‘People threatened to rape me’: ‘Most Googled’ teenager Angie Varona breaks down in tears as she reveals how risqué photos ‘ruined her life’ dailmail.co
A young teenager has spoken about the horror of inadvertently becoming an internet sex symbol after her online photo account was hacked.
Angie Varona changed schools twice because of constant bullying after lingerie and bikini photos of her spread online in 2007 – when she was just 14-years-old.
Miss Varona, now 18, had uploaded provocative photos of herself to image-sharing website Photobucket with the intention of sending them only to her then-boyfriend, ABC News reports.
It was a decision that she said ‘has ruined her life’.
‘When you’re 14 you don’t realise that the things you do really do matter at that point,’ she said in an interview on ABC News’ Nightline.
‘No one ever thinks that, ‘yeah, I’m going to take these pictures and it’s going to end up all over the Internet.’ You just do it for yourself.’
She was repeatedly called names and a ‘porn star’ at her high school after the photos spread online, from appearing in porn sites to popping up in advertisements.Miss Varona thought the unwanted attention would eventually come to an end, but the problem has only worsened, she said.
A recent Google search of ‘Angie Varona’ drew almost 65,000 images.
‘[People were] telling me that I deserve everything that’s going to come for me, that they’re going to rape me when they see me because I want it and because I ask for it,’ she said.‘Someone found out my address and everything … threatening me, saying that they know where I live.’
The threats she said became so severe that her family had to contact the FBI.
Unable to escape the humiliation and to stop the photos from spreading, Miss Varona said she became depressed and turned to drugs, ran away from home and even thought about suicide.
Sobbing she said: ‘I would run away so my parents had to come find me, I just wanted some love because all I was getting was criticism all the time.’Heartbroken: Angie Varono’s parents Maria and Juan said the whole episode had been a nightmare for the family
The family also called the police and hired a lawyer, but they continued to hit dead ends as photos of Angie’s provocative poses rapidly multiplied on the Internet.
‘There’s not really a lot you can do with that because it’s not child pornography I guess, it’s more child erotica, that’s what they classified it as,’ she said.
‘So they couldn’t really take it down off any website, which I thought was wrong. …Basically they told me, ‘yeah, you have to sit and watch it all happen.’
Miss Varona said she now regrets ever putting the photos online and now will not use a Facebook account for fear it could be hacked.Cruel taunts: After changing two schools Angie Varona has turned to home-schooling to avoid bullying
Many of the photos online, Miss Varona said, are not her originals, but are remakes to make her appear topless or women pretending to be her.
‘They photoshopped one of my bikini pictures,’ she said. ‘They photoshopped the top off’.
Her father, Juan Varona, said that while he was ‘disappointed’ in Angie, he was angry at the people who were spreading the photos.
‘At first you look at it and it’s on a porn site and it’s horrible,’ he said.
‘Then you look at it and say, ‘It’s a bathing suit picture,
Her parents said the whole episode had been a nightmare for the family.
‘It’s a wound that doesn’t heal,’ said her father, Juan. ‘Every time it’s healing, something comes up on the internet, so it’s an open wound, constantly.‘
- Angie Varona Unwillingly Became Internet Sex Symbol (abcnews.go.com)
- Angie Varona: Sexting Turned 14-Year-Old Into Internet Sex Symbol (VIDEO) (blippitt.com)
- Nightline Highlights Teenage Girl Haunted By Sexy Internet Pictures… By Showing More Of The Sexy Pictures? (mediaite.com)
- Angie Varona, Grace Kelly and Scrambling your mOFC [Dean's Corner] (scienceblogs.com)
- How a 14-Year-Old Girl Became an Unwilling Internet Pin-Up [Video] (gawker.com)