Jones’s trolls repeatedly made racist references to Harambe, the gorilla killed at the Cincinnati Zoo earlier this summer. Her hackers displayed an image of Harambe at the top of the page, according to a screenshot published by TMZ. Other screenshots show what appeared to be Jones’s phone number and Twitter password.
No one has claimed responsibility for the hack, although many of the apparently stolen and released images are now circulating on 4chan’s /pol/ boards. Those include an image of a U.S. passport and of a California drivers’ licence. The address on the license appears to match that of a recent address of the actress, according to a public records search.
A representative for Leslie Jones did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
After the reported hack, the actress’s site, justleslie.com, was removed from Jones’s Twitter bio. The site briefly defaulted to a Tumblr 404 page, but now directs visitors to a GoDaddy page for “parked” domains.
Jones spent the last several days in Rio, livetweeting the Olympics for NBC. While there, she rallied her followers in support of Gabby Douglas, the gold medal-winning gymnast who faced vicious Twitter scrutiny in Rio for everything from her facial expressions, to her hair, to her decision to stand at attention instead of placing her hand over her heart during the medal ceremonies. Douglas, like Jones, had to avoid the Internet because of the intense scrutiny she was getting online, the athlete tearfully told reporters just after finishing her performance in Rio.
As news of the hack spread, Twitter filled up with expressions of support for Jones, and frustration at the continued racism and sexism that many women of color face online. “These acts against leslie jones,” Questlove tweeted, “are sickening. its racist & sexist. it’s disgusting. this is hate crimes. this aint “kids joshing round.”
Two years ago, hackers dumped the stolen, private photos of celebrities – the vast majority of them women – onto the Internet, an incident eventually known as “Celebgate.” A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty earlier this year to a felony violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for his part in the attacks. According to the plea agreement, Ryan Collins used a simple email phishing scheme in order to access more than a hundred iCloud and gmail accounts.
This post has been updated multiple times.