S.C. Mayor Tiffany Ownbey Was A Victim Of Revenge Porn — Here’s How She’s Fighting Back

Photo: Anderson Independent Mail/Imagn.
Tiffany Ownbey, the mayor of Belton, South Carolina, made a vow on Thursday morning to “fight back” after alleging she is a victim of revenge porn.
According to the mayor’s attorney, the 34-year-old Ownbey was in a relationship with a man who threatened to publicly disseminate a filmed sexual encounter between the two if she broke up with him. Filmed without Ownbey’s consent or knowledge, the encounter happened years before she was elected mayor. Since her November 2019 election — and  after years without contact between Ownbey and the man in the video — the mayor’s lawyer says that she began to hear rumors that he was planning to release the footage, followed by outright threats. Now, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is investigating the case.
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“Tiffany immediately requested a SLED investigation, even though she knew that such an investigation would subject her to a great deal of adverse publicity,” her lawyer, Druanne White, said in a statement.“She refused to tacitly condone the man's repugnant behavior by remaining silent.”
Ownbey — who is the first woman mayor in Belton — says she will not stand down or be intimidated by a sexual predator and will continue to fight against this kind of behavior, and has issued her own statement on Facebook
“If YOU have been a victim of or threatened with blackmail and ‘revenge porn,’ don’t remain silent. You are not alone, it’s time [South Carolina] steps up like other states and makes this a law with tough penalties. Put an end to victim shaming, this is why women don’t come forward when bullied like this!”
Ownbey’s statement comes on the heels of being victim-shamed, after the video in question was posted to social media. But, despite being upset at the public’s reaction, she is refusing to be silenced. “I would like to remind you all that I am STILL the Mayor of Belton, SC, but I am also the mother of young children,” she wrote on Facebook. “I would encourage you to please show my family as well as my children the respect and privacy that you would seek at this time.”
Although investigators have not yet named a suspect, Ownbey’s vow to continue battling against intimidation and online abuse for women includes a plan to promote new legislation in her state.
“It is time for South Carolina to enact legislation to protect women from this kind of sexual predatory behavior. Tiffany plans to lead the charge," White said. “She wants to make sure that there are adverse consequences for those who secretly record a sexual interlude and then use it as revenge porn. She does not want other women to be victimized in this manner.”
Refinery29 has reached out to Tiffany Ownbey's attorneys for comment. We will update this story as we know more.

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