The immensely popular social networking site Facebook has come under the scanner yet again after a 17-year-old Australian girl posted naked photographs of some football stars.
The soccer crazy country is in a tizzy now, what with allegations flying thick and past, court cases, press conferences, tweets and reams of newspaper analyses.
AdvertisementThe teenager posted naked photographs of St Kilda Australian Football League (AFL) captain Nick Riewoldt, Zac Dawson and Nick Dal Santo on her Facebook site on Monday, claiming she had taken the snaps while with the players in a Melbourne hotel room.
The girl says she has made the photographs public to take revenge on the St Kilda club, the players involved and the AFL because they failed to treat properly her claims she became pregnant to a St Kilda player.
Actually she had made complaints against two AFL players, but an AFL investigation found the players had not acted inappropriately and no charges were laid.
Now she is having her revenge. By mid-afternoon yesterday, she was boasting of the 29 radio and four TV interviews she had done and teasing thousands of followers with a threat to publish more pictures
She told a radio interview, "The way I was treated after everything that happened was just not right. I was offered money, I was told to like from an AFL manager I was told to shut the f***k up and that I'm a slut....Like, I was told so many things that just wasn't right. The police overlooked it, like it just ethically wasn't right."
In a video, streamed from her holiday accommodation on the Gold Coast, the girl lashes out at the stars.
"I know a lot of people think that AFL players are great role models but in reality once you get to know them it's just so much different to what you'd imagine. Some of the things they get up to it's just ridiculous," she said.
"What I'm trying to say is that I think girls should stand up more to football players.
"They are hot, they are famous, they do have money.l I don't know, I guess that's what turned me on when I first met them. But basically to all the girls ou there, I'm saying, unless you've been in a world like that before, I'm saying do not get involved with them, honestly."
Riewoldt has angrily denied having met her, saying the pictures were taken by fellow player Sam Gilbert 12 months ago in a Miami hotel room.
Gilbert says the girl lifted the photographs from his computer without his knowledge.
Riewoldt's manager, Ricky Nixon, alleged in his affidavit that the teenager fronted his office on September 6 and said she had stolen naked photographs of Riewoldt with Dawson, and another of Nick Dal Santo, from Gilbert's laptop.
She later offered him the Riewoldt shot in exchange for $20,000, he said.
In his affidavit, Gilbert says he took the photographs on the September 2009 trip and kept them on his laptop, and the shots were taken without his knowledge when the teenager and her friend used his laptop in February this year.
In a webcast on video upload site Ustream, the girl appeared off-camera but delivered her message by reading song lyrics she said were sent to her by an un-named fan. In part, she read:
"Tomorrow, five more photos will be seen, and at Melbourne Airport the media will await their news story.
"And now I hope you will all learn and see that I told you all not to f*** with me."
She claims to have 19 more explicit images of players from various clubs, including Sydney and Carlton. Some of the photos allegedly show players taking drugs. But the pictures never materialized, apparently following a court ban.
The charge that seems to have devastated many fans is that she was introduced to a culture of group sex by the AFL, and everyone is scrambling to contain the damage.
Chief executive Andrew Demetriou told radio 3AW today that the AFL had met with the girl at least 20 times since April, when she says she became pregnant to a St Kilda player, a pregnancy she claims she later lost.
He said the 17-year-old was a "very young girl who has obviously got some issues" and needed professional help.
"We've offered her assistance to provide counselling. We've offered support to her parents," he told radio 3AW.
"There are obviously some issues between the young girl and her family which I don't want to go into. Again I just want to repeat - we do want to continue to offer support for this young girl. I think everyone should be conscious she's a very young girl and she's got some issues that we think need some support."
Writing in The Age, Dan Silkstone commented, "The tweets reveal a person alternately scheming and naive, publicity hungry yet also dangerously exposed, spiteful but at the same time wounded.
"She has been through a tremendously traumatic experience these past few months but scarcely paints herself as a reliable narrator. She describes herself as both a liar and a vengeful one. "Ultimately it might prove to be not in the interests of neither Riewoldt and Dal Santo, the intended targets, nor of the woman."