The actress’ lawyer, Lisa Bloom, issued a statement on Tuesday (March 14, 2017) to address the matter, explaining her client is “courageously standing up for her rights” by taking legal action.
“It has been reported that naked or sexually explicit images of Ms. Barton are being ‘shopped around.’ Ms. Barton does not consent to any disclosure of any such images. She believes that she was recorded without her consent by someone she was seeing at the time,” the statement read.
“There’s a name for this disgusting conduct: revenge pornography,” Bloom continued. “Revenge pornography is a form of sexual assault, and it is also a crime and a civil wrong in California. And we will not stand for it.”
Barton’s attorney also threatened to take anyone who wished to distribute the explicit material to court, saying, “I have a message for anyone who attempts to traffic in these photos or videos of Ms. Barton: we will find you, and we will come after you. We will fully prosecute you under every available criminal and civil law. You proceed at your peril.”
News of Barton’s sex tape surfaced just less than two months after police were called to her Los Angeles home in response to a disturbance report. At the time, the 31-year-old’s neighbors claimed the TV star was screaming hysterically and threatening to commit suicide.
According to a statement released by Barton after her voluntary hospitalization, she was acting erratically because someone had spiked her drink with GHB — commonly known as the “date rape drug” — without her knowledge the prior night.
“This is a lesson to all young women out there,” she said in a statement, “be aware of your surroundings.”