Date: 14th October 2011

Hollywood hacker apologizes to celebrity victims

The man charged with hacking the private e-mail accounts of Scarlett Johansson, Christina Aguilera and other celebrities apologised on Thursday, saying he became addicted to prying into their affairs.

But Christopher Chaney, 35, said he never intended to sell or release the information, which included nude photos that later made their way to the Internet.

"It started as curiosity and it turned into just being addicted to seeing behind the scenes of what was going on with these people you see on the big screen every day," Chaney told Fox television affiliate WAWS in Jacksonville, Florida.

"I was almost relieved months ago when they came in and took my computer...because I didn't know how to stop," he said.

Christopher Chaney, 35, faces up to 121 years in jail after being arrested in Florida on Wednesday, following an 11-month probe into the hacking of over 50 victims, including actresses Christina Aguilera and Mila Kunis.

"I wasn't saving the emails to blackmail someone," Chaney, who faces 26 indictments, including accessing and damaging computers, wire tapping and identify theft, told local TV station Action News in Jacksonville, Florida.

"I deeply apologize... I know what I did was probably the worst invasion of privacy someone could experience. I'm not trying to escape what I did. It was wrong. And I have to just face that and go forward."

Aguilera's computer was hacked last December, when racy photos of her also hit the Internet. Kunis's cell phone was hacked in September with photos of her including one in a bathtub spread online.

The hacked pictures of Johansson, star of "The Horse Whisperer" and "Girl with a Pearl Earring," appeared in mid-September and showed her in a state of undress in a home setting.

Chaney's parents were present at the Action News interview. His mother told the broadcaster: "He's a good kid, he just made a big mistake. He just had too much time on his hand. He's too smart for his own good."

Source: Press Release