Woman successfully sues ex-boyfriend for posting ‘revenge porn’ online

The Fourteenth Court of Appeals released its published opinion in No. 14-14-00459-CV. A woman successfully sued her ex-boyfriend in Texas for posting “revenge porn” of her on the Internet, receiving $345,000 in damages.

Upset with his ex-girlfriend, Nadia Hussein, for breaking up with him, Akhil Patel posted pornographic video of her to YouTube and porn sites, sending the links to some of Hussein’s family members, as is revealed in released text message exchanges between Patel and Hussein.

Hussein sued Patel for IIED (intentional infliction of emotional distress), defamation, public disclosure of private facts, and intrusion on seclusion, for which she was awarded $500,000.

Patel appealed the decision; the IIED and defamation charges were dropped, resulting in her receiving $345,000, instead of the original $500,000.

“It was traumatizing,” Hussein said in her testimony, “I didn’t know what I—I didn’t know what I could do. . . . I didn’t want to face anyone.”

Before and after posting the videos, Patel harassed Hussein with phone calls, text messages and emails between the years of 2010—their breakup—and 2013—when Hussein sued.

In one of Patel’s messages to Hussein, he writes, “All I want is some kind of response, if I don’t get that at least, even a single “A”, imma act like you IMMATURE and send stuff to spite/hurt you cause you love to hurt me soo much so I guess I will return the favor, im tired of being hurt by you.”

WARNING: Contains explicit language and material

Patel also sent Hussein messages such as “stp rackin up shi on the credit gurl! debt getting hi,” which she interpreted as him having acquired personal information of hers. In Hussein’s testimony, she said that Patel sent her the social security numbers of herself and her mother.

After the videos had been posted, Hussein became less confident, paranoid and more reclusive, according to the testimony of her friends. However, the defense adduced picture of Hussein from her social media accounts–taken during the time in question–out with friends at events.

At one point, Hussein even moved out of her house into a burglar-proof apartment, where she installed an additional lock, Hussein testified.

Hussein and Patel began dating in high school.

http://www.chron.com/national/article/Woman-successfully-sues-ex-boyfriend-for-posting-6787996.php… Read the rest

US woman pursues ex-boyfriend in landmark UK revenge-porn action

An American woman is aiming to make legal history in England as the first person to seek both a civil action for damages and the criminal prosecution of a former partner she accuses of posting revenge pornography of her on the internet.

Speaking exclusively in a Guardian documentary on her search for justice, Chrissy Chambers, 24, claims that her ex-boyfriend recorded them having sex without her knowledge and subsequently posted the footage on an amateur porn site without her consent. The man, whom the Guardian has chosen not to name, is British and Chambers alleges he posted the footage while in England, which has led her to seek legal recourse in the UK.

Chambers was 18 when she suggested to her then-boyfriend that the couple take a break from the relationship. “The day that I suggested we take a break, he suggested that we have an evening of drinking,” she said.

Chambers claims she became extremely intoxicated while her ex-boyfriend remained much more sober, and says she has no memory of him having sex with her that night. “He also proceeded to film it, and didn’t tell me.”

The videos were uploaded more than a year after their break-up. They continued to be circulated online while Chambers, unaware they existed, began a relationship with her current partner, Bria Kam, with whom she has forged a successful career on YouTube as one of the site’s most popular content providers.

Their channel, BriaAndChrissy, has nearly half a million subscribers, and their videos have been viewed over 70m times. It was through comments left on the channel that Chambers first became aware the videos allegedly made by her ex-partner existed.

Chrissy Chambers says a video of her having sex was made without her knowledge. Photograph: Youtube

Chrissy Chambers says a video of her having sex was made without her knowledge. Photograph: Youtube

“We had these 14-year-old girls that we’ve been trying to inspire writing [to] us and saying: ‘I had so much respect for you and now you’re a porn star. You’re such a slut. How could I respect you?’”

As well as causing her distress, Chambers says the videos have led to significant losses of subscribers – and consequently thousands of dollars of lost income – from her YouTube channels. The videos had already been online for two years, garnering tens of thousands of views, and had been shared on 35 separate pornography sites.

Ann Olivarius, the lawyer representing Chambers, told the Guardian: “You have to be able to go after money damages in a civil context to be able to try to stop this problem. Money is the currency of how we achieve justice, that’s the measurement.”

Olivarius previously made fighting for women’s rights as part of the team that coined the term “date rape” and is aware of the challenges that Chambers faces in pursuing legal action.

In April, the so-called revenge-porn law was introduced in England and Wales making it an offense to distribute a private sexual image of someone without their consent and with the intention of causing them distress. But the new law cannot be applied in Chambers’s case as the videos in question were posted several years ago. Any  in her case would be forced to rely on a raft of older laws, including the Malicious Communications Act, and the legal requirements of these laws struggle to fit in with the act of uploading.

Furthermore, civil claims for damages are difficult to bring. Victims of revenge pornography are unable to sue for defamation, as although the images and videos posted of them might be damaging, they depict events that really happened and therefore do not qualify as “false statements”.

“We will take this case as far as the law allows,” Olivarius said. “We know what has to get done, we know this is wrong, we know that society should not tolerate this, it’s not acceptable behaviour, but still they get away with it all the time.”

Chambers gave an official statement to the Metropolitan police in April in the hope that criminal proceedings can be brought against her former partner. She is waiting to hear whether charges can be brought. Chambers knows that, if successful, hers will be a landmark case. But she’s aware of how difficult the task ahead will be for her. “I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone who feels the same as me and doesn’t have all of this team behind them,” she said. “What they have now is not enough. It’s just not enough. And it’s ruining people’s lives.”


Watch Chrissy’s video to other victims of revenge porn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1HpI73pnXQ… Read the rest