Revenge Porn Victim Holly Jacobs "Ruined My Life," Ex Says

Ryan Seay's life was turned upside down by a phone call. It was late October of last year, and the sound engineer was celebrating his 28th birthday in Sarasota. Exhausted after a day at the Ringling Museum of Art, Seay and his girlfriend fell asleep on their lumpy hotel room mattress. Then the plastic phone started shrieking.

"I'm sorry to disturb you, sir, but there is something wrong with the heat in your shower," the woman at the front desk chirped. Still groggy from his nap, Seay said not to worry about it. "It could be affecting the other rooms," the woman insisted. "We're sending someone up."

But when Seay opened the door moments later, it wasn't maintenance entering his room. It was the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

"They were clever about it," Seay says. "I'll give them that."

Sheriff's deputies served Seay with a notice to appear in court, and soon he was facing criminal charges. Four years after they had broken up, Seay's ex-girlfriend, Holly Jacobs, claimed a disgruntled Seay had spread hundreds of explicit pictures and videos of her on the internet.

Jacobs founded a nonprofit and quickly became the international face of what she called "cyber rape" or "revenge porn." The pretty, brunet 30-year-old appeared on CNN, NBC, and Fox News and penned op-ed pieces in newspapers as far-flung as England and Australia about her ordeal. At her urging, California recently passed a law against revenge porn. Nearly a dozen other states including New York have moved to follow its lead.

But the straightforward story of sex and revenge got much more complicated October 3. That's when Hillsborough County prosecutors dropped all the charges against Seay because of a lack of evidence. Seay is now speaking publicly for the first time. He says Jacobs has launched a World Wide Web witch-hunt that could ensnare other innocent men like him.

"She has been bullying me for the past year," he says. "Holly is guilty of the exact same thing that she is accusing me of: taking these pics, splashing them internationally, and attaching my name to them. She has ruined my life."

But Jacobs says Seay is no victim, and the failed criminal case against him only proves her point that the nation needs to crack down on revenge porn. "Honestly, he's guilty," she says. "I just need stronger laws on the books to prove it."

There is little the two agree on. Seay and Jacobs — then named Holli Thometz — met at Hillsborough High School in Tampa. They began dating in 2005 after Jacobs returned from college. When Jacobs moved to Florida International University in Miami for graduate school, they dated long-distance, often swapping sexual photos and videos on the internet.

But the relationship was on-and-off. "We would date for three or four weeks exclusively; then we'd see someone else," Seay says. "But we always stupidly came back to what was comfortable to us."

They finally broke up for good in late 2008 when Jacobs began dating a German guy, Seay says, adding the split was amicable. "There was no problem at all," he says. "We talked on the phone once a week. I gave her relationship advice."

Everything changed New Year's Day 2009, however. That's when a friend called to say Jacobs' Facebook account had been hacked. "You need to get on Facebook right away," the friend told her. "Somebody has changed your profile pic to a nude photo of you."

But when Jacobs called Seay, he claimed that he too had been victimized. "He was the only one with those photos," Jacobs says. "I think he was pretending to go through the same thing so we would reconnect again on some level."

Seay tells another story. His email account had also been hacked, he says, and he wondered if it wasn't one of Jacobs' other flings. "At no point during that conversation did she accuse me of being the one to release these pictures," he says. "In fact, she even apologized to me that I was wrapped up in it." He says they remained in touch for several months until Jacobs suddenly stopped answering his emails. Then, in August, Seay received a letter from Jacobs' attorney saying that more nude pictures of her had appeared on several websites and demanding that Seay take them down.

Seay insists he never posted the pics on the internet but agreed to try to get them removed anyway. Each success, however, just made it appear as if he were the one behind the revenge porn.

("If that's what he truly did, then it was a stupid move," Jacobs says. "His defense... is about as convincing as somebody in grade school saying that their dog ate their homework.")

When more material popped up months later — including a video titled "Masturbation 201 by Professor Holli Thometz" that was sent to her fellow students at FIU — Jacobs decided to file an injunction against her ex, which was soon dismissed, and the revenge porn continued appearing online. Jacobs then approached Miami-Dade detectives. But they declined to investigate her complaint because she had originally agreed to take the photos.

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27 comments
Jelzmar
Jelzmar

" But she does have some barbed words for the man she still believes ruined her life with revenge porn: "If he just said, 'I didn't do it,' people would still blame him. But if he says, 'I'm a victim too,' then people start to wonder." "


Wow. If nothing else would have made me believe she was the one behind it . . . that statement sure did. It acknowledges that men don't actually have to do anything wrong (a woman just needs to say he does) for them to be perceived as the guilty party . . .  and their lives to be ruined. 

eahollin
eahollin

She shouldn't be championing the cause of 'Revenge Porn', she should use her story as an example to young women not to send nude pictures to boyfriends. Ruining someone else's life for your own cause is your own kind of revenge (Also, have you seen that she's written some books? Seems fishy that she used the publicity for this to catapult her writing career?). I'm sorry, but for her to be so set that he did this is ridiculous! I can't say for sure if my credit card is stolen that it was the waitress that had it for 5 minutes or someone hacked one of the online vendors I use, so how, when you sent the pics through the internet via email can you say it was for sure him that sent them out? Email can be hacked, we all know this, it is common knowledge. Give me a break, she just wanted attention!!

cyber_ninj4
cyber_ninj4

"cyber rape" are we really going to coin that phrase? She had naked material distributed on the internet and she was "raped".

I'm inclined to believe the man in this case simply because of the amount of "he has a penis, clearly he's guilty" that has gone on in this story. The woman's theory of using this crisis as a way to get back into her life is 50 shades of retarded. There are waaay easier ways to try to reconnect with an ex other than ruining their life. By that logic he should have run over her dog so they'd have a "shared" experience. And then after profusely apologizing he takes her out to dinner where he pops the question. 


If you want to make sure 100% that naked pictures and porno videos of your genitals DON'T appear on websites...don't email them to people!

bent1
bent1

i followed this story and there are a few facts that need to be aired.  Without Holli Jacobs/Thometz making all of this noise, very few people would have seen her naked.  Now admittedly, we all have.  Regardless of her intent, her public shame, mass public shame, is on her.  Two, in order to save her name in Google searches she has flooded the Web with pics of herself.  Most are vacation shots, some are her drinking, but most appeared to be her with numerous men.  Nothing wrong with that really, but it doesn't look good.  I can Google myself and not one picture of me appeared, Google her and there are hundred of pages.  Finally, simple fact, only one person is responsible for disributing naked pics of Holli Thometz, and that is the original, Holli Thometz.  Interesting update on the dropped charges, and the Guys side of the story.

bent1
bent1

i followed this story and there are a few facts that need to be aired.  Without Holli Jacobs/Thometz making all of this noise, very few people would have seen her naked.  Now admittedly, we all have.  Regardless of her intent, her public shame, mass public shame, is on her.  Two, in order to save her name in Google searches she has flooded the Web with pics of herself.  Most are vacation shots, some are her drinking, but most appeared to be her with numerous men.  Nothing wrong with that really, but it doesn't look good.  I can Google myself and not one picture of me appeared, Google her and there are hundred of pages.  Finally, simple fact, only one person is responsible for distributing naked pics of Holli Thometz, and that is the originator, Holli Thometz.  Interesting update on the dropped charges, and the Guys side of the story.

NorthoftheBorder Gold
NorthoftheBorder Gold

Stupid girl should not have sent the photos. Easy as that. He is most likely innocent but because he is male he is a horrible person and deserves execution.

Sha Almont
Sha Almont

If you give anyone naked pictures you deserve to be exposed....... live in the moment stop with this internet social media bullshit and be real people for once.

Garry Harrington
Garry Harrington

They both got what they deserved. Bottom line: Don't provide nude photos of yourself to anyone ever.

Lenny Lebowitz
Lenny Lebowitz

Honey if you let me take pics of you naked or you give me naked pics of yourself they are then my pics to do with as i wish ,, why are you so stupid to let my have naked pics of you in the first place

Erik Vairo
Erik Vairo

What makes it clear that she's lying is how hard she's trying to get her face and word out throughout not just her state, not just her country, but the WORLD, at the expense of ruining a mans life. She claims her life had been ruined but with the amount of exposure she's getting and what's been detailed in this article it's obvious that the opposite is taking place. She's trying to invent new laws to conveniently justify her claims, even when there's no direct evidence linking Seay to the leak. Seay got off on a reasonable and logical technicality and everybody is still giving him a hard time and Jacobs is still parading around the globe with her overdramatized story of "cyber rape". Who's the REAL victim here?

Danny Cespedes
Danny Cespedes

There's plenty of more women like her in Miami. Not victims, but wanting to humiliate and ruin someone's life because they feel like it.

Najsoj Osnola
Najsoj Osnola

"I had detectives making leaps of judgment against me over technical internet issues that they didn't even understand... Not one person even asked for my laptop!" (that is a statement from the guy)

Trish Shearer
Trish Shearer

No winners. Moral of the story: don't send naked pictures of yourself to anyone. It really isn't rocket science.

Turo Olvera
Turo Olvera

So since there was no evidence found they need to be more laws to accommodate her needs?

Najsoj Osnola
Najsoj Osnola

"Honestly, he's guilty," she says. "I just need stronger laws on the books to prove it." (that is a direct quote from the girl)

Najsoj Osnola
Najsoj Osnola

i read the story and that woman is a psycho ass liar.

JohnnySwift
JohnnySwift

Holly Jacobs needs to be beaten and raped to death in my opinion.  she is a piece of garbage and a liar.

ladywyntre
ladywyntre

@bent1 I don't know the truth, but what I think you're missing is that she was teaching at a University and the pictures were sent to her *students*.  The worst damage she could experience was done at that point.  Public shame isn't as bad as thorough shaming throughout your private life, including work.

writegraphics
writegraphics

We dont need more laws to defend woman who are sluts and stuff by taking nude photos and sending them to people.


If anything we need LESS laws because it should teach them a lesson.

ladywyntre
ladywyntre

@JohnnySwift  Even if she *is* a liar, which we don't and can't know, nobody deserves your bullying, misogynistic garbage.  You are scum.  You are evil, evil scum.  Get off the Internet, go look in a mirror, and ask yourself if you have a shred of human decency. Your comment is disgusting.

 
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