LOS ANGELES — Actress Mischa Barton, best known for her role in
the Fox television show “The O.C.,” recently took action to halt
the potential sale of a sex video that, she says, was filmed secretly
by an ex-boyfriend.
In a March 14 news conference, according to a report on NBC
Barton and her attorney, Lisa Bloom, announced that the actress had
obtained a restraining order against a former boyfriend, and that
cease-and-desist letters were sent to those involved in the potential
buying or selling of the images.
“There's a name for this disgusting conduct: revenge
pornography. Revenge pornography is a form of sexual assault, and it
is also a crime and a civil wrong in California. And we will not
stand for it,” Bloom said in a statement.
According to the New
York Daily News, Barton received temporary restraining orders
against former boyfriend Jon Zacharias and another man in order to
stop them from selling or sharing the images. Barton alleged that
Zacharias, whom Barton started dating in October 2016, secretly
recorded her during sex and in the shower without her knowledge or
consent. Zacharias was reportedly attempting to sell the video online
“This is not your typical revenge porn cases of a jilted lover.
Rather, this appears highly orchestrated via use of hidden cameras to
record very intimate acts,” Matthew Dolman of Dolman Law Group in
Clearwater, Florida told the Florida Record.
Dolman explained that revenge-pornography cases typically involve
images recorded consensually during a relationship that are later
used to humiliate the individual as a means of revenge, rather than
“What makes this very case so unique is not just the celebrity
component, but rather the allegations that sexual acts were recorded
by the assailant unbeknownst to Ms. Barton,” he said.
Dolman said that Bloom’s decision to pursue to the case from a
domestic-abuse angle also makes Barton’s case unique. He said that
revenge-pornography cases are normally pursued citing privacy
violations and emotional trauma, and that Bloom’s approach is
According to Dolman, revenge-pornography laws are still their
infancy, and the laws struggle to keep with up with ever-changing
technology like social media.
“It will be interesting to see how it plays out,” he said.
Bloom intends to pursue Barton’s case both criminally and
“I have a message for anyone who attempts to traffic in these
photos or videos of Ms. Barton: We will find you, and we will come
after you. We will fully prosecute you under ever-available civil and
criminal law,” Bloom said in a recent statement.