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Lawyer says actress Mischa Barton is victim of revenge porn amid sex tape reports

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Posted at 9:02 AM, Mar 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-15 15:52:46-04

WOODLAND HILLS - Actress Mischa Barton said Wednesday she is taking action to stop the potential sale of a sex tape made against her will in a so-called "revenge porn" case.

Barton held a news conference with her attorney to announce that she has obtained a restraining order, and that cease-and-desist letters were sent to those believed to be participating in attempts to buy or sell the images.

"I just want to say that I have been put through an incredibly hard and trying time," said the 31-year-old actress best known for appearing on "The O.C." television show that aired on Fox from 2003 to 2007.

"This is a painful situation, and my absolute worst fear was realized when I learned that someone I thought I loved and trusted was filming my most intimate and private moments without my consent, with hidden cameras," she said, reading from a prepared statement.

"And then I learned something even worse, that someone is trying to sell these videos and make them public," Barton said. "I came forward to fight this, not only for myself but for all the women out there. I want to protect them from the pain and humiliation that I have had to go through."

Barton's lawyer, Lisa Bloom, said someone the actress once dated is shopping the tape for a half-million dollars. She called it a form of sexual assault and said anyone who buys the tape could be prosecuted.

Watch the Facebook Live of the news conference:

"There's a name for this disgusting conduct: revenge pornography," Bloom said. "Revenge pornography is a form of sexual assault, and it is also a crime and a civil wrong in California. And we will not stand for it."

Bloom said the images were recorded sometime in the last year, but she refused to identify the ex-boyfriend, citing an ongoing police investigation.

Various media outlets reported in recent days about the existence of the tape, with a broker telling the Daily Mail it features the actress taking part in various sex acts with an unidentified man while wearing a black hoodie. The broker said the tape was being shopped to various pornographic websites, with an asking price of $500,000.

Bloom said Barton "is courageously standing up for her rights" in fighting the release of any such images.

"I have a message for anyone who attempts to traffic in these photos or videos of Ms. Barton: We will find you, and we will come after you," Bloom said. "We will fully prosecute you under every available criminal and civil law."

Barton made headlines in January when she was caught on video yelling at a neighbor while hanging over her backyard fence. Barton told People magazine later that she had been given a date-rape drug the night before, something she discovered when she checked into a hospital.

"This is a lesson to all young women out there, be aware of your surroundings," she told People.