Gabrielle Union: 'I Was Mortified, Terrified' Over Hacked Nude Photos
Gabrielle Union was "mortified" over the hacking of her nude photos, which appeared online shortly after her wedding to NBA star Dwayne Wade - but she was gratified by how her family and friends responded.
Union, who wrote an essay about the experience for Cosmopolitan's December issue, spoke publicly about it for the first time Sunday with editor-in-chief Joanna Coles at the Fun Fearless Life conference in New York City.
"The day after my wedding, we were all sitting around, rehashing the best day of my life, and I get a text from my team that there's an article that over 100 female celebrities had been targeted," Union told Coles, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The "Being Mary Jane" star said Wade reassured her with, "If it happens, we'll deal with it."
The pictures didn't surface online until three weeks later.
"We were taking a 'family-moon' with the kids in Turks and Caicos - I'm on this island paradise with my family and I had hoped they had apprehended these criminals, but they hadn't," Union said. "In the moment, I froze. I was mortified, terrified. … I just didn't know what to do. I felt I had given so much of myself, but I had saved a little bit for myself and for my husband, and they had taken that from me."
Union said she was most surprised by her loved ones' reactions. She said her "super Catholic" mother told her, "Honey, we've been through so much worse, and we're fine."
She added, "Everyone I thought would have a negative reaction or blame me in some way, or kindly position it as something I could have avoided - no one did. Everyone that I love and respect looked at it for what it is, which is a crime."
Union added, "I didn't do anything wrong - no matter what people describe to me, 'It's your fault, you're stupid to take nude photos, that's what happens when you're a celebrity' - all this nonsense. … They're criminals.
"What you do with your own body is your choice. Period. There's no gray matter there," she said. "And when someone takes your choice away and your power away over your own body, it's a crime. Period. A hacking scandal? We're lessening it, making it more palatable for mass consumption, but it's a crime."
Union said if the women targeted - including Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, Kirsten Dunst and Kate Upton - had not been stars, "there would be much more outrage, but because we're female celebrities, 'we weren't good victims and we enjoyed it. 'All PR is good PR.' That's what they say."
Ultimately, Union called on tech companies to do more.
"You'd hope they'd care as much about you as you do about the new iPhone 6," Union said. "We have to, as consumers, ask that our data be protected, and the companies we give our money to are equally as invested in our privacy as we are."