19 March 2023 at 10:45am GMT
Updated 5 hours ago
View: Sharing explicit images without consent “general” issue – Georgia Harrison
Reality TV star Georgia Harrison said she “lived in fear” that more footage would be released from an explicit video shared without her consent.
Her ex-partner Stephen Bear has been jailed for 21 months after being found guilty of voyeurism and sharing private sex videos on the internet.
The 28-year-old said seeing the footage on subscription site OnlyFans was “the last straw” for her.
Ms Harrison said she feared Bear would sell more footage.
He had used CCTV cameras in his garden to capture her having sex and then sent it to a friend and sold the video online – which she disagreed with.
A six-minute clip was posted online, but the original video was 20 minutes long.
Ms Harrison told BBC Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg she was aware some people were “seeing the whole thing” which was “much harder” for her to come to terms with.
“I was afraid he would sell more,” she added.
Ms Harrison – who has waived her right to anonymity – began criminal proceedings against Bear, whom she met on a reality show, in December 2020.
She said the process of going to court is tough but “empowering”.
“I just felt like it was the only option. I had been pushed so far, and before I actually saw the video go viral on the internet, several men had told me they showed it to them,” she said.
Bear was granted a restraining order not to contact Ms Harrison, who has appeared on Love Island and The Only Way Is Essex, for five years.
In addition, he was required to be entered in the sex offender register and must be reported for 10 years.
Stephen Bear has been jailed after being found guilty of voyeurism and disclosure of private, sexual photos and films
The incident “taken away a kind of innocent spark” from Ms Harrison and made it difficult for her to trust others, she said.
While her case has “shocked the British public”, she said incidents like this are actually “such a common thing” and she gets messages every day from at least five women going through a similar situation.
“Since this happened to me, I’ve become someone that victims turn to, and I get at least five women a day — usually victims, but sometimes victims’ mothers or family members who need advice,” she said.
“You just can’t believe how big it is and how many people are affected.”
Ms Harrison said she has “enjoyed making a difference through her work as an activist on the issue” and would be interested in getting involved in politics.
When asked if she wants to be the next prime minister, she joked: “We’re not going to push it.”
Sharing explicit footage without consent — also known as non-consensual pornography or image-based sexual abuse — was made illegal in 2015.
In 2021, an amendment to the law was created that also criminalized the threat of publishing private sex images and films.
However, it can be difficult to convict suspected perpetrators because the law behind the release of images and videos requires intent – either to cause annoyance or embarrassment.
Ms Harrison is asking the government to remove the requirement to prove intent from the law.
An amendment to this effect was proposed in November as part of the Online Safety Act. It is currently not known when this bill will come into force.
“I think if you share explicit images or videos without consent, it’s very obvious that it’s going to cause heartache.
“If they changed it and removed that, many more victims would have a chance at justice like I did,” she said.