Madison Beer opens up about her trauma after private photos from when she was 14 were leaked

Editor’s Note: This article contains mentions of suicide. Please take care while reading, and note the helpful resources at the end of this story.

Singer Madison Beer talked about a terrifying experience she had with Snapchat on a recent episode of the Call Her Daddy podcast, which opened up a conversation about privacy while being in the public eye.

In the April 19 episode, Beer revisited one of her first scandals early on in her career when she was only 15 years old. At the time, in 2014, Beer’s singing career was just taking off after having one of her cover videos shared by Justin Bieber.

According to Beer, she was Snapchatting with a crush from her hometown and sent him videos that she assumed would be deleted after he saw them. What she didn’t know was that the boy was allegedly using an app called Snapsave which automatically downloads videos and photos sent over Snapchat onto the person’s phone.

As Beer started to find more success, she claimed the boy leaked the private videos and photos. In an August 2020 post for International Women’s Day, Beer wrote, “when i was around 14 and exploring my body & sexuality, i sent very private snapchat’s of my body to a boy i really liked at the time. i sent these, at 14, thinking i could trust the boy as we had known each other for years.”

“he shared it with all of his friends,” she continued. “eventually, that video was sent and shared by everyone (it felt like) in the entire world.”

Beer told podcast host Alex Cooper that she saw the video popping up on platforms like Twitter and Vine. She claimed she tried to contact the boy but found out she was blocked.

She told Cooper that she had attempted to commit suicide twice following the leak. She was only 13 or 14 in the videos and photos that circulated online, and the adults around her told her her career was already over.

“I just [felt] powerless in the moment,” she said on Call Her Daddy. “I’m just sitting and typing my name in quotation marks on Twitter to see everything that people are saying about me.”


Madison Beer talks about her explicit content leaking as a minor. Watch the full episode now only on spotify

♬ original sound – Call Her Daddy

A lot of the time there’s a “sext abstinence” stance taken when it comes to sending and receiving private photos and videos, especially when it comes to female celebrities having their personal, explicit photos leaked to the public.

“It simply doesn’t work anymore to say, ‘If you don’t want it exposed, don’t do it in the first place,'” Forbes wrote in 2014. “We need better nude photo [operational security], not shaming of people who get exposed.”

Beer told Cooper that the trauma of dealing with the situation so young was traumatizing for her. Even so early in her career, she said that every dollar she’d earned up until that point was spent on scrubbing the footage from the internet.

“I didn’t realize until years later that I was the victim in this situation,” she said.

It’s a common feeling for a lot of women in the public eye. In 2019, then-Rep. Katie Hill, D-Calif., resigned after sexual images were leaked and circulated online. As she told The New York Times: “I was overwhelmed by everything — by how many people had seen my naked body, by the comments, the articles, the millions of opinions, the texts, the calls. I would start shaking, crying, throwing up.” 

“Nudity isn’t the issue,” Charlotte Clymer wrote in response to Jennifer Lawrence’s leaked photos in 2014. “It’s consent. … Like many other women, that choice has been taken from her.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also connect with a Crisis Text Line counselor at no charge by texting the word “HOME” to 741741. Visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to learn more about the warning signs of suicidal ideation and check out The Jed Foundation’s online Mental Health Resource Center.  

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