marissa Cooper in The OC, had been the centre of much tabloid scrutiny before, as the media constantly picked apart her sexuality, body, and mental health. But never as horrifically as this.
When Barton’s friend rushed into her room, the now 32-year-old actress was already aware that her ex-boyfriend Jon Zacharias could be dangerous, and that he may have had sexually explicit footage of her.
“Well I didn’t know forever, until one of his friends came to me and said ‘you should be careful about him’ and I’d already started to sense around this time that there was a problem, and then he started bragging about it to the wrong people, who came to me,” Barton told The Scarlet Letter Reports when asked how she first learnt of the footage.