Written by Sarah

“Brown has a real sense of community, and people are very protective of me. They really look out for me; they want me to feel like I'm part of it.” So says Emma Watson in the December issue of Marie Claire. She’s probably ready to retract that statement.

If you haven’t heard by now, some asshole at Brown is sending around faked photos of her in various stages of undress. Topless next to a hot tub is the latest. Emma’s publicist revealed this has been happening to Emma for the last several months. Credit to Emma that she’s kept it together and hasn’t been caught having a meltdown on campus.

I’m not sure which is worse—to take a private-type photo with a romantic partner and then be betrayed (as recently happened to Kat Dennings), or to have a perfect stranger Photoshopping your head on someone else’s body and circulating the image anonymously, hidden behind computer accounts. Both situations are devastating, and what’s happening to Emma is cyber bullying. This is being done to hurt and embarrass her, and worse, it’s taking away that safety she was so happy to have at Brown.

I worry every day for my younger cousins, for my friends with young daughters. How do you protect your kid from this? On one hand, as Lainey pointed out in reference to Dennings, you just can’t put yourself in such compromising situations. I don’t care how much you like a boy—these days, if he pulls out his cell phone camera, he’s out the door. But what if, like Emma, you haven’t even opened that door? What strikes me about Emma’s story is this quote from an unnamed friend (always a suspect source, I know), “Emma is trying to seek out the source so she can put a stop to it.”

Emma is trying to seek out the source.


Not Brown? Not the Providence police?

That’s the problem with these cases, why so many victims are left feeling helpless and hopeless. The school says it’s a police matter, the police say the school should deal with it, and nothing ends up happening. To be fair, Brown University hasn’t commented—they could be working to find the twat doing this. I really hope they are. Forget that she’s famous. A young woman’s privacy has been invaded and her reputation is under fire because some idiot thinks this is funny. Universities key-card doors and have 24 hour security and manned guard gates—my university had a complete fence system and a private police force—to protect their students. Why should online protection be any different?

I hope this jerk gets busted and I hope he faces real consequences. Assuming it is a guy, that is. It could just as easily be meangirls. In fact, I’d bet it is meangirls. This is so cruel, and no one is crueler to a woman than another woman. Emma appears to have a good group of friends at Brown, but that’s a student body of around 6,000 undergrads. Statistically, there’s at least one petty jealous brat among them. All it takes is an unpleasant personality and some Photoshop skills to destroy a person’s privacy and/or reputation.

Here is Emma yesterday at a photo call in England at Leavesden Studios for Harry Potter. I like her dress a lot but I don’t love all the accessories. Not sure she actually needed the cuff and the necklace and the earrings. I hope that there is resolution for Emma, that she can deal with this and move on, hopefully with her sense of safety intact. But I can’t help but think that safety has been dealt a pretty serious blow.

Written by Sarah
Photos from Dave Hogan/Gettyimages.com