Another leaked sex tape of Blac Chyna has her lawyers and her ex-boyfriend Mechie, who appears in the tape, looking to prosecute the person who shared it.
The NSFW video was leaked via social media and became a trending topic on Monday. It shows model and former dancer Blac Chyna giving head to Mechie, her then-boyfriend. While Blac Chyna’s legal team, comprising lawyers Lisa Bloom and Walter Mosley, couldn’t prevent the video from being widely shared and discussed, they were able to get accounts that reposted the video suspended.
As Complex reports, while Twitter users laughed or shrugged off the violation of Blac Chyna and Mechie’s privacy (Mechie denies leaking the tape, according to TMZ, while Blac Chyna has yet to issue a statement), the two lawyers rose to their controversial clients’ defense.
Blac Chyna’s lawyer, the famed attorney Lisa Bloom, posted a series of tweets on Monday defending her client and pointing out that the video people were gleefully retweeting and responding to on Twitter was, in fact, a criminal act—and one with serious consequences.
“Revenge porn—posting explicit images without the consent of everyone in those images—is a crime, a civil wrong, and a form of domestic abuse,” Bloom wrote. “It’s also a way to try to slut shame women for being sexual. Girls have killed themselves over revenge porn. It’s not a joke.”
Bloom also succinctly explained how consent applies to videos and photos taken.
“Whether a woman knows she’s being recorded is not the issue. Whether she consented to posting is,” Bloom wrote, alluding to the argument that because Blac Chyna knew she was being recorded, she deserved—or at the very least had no real right to protest—the consequences.
“Our bodies, our choice, each and every time,” Bloom added.
Bloom’s point isn’t a particularly hard one to grasp—it’s just one people are likely to write off depending on how much respect they have for Blac Chyna. Because, of course, issues of consent should hinge on how likable a person is.
To say that Blac Chyna is a polarizing figure is to put it mildly. She’s been alternately praised and dragged for employing many of the same tactics as the Kardashians in a grab for fame. Like the Kardashian women, Blac Chyna has appeared all too happy to commodify her body in the pursuit of notoriety and fortune. To some, this justifies heinous invasions of her privacy—during their particularly messy breakup last year, Rob Kardashian posted naked pictures of Blac Chyna, the mother of his child, as well as a video of her making out with Mechie.
The line of thinking, if it can be called that, is that anyone who consents to sharing her body and her life with the world cannot then close the binds when she chooses. In this way, laypeople practice a sick sense of ownership and entitlement over bodies that are not theirs: Someone who thirsts so baldly for the public eye has no right to protest it.
We see this in the reaction to Blac Chyna’s video: If her consent came up, it was largely a secondary concern. Twitter users immediately dissected the video—assessing its validity, speculating as to who the partner could be and evaluating the merits of Blac Chyna’s head game.
Blac Chyna may not have a defensible personality or intentions; she may not have much in the way of virtue (this is all guesswork—I don’t know the woman). But that has nothing to do with consent.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this post referred to the Kardashians as Blac Chyna’s in-laws. While she and Rob Kardashian lived together and had a child, the two were never married.