Leslie Jones' website offline after hacking

Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones' hacked website allegedly displayed images of her driver's licence and nude photos, among other private documents, before it went offline.
Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones' hacked website allegedly displayed images of her driver's licence and nude photos, among other private documents, before it went offline.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON • Actress Leslie Jones' official website has gone dark after it was reportedly hacked to display images of her driver's licence and other private documents, including nude photos.

The stolen images, as reported by TMZ and The Wrap, may have been accessed from her iCloud account.

Racist trolls recently drove her to take a temporary break from Twitter, just days after the release of the Ghostbusters reboot in which she starred.

In the midst of the abuse, she started retweeting and commenting on the flood of racist memes and slurs in her mentions, to show the 189,000 followers she had at the time exactly what it was she was going through. In response, Twitter banned several accounts from the platform.

Jones' trolls repeatedly made racist references to Harambe, the gorilla killed by the Cincinnati Zoo after a three-year-old boy fell into his pen in May.

Her hackers displayed an image of Harambe at the top of the page, according to a screenshot published by TMZ. Other screenshots showed what appeared to be her phone number and Twitter password.

No one has claimed responsibility for the hack, although many of the apparently stolen and released images are now circulating on 4chan's /pol/ boards. Those include an image of a United States passport and one of a California driver's licence. The address on the licence appears to match that of a recent address of the actress, according to a public records search.

After the reported hack, Jones' site justleslie.com was removed from her Twitter biography. The site briefly defaulted to a Tumblr 404 "not found" page, but now directs visitors to a GoDaddy page for "parked" domains.

Jones, 48, spent the last several days in Rio de Janeiro, live-tweeting the Olympics for NBC. While there, she rallied her followers in support of Gabby Douglas, the gold medalwinning gymnast who faced vicious Twitter scrutiny in Rio for everything from her facial expressions to her hair and her decision to stand at attention instead of placing her hand over her heart during the medal ceremonies.

Douglas, like Jones, had to avoid the Internet because of the intense online scrutiny on her, the athlete tearfully told reporters just after finishing her performance in Rio.

As news of the hack spread, Twitter filled up with expressions of support for Jones and frustration at the continued racism and sexism that many women of colour face online.

"These acts against Leslie Jones," tweeted musician Questlove Gomez, "are sickening. It's racist & sexist. It's disgusting. This is a hate crime. This ain't 'kids joshing round'."

Ghostbusters director Paul Feig wrote on Twitter: "What's happening to @Lesdoggg is an absolute outrage... haters, trolls, 'comedians', whoever you all are, you're just sad."

Two years ago, hackers dumped the stolen, private photos of celebrities - including Jennifer Lawrence, Kaley Cuoco and Kate Upton - on the Internet, an incident eventually known as "Celebgate".

Ryan Collins from Pennsylvania pleaded guilty. According to the plea agreement, he used a simple e-mail phishing scheme to access more than 100 iCloud and Gmail accounts.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2016, with the headline 'Leslie Jones' website offline after hacking'. Subscribe