An 18-year-old Miami woman who unwittingly became an Internet sex symbol four years ago is still dogged by her mistake.
According to ABC News report, Angie Varona uploaded provocative photos of herself on the image-sharing Web site, Photobucket, meant only for then-boyfriend. But the then 14-year-old Varona didn't have any clue that those photos would go public.
In an interview on ABC News' Nightline, Varona broke down in tears while telling how the risqué photos ruined her life after her online photo account got hacked. She had to change schools twice as it became impossible to bear constant bullying after her lingerie and bikini photos spread online in 2007.
At her high school, she was repeatedly called a porn star after her photos went viral in the Internet. Her photos appeared on porn sites, humor sites, message boards and even on advertisements. The 18-year-old's unauthorized pictures are also being circulated and are available on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, all claiming to be Varona. One Facebook fan page has more than 41,000 likes.
Varona initially thought that this nightmare would eventually come to an end, but the problem has only worsened. Recently, a Google search of the name Angie Varona drew almost 65,000 images, Daily Mail reported.
When you're 14 you don't realize that the things you do really do matter at that point, she told ABC. No one ever thinks that, 'yeah, I'm going to take these pictures and it's going to end up all over the Internet.' You just do it for yourself.
Varona also revealed that she was threatened with rape multiple times, forcing her family to ultimately contact the FBI.
[People were] telling me that I deserve everything that's going to come for me, that they're going to rape me when they see me because I want it and because I ask for it, she said.
Varona said as she was unable to stop the photos from spreading, she became depressed and started taking drugs. She even thought of committing suicide because of the humiliation.
Although her family hired lawyers to remove her photos from various Web sites, they didn't have any success.
'There's not really a lot you can do with that because it's not child pornography I guess, it's more child erotica, that's what they classified it as, she said. So they couldn't really take it down off any Web site, which I thought was wrong. ...Basically they told me, 'yeah, you have to sit and watch it all happen.
Many of her photos, Varona said, are not her originals, but are altered to make her topless. Some of the photos show other women, pretending to be her, she claimed.
They photoshopped one of my bikini pictures, she said. They photoshopped the top off.
The Miami teen, who now regrets her deed, said she is partially responsible for what happened since she is the one who took the pictures.
If I could go back in time, I would have listened to my parents, stayed off the Internet, stayed off my phone, and only used it for emergencies, she told ABC News.
Varona's father, Juan Varona, said he was disappointed with his daughter, but he was also angry at the people who were responsible for spreading the photos.
I would rather have her not put it up, but it's a bathing suit picture. None of her pictures are any worse than you would see in Victoria Secret, he said.
According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, every one in five teenage girls sends nude or semi-nude photos of themselves via phone or posts them online.
Watch Angie Varona's interview with ABC News below: