When nude pics of Scarlett Johansson hit the Web this week, the actress and her team quickly worked to make sure that they were taken down from any sites that had published them.
The man behind one of those sites, Nik Richie of TheDirty.com, told E! News that he felt bad for the actress when the shots hit the Net. "I usually never remove images I get from hackers or third parties," he explained. "When you're a public figure, you're looking for attention as far as press and media. But in Scarlett's case, I felt for her."
The photos include one featuring Johansson topless and another of her nude backside.
"In this case, Scarlett Johansson's images were definitely an exception. I actually felt bad," Richie said, adding, "These images were a little more personal and private. Scarlett doesn't need to leak photos, she's pretty established. So this wasn't a press play. This was someone hacking into her phone, stealing her text messages and leaking them onto the Internet."
Richie said it wasn't so much the fear of legal action from Johansson's team that prompted his decision. In fact, in his line of work, cease-and-desist letters are standard business. "When I got the cease-and-desist from [Johansson's attorney] Marty Singer, I wasn't really afraid. I've gotten cease-and-desists from him before previously with other celebrities," he said.
"It wasn't Marty that motivated me to take things off the TheDirty.com. It was the more I looked at the images, I really thought they were hacked," he continued. "I really felt bad for Scarlett Johansson in the situation, so I thought, 'Let's take them down, let me be the bigger person for once.' "
Johansson is reportedly working with the FBI to investigate who hacked her phone and released the photos. Fox News reported that the actress had actually been interviewed by the FBI months ago in connection with the stolen photos. A number of other celebrities have allegedly also been affected by the hacker, including Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez.
Photos stolen from Mila Kunis that feature Justin Timberlake are also reportedly floating around. However, that reportedly didn't stop Timberlake from hanging out with his former "What Goes Around" video co-star Johansson in New York. "They were dancing and talking to each other all night like old friends," a source tells Life & Style. "People were surprised that she showed up with him, but they both seemed happy to see each other."
The friends were reportedly seen hanging out at New York City hotspot 1Oak on early Thursday morning. "He was all smiles with her. Scarlett and Justin left together with two of his friends around 5 a.m. and hopped into a black SUV," the source added. "You can tell the two are great friends and had a blast together. Scarlett seemed really into him, but he didn't seem interested because of Jessica Biel. It was like he just considers it a friendship."