Amber Heard supports bill fighting non-consensual pornography following 2014 phone hack

Sabrina Barr

Hollywood star Amber Heard has spoken out in support of a bill fighting non-consensual pornography. She said that its online distribution of it should be made a crime.

The Aquaman spoke of the "humiliation" she experienced when more than 50 "private" photographs were stolen from her phone in 2014 as she expressed her support for the Stopping Harmful Image Exploitation and Limiting Distribution (SHIELD) Act.

It aims to to "address the exploitation of private, sexually explicit or nude images often referred to as 'revenge porn' or 'sextortion'", according to the website of US congresswoman Jackie Speier who is sponsoring the bill with her colleague John Katko.

If passed into law it would establish "federal criminal liability" for individuals who share non-consensual pornography on the Internet.

"Once private, intimate content is released to the Internet it is virtually impossible to remove it from online spaces, further subjecting victims to harassment and judgement from strangers and acquaintances alike," Heard told a crowd at the Capitol Visitor Centre in Washington DC.

"It can result, and often does, in devastating economic, social, psychological and even physical consequences."

Heard said she experienced several of these consequences when her "private images were stolen, manipulated and released to the public online".

"I continue to be harassed, stalked and humiliated by the theft of those images and those who abuse them," she said.

The "privacy rights" of individuals who are on a lower income, the LGBT+ community and women of colour are at "far greater risk" in relation to the online distribution of non-consensual pornography, she added.

The bill is backed by Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris.