YouTube singer Chrissy Chambers wins revenge porn case

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Chrissy ChambersImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Chrissy Chambers, seen on the left, makes YouTube music and comedy videos with her fiancee Bria Kam

A US YouTube personality has been awarded damages from a British ex-boyfriend who posted videos onto the internet of them having sex.

Chrissy Chambers became a leading "revenge porn" campaigner after she was alerted to the clips.

The High Court in London heard that the accused - who cannot be named for legal reasons - had accepted liability for his unlawful activity.

He also agreed to pay an undisclosed sum as well as to cover legal costs.

Ms Chambers' lawyers have described the sum as "substantial".

"[This] should serve as a severe warning to those who seek to extort and harm with revenge porn: you cannot do this with impunity, and you will be held accountable for your actions," said Ms Chambers following the case.

"To every victim of this insidious kind of attack, I am here to say: You can fight back, and win. You will heal and move on - and you will not have to take those steps alone."

The singer and comedian celebrated her successful civil claim by proposing to her girlfriend and YouTube co-star, Bria Kam, on the steps of the court.

Ms Kam said yes.

England and Wales made "revenge porn" a criminal offence in 2015, but Ms Chambers said she had been unable to take advantage of this as the law does not apply retrospectively.

The court had heard that the accused had filmed the sexual activity on 3 September 2009 at Ms Chambers' home in Atlanta, Georgia. He subsequently uploaded six videos to a free-to-watch pornographic site between December the same year and January 2012, after they had split up.

Some of the clips' titles contained Ms Chambers' name and her age at the time, which was 18.

Ms Chambers, who is now 26, said that she had not been aware that she was being filmed at the time, and only learned of the videos' existence in June 2013, 19 months after they had been posted.

Since the accused owned the copyright to the clips, Ms Chambers said she was unable to force the site to remove them. She said they had been copied and shared to dozens more sites since.

She initially attempted to pursue criminal charges, but when this failed she crowdfunded $36,900 (£26,750) to file the civil case.

Ms Chambers's lawyer told the court that some of the singer's YouTube followers had mistakenly believed she had intentionally been involved in making pornography and had posted messages saying that they no longer wanted to follow her.

Image source, Chrissy Chambers
Image caption,
Chrissy Chambers campaigned for tougher revenge porn laws after discovering she had been a victim

The lawyer added that the YouTuber had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and continued to have flashbacks and nightmares.

As part of the settlement, the accused has agreed to destroy any remaining images of Ms Chambers in his possession and has handed over copyright to the uploaded films.

This means Ms Chambers can now demand that the sites hosting the material delete it.