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Madison Beer says leaked nudes left her suicidal aged 16

‘I got an anonymous text, literally like I was in f****** Pretty Little Liars, that was a picture of a computer screen with 50 videos on it.’

Meg Warren-Lister
Wednesday 19 April 2023 14:44 BST
(Getty Images for Fenty Beauty & )

Madison Beer has said that being blackmailed with leaked nudes left her contemplating suicide, and caused her to suffer PTSD and paranoia.

The model and singer shot to fame in 2012, when pop star Justin Bieber posted a link to one of her covers on Youtube. She is set to release her “tell-all” memoir, The Half of It, next week.

Beer made the disclosure in the latest episode of Call Her Daddy, hosted by Alex Cooper, as the pair discussed slut-shaming, “endless sexualisation”, red flags, abandonment issues, and the impact of abusive comments on socials.

The 23-year-old revealed she had contemplated suicide twice because of the deterioration in her mental health as a result of the leaked nudes: “I felt that everyone on the f****** face of this earth would [rather] me dead.”

The videos, which she said were sent to someone close to her on Snapchat over a period of years, were published on the internet without her consent, leaving her feeling powerless and ashamed.

Two weeks after the initial leak, she claims she was blackmailed. “I got an anonymous text, literally like I was in f****** Pretty Little Liars, that was a picture of a computer screen with 50 videos on it.”

Despite feeling paranoid about how the content had been obtained, Beer told Cooper: “For anyone who’s like ‘that’s a lot of videos,’ I was a young horny kid [who] sent videos to a guy that I liked and I’m not going to let anyone shame me for it.”

Beer revealed that she struggled to cope in the aftermath, and initially blamed herself. “The adults around me were telling me this was ‘bad’, and it was going to ‘ruin’ my career.” It took her a while to fully comprehend what had happened: “I didn’t realise until years later that I was the victim,” she explained.

“The most difficult part was knowing in my bones that it wasn’t me that was at fault – that it was the boy who betrayed my trust that was at fault, but that was also me learning very quickly that men and women get treated very differently.”

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After the first video was released when she was 15, Beer was desperate to control its spread and obsessively searched her name on Twitter. “Every dollar I’d earned up until this point, I then spent on clearing this and scrubbing it from the internet,” she said.

Beer explained that this included trawling through websites and forums herself to find links, which she would send to her hired “web sheriff”, for removal.

Madison Beer with Rihanna in 2022 (Getty Images for Fenty Beauty & )

On one occasion, she came across footage of a grown man having “aggressive sex” with a sex doll while watching a video of Beer, who was as young as 13 in some of the leaked content.

Beer said this secondary violation reminded her of being sexually abused as a child. “That image will never leave my head – I felt so disturbed by it.”

The singer told Cooper that her resultant PTSD continues to impact her professional life. Even the blackouts after each song on her tour-set can be overwhelming. “I can just get lost in it, sometimes I’ll feel like I’m in the place that I was abused,” she explained.

Beer said that she feels she has now been able to move past the point where she blamed herself for what happened.

“Just because you’re able to talk about it and hopefully help other people doesn’t mean that anyone nor myself should have gone through these things,” she added.

The “Blackmailed with my Nudes” episode of the Call Her Daddy podcast is available on all streaming platforms.

If you are experiencing feelings of distress, or are struggling to cope, you can speak to the Samaritans, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.

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