Gabrielle Union Pens Emotionally Raw Open Letter Fighting Against Nude Photo Leak

Pam WrightLife

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Gabrielle Union is still reeling after nude photos of the Being Mary Jane actress were stolen from the iCloud and leaked through social media in September.

Union is so upset over the incident that she penned an open letter to Cosmopolitan magazine, in which she compares the experience to being raped.

Union was very frank in her letter and described her disgust over the theft of her private photos and how it nearly ruined the her wedding and honeymoon with NBA great Dwyane Wade.

"My honeymoon was plagued by thoughts of when I would get hit. It was always in the back of my mind: Will today be the day my life gets ruined? I thought about my family and everyone the scandal would affect — my mom, who teaches classes about Catholicism to kids, and the three boys I had become a stepmother to when I married Dwyane. My husband, meanwhile, would always have to wonder who had seen intimate photos of me that only he was supposed to see," wrote Union.

Union lamented the fact that, even though she and her new husband had deleted some of the photos, they were still recovered from the iCloud.

"I wondered how a photo that was shot and deleted three years ago could be found. Sure enough, later that night, more pictures started popping up, one after another. All of them had been shot and deleted years ago. Yet there they were, online for the world to see. I felt extreme anxiety, a complete loss of control. I suddenly understood that deleting things means nothing. You think it's gone? It's not. What is the point of even including a delete function on a phone if it doesn't really delete? I had deleted the photos from my phone, but apparently they had remained on some server somewhere, unbeknownst to me, where hackers could find them," she wrote.

"I called my reps and attorneys, pleading, 'Get the photos taken down.' They said it takes time — the shots were spreading fast, to some 50 sites within the first few hours. Nude pictures of other celebrities were appearing in this second wave too, including Rihanna and a new round of Jennifer Lawrence shots. I thought, this is a targeted attack, a hate crime against women. Photos of my friend Meagan Good showed up as well, and that really hurt — she's like my little sister. We had become close while filming Deliver Us From Eva. She's married to a pastor. I wanted to protect her from the inevitable character assassination. She was the target of a crime and did not deserve to be attacked," wrote Union.

Union wrote that something like this is a life-changing event, much like her experience of being raped in college.

"I am adjusting to my new reality. Everything feels tainted. On Instagram, people tell me they've seen me naked. Walking into my favorite pizza place, I wonder who has seen the photos and what they are thinking. It's part of daily life now. Some people have told me, 'On the bright side, you look amazing in the photos.' I know they mean well, but this is a criminal act, a gross violation. It reminds me of the time someone asked me if my rapist was 'cute.' That kind of misguided thinking lessens the severity of the crime and the horror of the experience."

Union offered hope and encouragement to others who feel betrayed and hurt, no matter the circumstances.

"Here's the way I choose to look at it: Bad things happen to people every day. It's what we do with them that counts. If someone betrays your trust, such as a former boyfriend who posts photos of you online, you might feel like you're alone on an island. You're not. Talk to people who care for you. Just keep going. Whatever your dreams were before, they still remain. You might feel like nothing will ever be the same. And that's true — nothing will be the same. Take that and change things," encouraged Union.

You can read Union's entire letter here.

Pam Wright