The actress, 23, who shared her topless pictures in 2019 to thwart a hacker who threatened to leak them, responded to the arrest of her alleged blackmailer on Wednesday. The Department of Justice announced that Joseph O'Connor, a 22-year-old from the UK, had been apprehended by National Police in Spain and has been charged with multiple complaints including intent to extort and cyberstalking.
"I want to thank the FBI for searching tirelessly for the person who made my life and others a living hell," Thorne wrote on Instagram.
She elaborated on why she decided to post her own nude photos in the first place, explaining that she felt she needed to take her power back.
"I have felt violated many times in my life, but I thought I didn’t have a way out, so I made a choice… A choice I didn’t want to make but felt I had to because I wouldn’t spend another day feeling someone was taking away from me my body, my soul, my mental health, and my love and hope for the world."
'I took my power back': Bella Thorne posts topless pics to thwart hacker
When learning about her suspected hacker's arrest, Thorne said she "woke up with hope again, and a weight lifted off my shoulders." But, she still has a message about the sexist response to her decision.
"For the people who think 'she deserves it' because she was there or had a beer in her hand or wore a short skirt, and for the people that think because she took the photo she deserves to be humiliated with it - and she deserves for everyone to look at it and inscribe every piece and bit of her in their mind. Or because she took the photo, she deserves that one moment to follow her, taunt her for the rest of her life through every waking moment. To those who made those remarks, they were disgusting. I hope you feel disgusting. To those few people. Sincerely (expletive) you."
'Sick and honestly disgusting': Bella Thorne criticizes Whoopi Goldberg's 'awful' views on photo scandal
In 2019, Thorne revealed that she was being threatened with her own nudes, tweeting the photos and screenshots of text messages with the alleged tormentor.
"I feel gross. I feel watched, I feel someone has taken something from me that I only wanted one special person to see," she wrote at the time, adding that she was releasing the pictures because "it's MY DECISION" and "NOW U DON'T GET TO TAKE YET ANOTHER THING FROM ME."
In response, Whoopi Goldberg criticized Thorne's nude photo scandal during a June 2019 episode of "The View."
"If you're famous, I don't care how old you are. You don't take nude pictures of yourself," Goldberg said.
"When they are hacking you, they are hacking all of your stuff. So whether it's one picture or a million pictures, once you take that picture, it goes into the cloud and it's available to any hacker who wants it and if you don't know that in 2019, that is an issue. I'm sorry. Your age does not – you don't get to do that. You don't get to do it."
An upset Thorne struck back on Instagram, accusing Goldberg of victim-blaming.
"Dear Whoopi, I have loved you for so long but honestly I'm so displeased and saddened by your response to my leak. Blaming girls for taking the photo in the first place? Is sick and honestly disgusting," she wrote in a note posted to her account.
Celebrities including Zendaya, Lily-Rose Depp, Dove Cameron and Lucy Hale offered support to Thorne.
‘She said YES’: Bella Thorne is engaged to boyfriend Benjamin Mascolo
Contributing: Andrea Mandell, Bill Keveney
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bella Thorne reacts to arrest of hacker who tried to leak nude photos