20 August 2020 18:36
Neighbours star Olympia Valance has released a powerful statement after private pictures were stolen from her phone and shared by cyber criminals. In a statement on her Instagram account, 27-year-old Valance revealed that she has been dealing with the "profound violation" for over a year, which had "pushed her anxiety to a space it's never been". The actress, who played Paige Smith on the Australian soap, wrote: "I know I have become a victim of cyber crime. I have been dealing with this for 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, retraumatising me and pushing my anxiety into a space it has never been." Valance went on to say that she was "not ashamed of the pictures", but that the people who stole and shared her intimate pictures without consent should be ashamed of their crimes.
"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. "I am a public figure, but I am also a human being. I am not immune to these scandals. I hurt and I certainly feel pain." Olympia Valance pictured with her sister Holly 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 added.