An Italian Woman Committed Suicide After Her Sex Tape Went Viral
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A Italian woman, Tiziana Cantone, took her own life following months of public shaming after a video of her having sex went viral.
The 31-year old was found hanged at her aunt’s home in Mugnano, near Naples, on Tuesday.
According to BBC, Cantone sent the video of her having sex with a male partner to her ex-boyfriend and three other men, who posted it online. It was viewed more than a million times, forcing Cantone to quit her job and move to Tuscany to escape public ridicule. At the time of her death, Cantone was in the process of legally changing her name.
The phrase “Mi stai facendo il video? Bravo,” or, “You’re recording? Good,” which Cantone said in the beginning of the video, became a national joke and popular Internet meme—it was emblazoned on everything from T-shirts to phone cases.
Before her death, Cantone battled in court to have the video removed from the Internet. Though she won the case in a “right to be forgotten” ruling—the video was deleted from search engines and major sites like Facebook—she was ordered to pay 20,000 euros (about $22,500) in legal fees, a move that local press called the “final insult.”
At Cantone’s funeral, which was broadcast live on television, her mother told the crowd gathered that her daughter was a “very good girl.”
Cantone’s legal case and death has prompted worldwide discussion of the ramifications of public shaming.
“As a government, there’s not a lot that we can do,” Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said. “It’s mainly a cultural battle—also a social and political battle. Our commitment is try to do everything we can. … Violence against women is not an ineradicable phenomenon.”
The men who initially posted the video online are currently under investigation for defamation.