The man accused of hacking into Scarlett Johansson's email says his snooping was first driven by curiosity — and then spiralled out of control.
"It turned into just being addicted," Christopher Chaney, who was arrested on federal wiretapping, identity theft and other charges, on Wednesday, told a Florida television station.
In an interview with WTEV, the CBS affiliate in Jacksonville, Fla., Chaney said that he "was almost relieved months ago" when FBI agents took his computer as part of their investigation.
He said that "I've always used computers — gaming, Facebook, things everybody uses computers for. Honestly I don't even remember how or when it started or with who it started. It just happened and snowballed."
Ultimately, the FBI says, he snuck into the email accounts of 50 celebrities. Although some photographs of a partially nude Scarlett Johansson made their way onto the internet, Chaney said that "I wasn't attempting to break into emails and get stuff to sell." Rather, he said, he was addicted "to behind-the-scenes of what was going on in these people you see on the big screen every day."
And, he noted, "these people don't have privacy to begin with, and I was in that little sliver of privacy they do have, and I've had like six months to think about it. It eats at me."
Asked by reporter Chauncy Glover what he'd like to say to people whose accounts were broken into, he said, "I deeply apologize. I know what I did was probably one of the worst invasions of privacy that someone could experience."
When he was breaking into the accounts, though, he wasn't thinking about the celebrities.
"When you're doing it, you're not thinking about what's going on with who you're doing it to," he said.
On Wednesday, a federal magistrate judge released Chaney on $10,000 unsecured bail. He has another court appearance on Friday.
And he's banned from using the internet.