Edward Majerczyk, the 29 year old Chicago man who played a key part in the hack on Jennifer Lawrence and over 20 other celebrities’ personal online accounts has been sentenced to nine months in prison, according to the Guardian.
In addition to his prison sentence, Majerczyk will also be required to pay $5,700 in restitution for counseling services for one celebrity who was included in the leak. The hack was actually the result of a phishing scam: Majerczyk “sent emails to his victims that appeared to have come from internet service providers seeking usernames and passwords. That information was used to gain access to email and other online accounts, which resulted in private photos and videos of various celebrities to be disseminated online.
As an attempt at offering some sort of explanation for his client’s behavior, Majerczyk’s lawyer Thomas Needham said that he was “suffering from depression and looked to pornography websites and internet chat rooms in an attempt to fill some of the voids and disappointment he was feeling in his life.” Needham also said in court that the fallout from the case has been particularly traumatic for his client, leaving Majerczyk “deeply affected” and causing him to seek therapy for anxiety and panic attacks. While I’m certain that the uproar caused by a coterie of famous women who just had their naked images posted to 4chan for the world to see would cause anyone both anxiety and panic attacks, it’s hard to believe that he thought he’d get away with this.
The scandal and its fallout affected Lawrence just as “deeply” as it did Majerczyk; in a 2014 interview with Vanity Fair, Lawrence called the violation of her privacy a “sex crime,” saying “Just because I’m a public figure, just because I’m an actress, does not mean that I asked for this.”
Correction: The post has been updated to clarify that Edward Majerczyk did not disseminate the photos himself and was not convicted of doing so. He organized the phishing scheme that gained access to the photos and was convicted for that.