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Jennifer Lawrence says nude photo theft is a 'sex crime'

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"It’s my body, and it should be my choice."

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Jennifer Lawrence says that the theft and distribution of her private nude photos is a "sex crime" and that anyone who viewed them should "cower with shame." Lawrence made her first comments addressing the photo theft to Vanity Fair, which is today previewing a cover story on the actress that will run this Wednesday. Lawrence tells the magazine that she was afraid and unsure of how the stolen photos would affect her career.

"Just because I’m an actress, does not mean that I asked for this."

"Just because I’m a public figure, just because I’m an actress, does not mean that I asked for this," Lawrence tells VF. "It does not mean that it comes with the territory. It’s my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting. I can’t believe that we even live in that kind of world."

Lawrence says that the distribution of her photos isn't a scandal but a "sexual violation," and one that underscores the need for better legal protections. "It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these websites are responsible," she tells VF. "Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it. It’s so beyond me. I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside."

Those who viewed the photos, Lawrence says, are perpetrating a sexual offense. Lawrence says that even people she knows have told her that they viewed the photos — obviously without her permission. "I started to write an apology, but I don’t have anything to say I’m sorry for. I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years," she says. "It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you."

Lawrence's photos began being distributed online alongside those of dozens of other female celebrities early last month. The thefts appear to be the result of hackers stealing these celebrities' passwords to photo storage services — with many suspecting iCloud as the primary target. The FBI said last month that it was "addressing the matter," and for as vague as that statement is, it's hard to imagine the agency not continuing to investigate such a high-profile theft.