By Alexis Tereszcuk – Radar Entertainment Editor
The cyber criminal suspected of hacking into the e-mails and cell phones of dozens of Hollywood stars pleaded guilty to nine felonies on Monday.
Christopher Chaney appeared in a Los Angeles court and pleaded guilty to identity theft, wire tapping and unauthorized access to a computer stemming from when he hacked into the e-mail accounts of celebrities such as Christina Aguilera, Mila Kunis and Scarlett Johansson, whose nude photos eventually landed on the Internet.
Chaney, 35, expressed regret for his actions in an interview, saying: “I deeply apologize, I know what I did and that it was wrong. I just have to face that and deal with it and go forward.”
Chaney was arrested in October as part of a yearlong investigation into celebrity hacking that authorities dubbed “Operation Hackerazzi.”
Prosecutors said Chaney hacked into the e-mail accounts of more than 50 people in the entertainment industry, including Aguilera and Johansson. Nude photos Johansson had taken of herself were later posted on the Internet. Aguilera also had private photos put online, court documents show.
Johansson told Vanity Fair that the photos were meant for Ryan Reynolds, her husband at the time.
Chaney mined through publicly available data to figure out password and security questions for celebrity accounts. He hijacked a forwarding feature so that a copy of every e-mail a celebrity received was sent to an account he controlled, according to court documents.
He was immediately taken into custody and will be sentenced in July. Chaney faces up to 60 years in prison.