Holly Jacobs PHOTOS: Revenge Porn Victim Changes Name after Cyber Abuse, Ex-Boyfriend Ryan Seay Posts Racy Pics Online, 'I'm Tired of Hiding'

By Danica Bellini, Mstars Reporter | May 03, 2013 03:36 PM EDT
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(Photo : Holly Jacobs) Holly Jacobs, victim of revenge porn.

Holly Jacobs was once known as Holli Thometz. But when Jacobs' ex-boyfriend Ryan Seay allegedly posted explicit, racy images of her online when they broke things off romantically a few years ago, she was faced with so much cyber abuse and shame that she decided to change her name. After years of living in torment, Jacobs now admits that she's "tired of hiding," and she's ready to take a stand. The 29-year-old Florida PhD student fell victim to a disturbing online trend known as revenge-porn, and she's finally ready to speak out.

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Jacobs started dating Seay back in 2006. The pretty brunette admits that the couple exchanged private photos with one another to "keep the intimacy alive." As Jacobs explains to the New York Observer's BetaBeat, "I completely trusted him with this material."

But then the two broke up a few years later, and that's when Jacobs' world turned upside-down.


Seay allegedly began posting nude, explicit photos and videos of Jacobs around the web - without her consent. The images soon went viral after several shady websites started featuring them. No matter how hard Jacobs worked to get them down, it wasn't enough. This sort of thing is known as revenge porn, and it's become a major problem over the past few years given that no legislation to protect victims currently exists. Except for in New Jersey, where they have something called the revenge porn law. The ruling was passed down following the tragic bullying and subsequent suicide of Rutgers University student Tyler Clemente in 2010.

In 2009, Jacobs' friend alerted her that her Facebook page had been compromised. Seay was the only other person who knew Jacobs' password. One particular video really threatened to hurt Jacobs' reputation. It was entitled "Masturbation 201 by Professor Holli Thometz" - Jacobs was a teaching assistant at a Florida university at the time. If students searched her name and saw the clip, she'd be ruined.

That's when Jacobs decided she'd had enough and she legally changed her name. Just last month she filed a lawsuit against her ex alleging that he distributed revenge pornography - an invasion of her privacy. It's the first revenge porn lawsuit to be filed in Florida. Jacobs hopes that her story makes a difference in the law. Jacobs explains, "I'm coming out because I'm tired of hiding. I'm tired of not knowing which name to give to who in my life. I want to live an honest life." 

In a letter written to legislators, Jacobs states:

"On behalf of all revenge-porn victims. I beg you, please give consideration to this issue and the bills that look to criminalize this act. Revenge porn is a worldwide issue and everyone is looking to Florida to do the right thing."

   Revenge Porn Complaint: Holly Jacobs vs. Ryan Seay


Jacobs has since founded the website endrevengeporn.com, where she encourages other victims to speak out and help change legislation on the cyber crime. For those interested in learning more about Jacobs' story, contact endrevengeporn@gmail.com. 

"I hope that I'll set an example and show this is how you overcome this: by coming forward," Jacobs said. "You're not exposing yourself-you're already exposed on the internet. Instead, you're exposing what is happening to you. Everybody's going to see me naked, and everybody's going to see me do things I never wanted anybody to see except the person I was with. But if it's in the name of the cause and to change the laws about this, then I'm happy to do it. We're all naked underneath our clothes." 

To read the full story on Holly Jacobs, check out the BetaBeat blog.

Here's another story about women fighting out against revenge porn.


© 2014 Mstars News, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
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