Emma Watson has revealed she was left “raging” after hackers said they would leak nude photos of her she knew did not exist.
The actress was speaking as she urged more men and boys to take a stand for women’s rights and be proud to be feminists.
The UN Ambassador for Women said she was targeted by a hoax website after a speech she gave about gender equality.
The 24-year-old said: “After I gave my speech [at the UN] there was a website threatening to release naked pictures of me.
“I knew it was a hoax, I knew the pictures didn’t exist, but I think a lot of people that were close to me knew gender equality was an issue but didn’t think it was that urgent, that it was a thing of the past.
“And then when they saw that the minute I stood up talking about women’s rights I was immediately threatened, I think they were really shocked, my brother was particularly upset.
“This is a real thing that’s happening now, women are receiving threats.
“I was raging, it made me so angry, I was like, this is why I have to be doing this. If anything, if they were trying to put me off it, it did the opposite.”
Last September a web page entitled Emma You Are Next, featuring an image of the Harry Potter star next to a countdown clock, appeared to have been created by a user of image-sharing website 4chan, on which lewd photos of celebrities including actress Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton were posted.
Watson was speaking at Facebook’s headquarters in London to mark International Women’s Day where she was promoting her HeForShe campaign which encourages men and boys to join the fight for equal rights.
So far around 240,000 men have pledged their commitment online, according to the HeForShe website, including US President Barack Obama and actor Matt Damon, but there is a target to mobilise one billion men and boys by July this year.
“There has been a ground swell of support but we need more men to take a stand for gender equality,” Watson told the panel.
“Men often think that feminism is a women’s word … but if you stand for gender equality, you are a feminist.”
Watson, who is to play Belle in a new live-action version of Beauty And The Beast, said the campaign was not about men saving women and also called upon women to support the campaign.