Denise Van Outen Says She Was A Victim Of Revenge Porn In The 90s

She's said now is the right time to tell her story.

Denise van outen

by Marianna Manson |

It may seem like the exponential rise of revenge porn is a symptom of a the digital age, but it’s by no means a new phenomenon, as we were reminded today by TV personality Denise Van Outen.

Denise’s lifestyle was the stuff of 90s ‘ladette’ dreams, and she and her girl gang (including the likes of Zoe Ball, Sara Cox and The Spice Girls, natch) had the tabloid press eating out of the palm of their hands.

With Denise’s first autobiography about to hit shelves, she’s promised there will be plenty of scandalous stories from her 90s heyday – but has also, for the first time, opened up about her own revenge porn ordeal at the age of just 15.

Explaining an ‘older man’ had set up a ‘dodgy camcorder’ to record her having sex for the first time – without her knowledge – she said, speaking to The Sun, ‘Recently I saw a case involving two reality stars where he had been accused of putting a video online without her consent, and I thought, “I need to talk about my experiences now as well”.

‘It is really important as young women and young guys, we need to be made aware. Those moments can completely change the course of someone’s life and their mental health.'

She added, 'Maybe on a personal level I should have addressed it years ago. I just did what most people do — brushed it under the carpet and tried to forget about it. I felt embarrassed by it.

'He has been held accountable and he did go to court many years ago. It was in the Nineties and this sort of thing was pretty much unheard of — now it is very ­relevant as it does happen a lot.'

It was as recently as 2014 that revenge porn was made a criminal offence, with perpetrators facing up to two years in prison for sharing explicit content without consent.

‘We want those who fall victim to this type of disgusting behaviour to know that we are on their side,’ justice secretary Chris Grayling told the BBC at the time. ‘The fact that there are individuals who are cruelly distributing intimate pictures of their former partners without their consent is almost beyond belief. That is why we will change the law and make it absolutely clear to those who act in this way that they could face prison.’

But in 2020 it was reported that cases of revenge porn had spiked during lockdown, with The Revenge Porn Helpline telling Grazia, ‘We are breaking all the records in the number of cases we receive.

‘We initially saw a dip in cases, but once full lockdown was announced, cases nearly doubled. April has seen well over 200 cases, 25% higher than March.'

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