So, I never thought that I would write this post.
Just wasn't ever sure that there would be an appropriate time or place, and although I am super honest and up front, I think I am sort of closed of on some topics in my life. I also just sort of live my life and don't think about my experiences after they happen. It's not good to dwell on things really. I'm always thinking ahead, for better or worse.
But, when I realized that I told parts of the story on the Almost 30 Podcast, I figured I needed to provide more detail.
It is also the most talked about topic we've had thus far. Lindsey and I get SO MANY questions about it.
So, I figured I should share my experience.
(If you listen, make sure to note that it's our first episode and it's so ROUGH. It gets better, I promise!)
(Listen to the Almost 30 Podcast in iTunes here.)
Plus, it's good to be aware, to share what I learned and if you're in a similiar situation, you're not alone.
In short, I was blackmailed, harassed, threatened and violated by a stranger, who had naked photos of me, over the course of 6+ months.
Each week, a few times a week, from various emails I would recieve threatening emails about how I was going to have my career ruined, my life ruined, all of these terrible things happen to me. All of them attached with a photo. That was of...me.
I'll cut to the chase, basically any nude photos I had in my phone, saved, or deleted, anywhere, I was being blackmailed with.
Photos that I had only sent to Justin (obviously) some flattering, some not (HA) but all very....me.
I guess I should feel shameful that I take pictures of myself. But really I dgaf on 100 and I'm thankful that my reader babes aren't judgemental of that sort of thang :) If I am feeling good, I snap a photo, and send it to the person I love and plan on spending my life with.
Nothing crazy, nothing that you really couldn't google right now. We've also seen some T & A.
So to back up.
One day I was working in my apartment when I recieved an email from a random email that said
Then the body of it said something along the lines of, I've got something you need to see. You need to respond to me.
Check your Facebook messages OTHER folder.
Then, I go to facebook, check the others photos folder, and there it is. My ass and my titties, on someone I don't know's Facebook message.
I am jaw drop. I get chills actually writing this.
I was thinking this was an empty threat, that didn't mean anything, and to see it verified blew my fucking mind. One was an old photo, one was a photo from my deleted photos.
I had no idea what this person was acutally going to do to me. I wasn't sure how much they knew, if they hacked my phone, if they had my social security information or credit card information. Where I lived....I had no idea.
At this point, I'm really shaken up, and really embarassed to tell anyone, even Justin.
I tried to understand how it could happen.
A few days go by, and I get another threat, more aggressive, and via email another photo sent to me. Another one that I had no idea anyone had.
This time, I went to the police in Los Angeles County, sat at the police station for a few hours being questioned and to be honest was pleasantly suprised at how nice they were. Yes they did as me if someone hated me and was out to get me, and if I had sent these to anyone else but Justin. But believed me when I said no.
They wrote me a ticket, said they were on it and I was on my way. Not much else I could do at this point but change all passwords and really up my security on every system that I had.
Did it, check, check.
I also called Apple and said my iCloud got hacked (Kate Upton style, LOL) and he said "that's not possible"...LOL
But for the next 5-6 months, I continued to get emails from various email accounts a few times a week that were increasingly more aggressive, more direct and more intense.
Each time I was suprsied at the photos they had. At this point I had deleted every one of them off my phone but it felt like they had an endless supply.
I was scared that they would hack my work email, hack my personal email, send them to anyone I knew on a professional level, because that's what they said they were going to do (among other things). This person was also emailing every email account I had. My work, my personal, my blog and another business account. They had access to all of my emails and contacts. But weirdly, weren't taking money from me, just harassing me.
Each time it was just as scary, and I couldn't go a few days without a new email emailing something to me.
KRISTA. You need to reply me or I will RUIN your career. I have THESE.
Sometimes J and I would laugh, and say to each other, "Thank God I was hoping someone would release these". To help alleviate the painful truth that I was being watched and harassed for so long.
At a point it got numb. Just sort of expected it but it never really went away that I was scared.
It became part of my life, and I wasn't sure what else I could do beyond telling the police. This went on for about 6 months, and the email addresses changed, the Facebook accounts changed, it just continued.
Then, on a random Wednesday, I got the call.
From the Police Department in Santa Monica who wanted to talk to me.
I'm like, um yes WHAT.
A long conversation later discussing my experience and current situation related to my stalker, the police man asks me
"Do you go to Yoga at X Location?"
I'm like yeah bro, why.
"The person who has been harassing you has been traced back to working here."
"He's been taking phones of females the yoga studio and harassing a few girls there. Each time you've been into class, he's been taking your phones and sending himself as many photos as he can.
Then harassing, threatening and blackmailing you with them".
Weirdly, I knew who the person was right away.
He NEVER talked to me when I came in. EVER. I always said hello, signed in and just did my thing, but each time I said hello he would blankly look at me and say nothing. Like a fucking werido.
Someone that saw me so much, and in a place where I go to relax and reconnect, took advantage of that, and violated any sense of peace I had.
it's one of the oddest things I've lived through to date.
.....and the guy ended up being convicted of a felony.
He lived with a girl he met on craigslist - who he violated too. That fucker.
He had also been doing this at least 5 other girls that they know of.
I can honestly see his face in my mind, and it's crazy. I felt confused, and thought through each time I went to class, when I would be in the yoga state of mind, that I was having my stuff stolen, or someone was looking through everything I keep private. My texts, emails.....
I went to court and testified against him.
The police found him, by responding to one of his emails, pretending they were one of the girls. They were able to trace the phone to his. Then they put it together that we all worked out there, and he worked there.
Real detective work, right?
Felt good that justice was served, and this person was committed at a federal level.
For me, I guess I learned to lock my phone at all times, to keep it with me, and now I am really weird with dudes who work at gyms.
This is crazy, I know, but I feel like it was a weird karmic debt that I was carrying from another life. That I had to experience in this life.
I guess it made me feel lucky that I am safe.
That I wasn't harmed and that I can be there for any female that's been violated, blackmailed or harassed.
You guys know me, I am always about reflection and growth and thinking about what things mean on a deep level.
But sometimes things just....are.
They're just shitty.
But you need to see things as they are. Technically, it's not personal, and hey, it ALWAYS could be worse. In the grand scheme of things, I am always lucky.
Healthy. Happy and whole.
Also keeping the nudes to a minmum :) and my phone locked always.
Definitely listen to the podcast epsiode of this, it's a light way I talk about it, and if you have a simiiar situation, story or feel like somethings happening to you that's not right, say and do something. Without telling the police, he would have never been convicted or behind bars.
Always act, always.
Okay, felt good to finally share with you. Safe space, right? Now you know the full story.
In this post I am wearing Ethona Active and the photos were shot by Stefanie Villers of Catching Cali.