Scarlett Johansson celebrity hacker pleads guilty

Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:18pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A 35-year-old Florida man pleaded guilty on Monday to hacking into the email accounts of movie stars Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis and Christina Aguilera, and sending nude photos and other information to celebrity websites.

Christopher Chaney of Jacksonville, Florida pleaded guilty in Los Angeles federal court to unauthorized computer access, wiretapping and other felony charges contained in a criminal indictment.

He was ordered held in custody and faces up to 60 years in prison, plus fines and restitution of about $2.5 million when sentenced in July.

Chaney, who admitted hacking the emails of more than 50 celebrities, was arrested in October 2011 after an 11-month investigation named "Operation Hackerazzi" by the FBI.

Other victims included former Disney Channel star Vanessa Hudgens and Renee Olstead, one of the stars of ABC Family's "The Secret Life of the American Teenager". Other victims were identified only by their initials, including J.A., B.P., and L.B.

Chaney, a clerical worker, told a Florida TV station shortly after his arrest that he had become addicted to prying into the affairs of movie stars and did not know how to stop.

His snooping resulted in nude photos of "Iron Man 2" star Johansson and a bubblebath picture of "Black Swan" actress Kunis reaching gossip websites.

Johansson said later that the photos of herself topless and wrapped in a towel with an exposed backside were taken for her then husband, actor Ryan Reynolds.

Chaney admitted that he had emailed many of the photographs and other personal information that he stole from celebrities to another hacker and to two entertainment websites.   Continued...

U.S. actress Scarlett Johansson poses for pictures as she arrives on the red carpet for the "Goldene Kamera" (Golden Camera) awards ceremony in Berlin, February 4, 2012. REUTERS/Thomas Peter