Mischa Barton says she felt a 'mixture of rage and fear' as a victim of revenge porn crime

Mischa Barton is opening up about what it's like to be a victim of a revenge porn crime.

Last March, the O.C. star and her attorney, Lisa Bloom, held a press conference and revealed that she had been filmed by an ex-boyfriend during private moments without her knowledge or consent, and the footage was being shopped after their split. In a new interview with Broadly's The Scarlet Letter Reports, the 32-year-old actress remembers feeling "afraid" when she learned what was going on.

"I was afraid. I was a lot of things. It was a mixture of emotions," she recalls while chatting with host Amanda Knox. "I'm sure a lot of women who go through anything similar, feel the same kind of mixture of rage and fear and uncertainty."

"I think that's what most predators are banking on," she continues. "That you'll have that shame inside and that you won't fight back. And to be honest, your head is spinning and you don't know what to do. But at the end of the day, I was raised much stronger than that."

In court documents from 2017, Barton accused Jon Zacharias of secretly filming her in intimate moments -- including having sex and being naked in the shower -- without her consent while they were together. She claimed that after their split, he attempted to sell the footage. 

Barton knew immediately that she would need to take the case to court, because if "he had done it before, he could do it again."

"And also I had no choice. He was now trying to sell it for money," Barton, who won the case in June 2017, says. "He put a half-million dollar price tag on it."

Of Zacharias' character and how she felt when she discovered he had secretly been taping her, Barton says, "I felt like he was safe. I didn't know forever until one of his friends came to me and said, 'You should be careful about him.'"

"I'd already started to sense around this time that there was a problem," she adds. "And then he started bragging about it to the wrong people who came to me. But then there was still no specific proof and you'd just hope it would disappear. Finally, it broke in the press. I woke up one day to my friend downstairs and she was like, 'Wake up. You have to get up because this is all over the press. And apparently, all these porn sites are looking to buy it.' And I was, as you can imagine, completely devastated."

Looking back on speaking out about being a victim for the first time, Barton says she was "of course" afraid to stand up for herself, especially because it was before the #MeToo and Time's Up movements began.

"It was extremely taboo," she says. "I had no idea what revenge porn was -- that was completely foreign to me... I think we're lucky to be living in a time now, finally, when we can bring the discussion of feminism back up and women's empowerment. There's strength in the discussion."

During her press conference last March, Barton said her "absolute worst fear was realized" when she learned that Zacharias had been secretly filming her without her knowledge.

"I came forward to fight this, not only for myself, but for all the women out there," she said at the time. "I want to protect them from the pain and humiliation that I have had to go through."

"No woman should have to go through this," she continued. "It is a very hard thing to do, but I am glad that I am finally standing up for myself."

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WESTWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 08: Actress Mischa Barton attends the Hammer Museum 14th Annual Gala In The Garden with generous support from Bottega Veneta at Hammer Museum on October 8, 2016 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Hammer Museum)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 06: Mischa Barton is seen on October 06, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG001/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Mischa Barton attends the Chiara Boni La Petite Robe fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Dock, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Mischa Barton is seen in Soho on September 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Actress Mischa Barton attends Nolcha Shows New York Fashion Week Women's S/S 2017 presented by InstaSleep Mint Melts at ArtBeam on September 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Nolcha)
PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 05: Mischa Barton attends the Bulgari Celebration of Magnificent Inspirations, The New High Jewellery Collection during Paris Haute Couture at the Italian Embassy on July 5, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Venturelli/Getty Images for Bvlgari)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 19: Actress Mischa Barton arrives at amfAR's 23rd Cinema Against AIDS Gala at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 19, 2016 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 28: Mischa Barton attends the Stylight Awards 2017 at Admiralspalast on June 28, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Chad Buchanan/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 17: Mischa Barton attends the De Grisogono Party during the annual 69th Cannes Film Festival at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 17, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 16: Mischa Barton attends the 'Loving' premiere during the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 16, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 17: (L to R) Siran Manoukian, Mohammed Al Turki, Toni Garrn and Mischa Barton attend the de Grisogono party during the 69th Cannes Film Festival at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 17, 2016 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 16: Mischa Barton attends the Chopard Party at the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 16: Mischa Barton is seen at Hotel Martinez during the annual 69th Cannes Film Festival at on May 16, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/GC Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 15: Mischa Barton visits the Avakian Suite during The 69th Cannes Film Festival on May 15, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Avakian)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 28: Actress Mischa Barton attends Taste for a Cure Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on April 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tara Ziemba/Getty Images)
CULVER CITY, CA - APRIL 24: Actress Mischa Barton attends Safe Kids Day at Smashbox Studios on April 24, 2016 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
DANCING WITH THE STARS - MISCHA BARTON - The stars grace the ballroom floor for the first time on live national television with their professional partners during the two-hour season premiere of 'Dancing with the Stars,' which airs MONDAY, MARCH 21 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images)'n
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 09: Actress Mischa Barton attends NYLON Magazine's Muses And Music Party at No Vacancy on February 9, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Unique Nicole/WireImage)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 09: Actress Mischa Barton attends the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival 'AMBI Gala' at the Four Seasons Hotel on September 9th, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 27: Mischa Barton attends Barneys New York Fetes Shoe Designer Gianvito Rossi at Barneys New York Beverly Hills on August 27, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Barneys New York)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 18: Mischa Barton attends the after party for a screening of Sony Pictures Classics' 'Grandma' hosted by The Cinema Society, Kate Spade and Ketel One Vodka at The Jimmy at the James Hotel on August 18, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
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