McKayla Maroney was underage when the leaked photos of her were taken, and her legal team is attempting to remove the hacked properties from the internet.
According to TMZ, Maroney’s lawyer contacted Porn.com demanding they remove the photos, which were spread across the internet Sunday as part of a massive leak of hacked celebrity photos. In the letter to the website, the attorney said the Olympic gymnast was underage when the photo was taken. Maroney did not turn 18 until Dec. 9.
Another one of Maroney’s attorneys sent cease and desist letters to other sites demanding that they remove the photos on grounds of copyright infringement, which implies Maroney owns the photos.
These letters are a strong indication that the photos are real, even though Maroney referred to them as “fake” over Twitter early Monday morning.
Though only a few alleged photos of Maroney were leaked, it’s possible some people are in possession of many more. Deadspin posted screenshots of a Facebook conversation between two people that shows one claimed to have possession of many celebrity photos. The conversation took place weeks before the Labor Day weekend leak. At the time, the person claimed to have 95 photos and four videos of Maroney. The sheer amount of photos and video allegedly possessed by the individual is another strong indication that the gymnast’s phone was hacked.
The origins of the leak are still being hotly debated. Speculation is that the photos were obtained by targeted hacks of individual phones or by some insecurities in the iCloud. The perpetrator(s) are likely facing serious legal consequences for their actions.