An Italian woman who endured months of abuse and mockery after explicit images and footage of her were shared online has died by suicide.
Tiziana Cantone had battled to have the “revenge porn” footage removed from the internet after the tape went viral.
The 31-year-old’s death came a year after she sent a sex video of herself and a new lover to a group of friends including an ex-boyfriend, in a bid to make him jealous, La Repubblica reported.
The video made its way onto the web and her remark “You’re filming? Bravo”, spoken to her partner during the footage became a catchphrase which was printed on T-shirts, smartphone cases and other merchandise.
Cantone quit her job, moved to Tuscany and tried to change her name in a bid to escape the humiliation. Following an arduous court battle she won a “right to be forgotten” ruling, which meant sites hosting the video were ordered to remove it.
But the legal battle also saddled Cantone with €20,000 in costs.
On Tuesday Cantone killed herself at her aunt’s home in Mugnano, near Naples. Her funeral procession was broadcast live on local TV.
Her friend Teresa Petrosino, told the Corriere della Sera Cantone had been left “distraught” by the events.
She said: “I wonder how anyone can be so fierce, how to rage against a girl who has not done anything wrong.
“I think that they should be ashamed of all those who have filled the web of insults and meanwhile secretly watched the images.”
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said: “As a government there’s not a lot that we can do.
“It’s mainly a cultural battle – also a social and political battle.”
WHAT IS REVENGE PORN?
The Crown Prosecution Service defines revenge pornography as “typically sexually explicit media that is publicly shared online without the consent of the pictured individual and is usually uploaded by ex-partners.”
It adds that the images are often “accompanied by personal information including the pictured individual’s full name, links to social media profiles and address, and are shared with the intent to cause distress or harm to the individual.”
In comments reported by the BBC, he added: “Our commitment is try to do everything we can… Violence against women is not an ineradicable phenomenon.”
Four men are being investigated for defamation in connection with Cantone’s suicide.
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HopeLine runs a confidential advice helpline if you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide. Mon-Fri 10-5pm and 7pm-10pm. Weekends 2pm-5pm on 0800 068 41 41