Mischa Barton has retained a lawyer after reports of an alleged sex tape surfaced this week
Mischa Barton has retained a lawyer to protect herself after reports surfaced this week that an alleged sex tape was being shopped around to pornography companies.
Attorney Lisa Bloom issued a statement on Tuesday morning in regards to the matter.
“I am very proud to represent actress Mischa Barton, who is courageously standing up for her rights,” began the statement.
“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,” continues the statement.
“There’s a name for this disgusting conduct: revenge pornography,” adds Bloom. “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.”
“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.”
Bloom also told PEOPLE on Tuesday that “this has been very upsetting to Mischa,” and notes the actress could potentially pursue the case both in civil and criminal court.
“I’ve been doing women’s right cases for 30 years,” Bloom continues, “and what I see over and over again is women who are very scared, but when they stand up on their own two feet and they say, ‘No, I’m not going to stand for this, I’m going to fight back,’ it’s very empowering. I think this is a very healthy step that Mischa step is taking.”
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The reports, originally posted by the Daily Mail, come less than two months after Barton, 31, willingly went to the hospital the morning after celebrating her birthday in January, later telling PEOPLE that someone drugged her with GHB while she drinking with friends the night of the celebration.
Two weeks later, Barton was involved in an accident in which she crashed a U-Haul truck into an apartment building while moving out of her apartment.
“She’s fragile but she doesn’t show it. It can’t be easy for her,” said an insider. “She just wants to get her career going again, change people’s perception of her and move on.”