Entertainment & Arts

Scarlett Johansson 'hacker' pleads not guilty

Scarlett Johansson
Image caption Johansson's lawyer threatened websites with legal action over the photos

A US man has pleaded not guilty to hacking the email accounts of celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson, whose nude photos ended up online.

Christopher Chaney from Jacksonville, Florida faces 26 charges, including unauthorised access to a computer and wiretapping.

If convicted, he faces up to 121 years in prison. A trial is set for December.

Johansson has told Vanity Fair magazine the leaked photos were meant for her ex-husband Ryan Reynolds.

"There's nothing wrong with that," she said in an interview. "It's not like I was shooting a porno."

Shortly after the photos were leaked in September, she told US news network CNN that the invasion of her privacy was "unjust".

Mr Chaney made his plea in a California court. His trial has been set for 27 December.

The judge turned down prosecutor's requests that he was remanded in custody, but ordered bail of $110,000 (£68,689) and stipulated that he be fitted with an electronic tag.

The 35-year-old was arrested as part of a year long investigation of celebrity hacking dubbed "Operation Hackerazzi".

There are more than 50 alleged victims, including Johansson and fellow actress Mila Kunis.

Chaney is accused of trawling through celebrity email accounts after figuring out their passwords, then forwarding messages to an account he controlled.

According to US authorities, Chaney offered material to celebrity blog sites, but there was no evidence he had profited from his scheme.

He has since apologised for his actions.

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