Georgia Harrison: Stephen Bear destroyed my ‘innocent spark’ with revenge porn
TV personality Georgia Harrison has told how her ex-partner Stephen Bear took away her “innocent spark” and left her fearing he could sell more footage after he posted revenge porn online.
The former Love Island star recalled how “multiple men” approached her saying they had seen the private sex video before she discovered it had gone viral on the internet.
Bear was jailed for 21 months earlier this month for sharing the video on his OnlyFans website without Harrison’s consent.
Harrison said going to court was “empowering” and Bear’s conviction helped “validate” her experience – and she is now calling for a change in the law to make it easier for victims to get justice.
Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme, Harrison said at least five women contact her every day to share their own revenge porn ordeal, warning it is “such a common thing”.
She has waived her own legal right to anonymity in an effort to highlight the problem.
Harrison said: “Before I actually saw the video had gone viral on the internet, I had multiple men telling me that they had it shown to them. So I think when I saw it was on OnlyFans, it was just the final straw for me.”
The clip Bear leaked was six minutes long, but he had taped 20 minutes of footage, leaving Harrison “living in fear that he was going to sell more”, she said.
Harrison added: “I just think in a way it took away an innocent sort of spark that I always had.
“I was a very trusting individual and I was always someone that just saw the best in everything, and when that happened it really just lowered my self-worth and it really lowered the way I value myself, especially in relationships.
“(Going to court) was tough, and it was really scary… But when I actually got in the courtroom, it was almost empowering.
“I’ve been silenced for so long and not only did I have the opportunity to speak to a judge and really tell the truth, I got to do that with him in the room and his family in the room, and it was nice to validate the truth.
“I took that power back.
“My case in general has really shocked the British public, but it is such a common thing – so common.
“Ever since this happened to me I became someone that victims reach out to, and I get at least five women a day – usually victims but sometimes mothers of victims or family members who want advice.
“You just wouldn’t believe how big this is and how many people are being affected by it.”
The Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 made it an offence to disclose private sexual photographs and films with the intent to cause distress and without consent.
Harrison is calling for the requirement to prove intent to be removed from the law, on the basis that any case of revenge porn is likely to cause distress to the victim.
She said she is “enjoying making a difference” by speaking about her experience – and even refused to rule out a foray into politics.
“It’s definitely not something I anticipated happening in my career, but I’ve really been enjoying making a difference,” Harrison said.
The 28-year-old model previously revealed that she developed cysts and later went into septic shock after discovering Bear’s horrific crimes.
Her documentary, being aired on ITV on Monday, Revenge Porn: Georgia Vs Bear will explore her personal story.
Bear, 33, denied all charges against him but was found guilty of voyeurism and of two counts of disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress.