© VRT - Joost Joossen

Photos of naked Flemish celebs: “It’s nobody’s business.”

In recent days pictures of Flemish celebs have been circulating widely on social media in Flanders. It remains unclear how the photos were obtained. In Belgium there isn’t a problem if people take photos of themselves in the nude and send these images to others who are happy to receive them, but forwarding the photos to others without the subject’s permission is punishable by law.

The images have been on social media for a while now, on applications like WhatsApp for instance.  People wondered if they formed part of some kind of campaign e.g. about sexting, but this is not the case.  As it was a private matter VRT and many other media were reluctant to give too much prominence to the story, but now the images have even reached platforms like TikTok popular among children.

Those affected include singer Stan Van Samang and VRT DJ Peter Van de Veire, who presents shows on the MNM radio station.

Peter has called on people not to forward the images and to look at themselves in the mirror, for a long while. “What’s wrong with it? I and several other male celebs made private photos of ourselves.  Nobody knows the circumstances in which they were made.  It’s nobody’s business.”

Forwarding explicit sexual images without the subject’s authorisation can land you in a Belgian jail cell for 5 years.  Fines of up to 80,000 euros are on the cards.

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