Hollywood entertainment lawyer Marty Singer has threatened Google with legal action over the celebrity nude scandal last month, and Google is responding with tens of thousands of photos removed.
The images were posted without the permission of the more than 100 celebs involved in the scandal, which is one of the largest photo hacks on record. Celebrities affected include Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Amber Heard, Rihanna and Cara Delevingne.
Singer threatened to sue the web giant for $100 million on behalf of multiple female clients. The claim says that Google stood to profit greatly from the availability of these images and calls out the company for not taking action sooner.
A statement from Google said it deleted the photos “within hours” of requests being made and has “closed hundreds of accounts.”
While it’s good Google is removing the images and shutting down the hundreds of associated accounts, it took multiple requests and the threat of legal action to get it to move on the decision. Google has been great in the past about respecting the privacy of its members. That shouldn’t have changed just because these people happen to be in the spotlight. But we’re glad the images are finally being made unavailable, as this scandal represents a disgusting sexual violation in our book.
In a letter to senior staff at Google, according to the New York Post, Singer said, “Google knows the images are hacked stolen property, private and confidential photos and video unlawfully obtained and posted by pervert predators who are violating the victims’ privacy rights… Yet Google has taken little or no action to stop these outrageous violations.”
This doesn’t mean the images are gone for good, unfortunately. Who knows how many people have them saved to a hard drive somewhere. But it is, at least, a really positive step toward making sure the photos aren’t further distributed.
No word yet whether Singer and his clients will drop their threat of legal action now that Google is responding favorably and seems to be willing to work with Singer and his clients.