Stephen Bear jailed for 21 months for sharing sex video online
Disgraced reality TV personality Stephen Bear has been jailed for 21 months for sharing a private video of him having sex with his ex-girlfriend Georgia Harrison on his OnlyFans website.
The 33-year-old, who won Celebrity Big Brother in 2016, and 28-year-old Ms Harrison were captured having sex on CCTV cameras in Bear’s garden on August 2, 2020.
Ms Harrison, who has appeared on The Only Way Is Essex, Love Island and Olivia Meets Her Match, has waived her right to anonymity.
Sentencing Bear, Judge Christopher Morgan told the reality star: “You intended to maximise the distress and humiliation of Georgia Harrison.
“That is evidenced by the continued availability of video after Georgia had requested you take it down. By making it available on your OnlyFans site, the video circulated widely and publicly.”
He said Bear knew the footage, which ended up being posted on porn sites, was worth more as it featured Ms Harrison, and he decided to “exploit” her in spite of her pleas that the clip should be deleted.
In a powerful victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing, Ms Harrison told the court the release of the footage was her “worst nightmare”.
She said she “felt physically sick” and was left crying and hysterical as the film became a topic of public conversation and a viral online search.
“As if the pain of having to know all my friends, young siblings, parents, family, and colleagues past and present were aware of it wasn’t bad enough, I had to deal with him ridiculing me on social media”, she said, saying Bear had done impressions of her crying while laughing in online videos.
She said in the week of the clip’s release, there were 63 million hits on her personal Instagram page, while searches including “Georgia Harrison sex tape” began to trend online.
Ms Harrison said she has not returned to her home in Essex for two years as Bear lives nearby and she “can’t stand to be near him”, and the incident has harmed her career.
“Brands no longer choose me because this sort of situation is something they wish to stay away from”, she said.
She said she once loved Bear, but this incident has left her feeling “hurt, embarrassed, insignificant and insecure”.
“It makes me feel sick that so many people have watched it,” she said.
“I also hope this case sets an example to the younger generation, that this sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable and there will be serious consequences for those that chose to act in such a way.”
Following the sentencing, Hannah von Dadelszen, deputy chief crown prosecutor for CPS East of England said: “I want to commend Georgia Harrison for the bravery and determination she has shown throughout this case.
“By contrast, Stephen Bear showed a complete lack of remorse by never accepting responsibility for his abusive behaviour, even going so far as to place the blame on Ms Harrison.
“Although she lives a public life, Georgia Harrison has the right to privacy. But that was taken away by Bear to make money in the most egregious way.
“Whether or not sex is consensual, it is a crime to share or threaten to share sexual images without consent to cause distress. This is a serious offence which has a lifelong impact on victims. Those like Bear who use devices to share photos or videos or threaten to do so can expect to be prosecuted.
“We want to encourage victims to come forward, safe in the knowledge they will have lifelong anonymity and can have special measures put in place when appearing in court, like giving evidence from behind a screen.”
Jacqueline Carey KC, prosecuting, told an earlier trial at Chelmsford Crown Court that Ms Harrison and Bear had consensual sex at his home in Loughton, Essex, but Ms Harrison did not know they were being recorded.
Ms Harrison said that when Bear showed her the footage she told him “never to send” it to anyone and “made it plain how upset she would be if he did”, the prosecutor said.
Ms Harrison saw Bear send the footage to someone on WhatsApp later that day, and later that year she was made aware that it was circulating online.
Ms Carey said that Bear uploaded the footage “either himself or had it uploaded to OnlyFans and profited financially”.
Bear, who has also appeared on Ex On The Beach, denied all charges and claimed at trial that he deleted the footage that day and had shared it with no-one other than Ms Harrison.
But he was found guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court of voyeurism and of two counts of disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress.
After Bear was found guilty last year, Ms Harrison said: “I hope me taking a stand gives other men and women who have fallen victim to revenge porn the courage to seek justice and most importantly show them that they have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.”
Bear attended his trial in a hired chauffeur-driven white Rolls Royce wearing a black fur jacket and sunglasses and was accompanied by his girlfriend, Jessica Smith.
In January, while awaiting sentencing, Bear shared a video on his Twitter account of him proposing to Ms Smith at a restaurant and her saying yes.
In the footage, filmed by another person, Bear shouted to other diners from a balcony table that he had a “special announcement” before getting on one knee and asking Ms Smith to marry him.
During his trial, Bear’s Twitter account posted a “50% off” deal for his adult entertainment website alongside a photo of him arriving at court accompanied by Ms Smith.
Gemma Rose, mitigating, said a medical assessment of Bear found he has ADHD, mixed anxiety, and a depressive disorder, and finds it “easier to believe the fantasy in his head, rather than dealing with the reality of the situation he finds himself in”.
She said Bear is “not happy with his current life”, and said the world of reality TV “creates certain pressures” on people involved in that world.
“As Mr Bear delved deeper into this business, he found these behaviours have allowed him to gain more work”, she said.
“It’s clearly a very toxic environment, and he has found it difficult to break away from.”
Bear has been on bail since his conviction in December.
He will be subject to sex offender notifications for the next ten years, and is banned under a restraining order from contacting Ms Harrison for the next five years.