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Gabrielle Union calls nude photo leaks 'a new form of sexual abuse'

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Jesse Grant

Gabrielle Union was one of the less well-publicized victims of September's nude photo leaks, but at a recent conference, the actress told the crowd more about the unsettling effects of the leak, and called out Apple and Google for not taking stronger action to protect her privacy. "I would have hoped that the tech community would realize this is a crime," Union said at a recent conference. "Google wasn't forcing these images off their sites, or even Apple — all of the 100 women who were targeted were Apple users... You'd hope they'd care as much about you as you do about the new iPhone 6."

"This is a targeted attack, a hate crime against women."

The leaks, which distributed private photos of hundreds of actresses, have been broadly denounced by celebrities and tech figures alike, but it's still unclear what measures should have been taken to prevent them or stop the flow of the images once they were made public. In this month's Cosmopolitan, Union describes her reaction to the leaks in more detail, comparing it to her own experiences with rape. "The first draft of my statement was pretty furious — somewhere between Louis Farrakhan and Gloria Allred," Union writes. "I thought, this is a targeted attack, a hate crime against women." Later in the essay, she calls out pundits who thought the leaks might have helped the victims' careers, saying, "it's not a career boost — it's a new form of sexual abuse." Last month, Jennifer Lawrence described the leaks using similar language, calling them a "sexual violation" and saying, "it’s my body, and it should be my choice."