Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Last week, Blake Lively became the latest female celeb to have naked photos from her cellphone splashed all over the Internet. Or did she? When the scandalous pics were first published, a rep for Lively, 23, claimed that the grainy iPhone pictures were "100 percent FAKE." That was before another batch of photos hit the Web -- two of them being clothed, but crystal-clear, shots of the Gossip Girl star. Now Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis is claiming that Lively leaked the photos herself.
"I would say 90 percent it's an orchestrated attempt or act on her part [to raise her profile]," the notorious Francis tells HollywoodLife.com. "I'm not sure, but my inclination is that it's coming from her."
Okay, so let's make it clear that Francis' theory seems to be complete speculation. But he believes that deliberately distributing naked photos would be "a smart move" on Lively's part.
"This will make her desirable. It's working because it's getting wide coverage. This may be what she needed to get her name out there," argues Francis. "Look, mainstream U.S.A., other than the five people that watch Gossip Girl, have never heard of Blake Lively. This will catapult her into some of the top searches on some of the Internet sites which will then trigger a dramatic jump of interest in her, and therefore catapult her career."
It's a juicy theory, and it's hard to deny that such scandals did wonders for the likes of Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson and Kim Kardashian. However, unlike these ladies, Blake Lively is already on her way to a promising entertainment career. Between her critically praised performance in The Town, and playing Ryan Reynolds' love interest in the upcoming Green Lantern, she's definitely making a move toward the big-time. And then there's her rumored romance with Leonardo DiCaprio, which is getting her plenty of tabloid press. Why jump-start your own scandal when everybody's already talking about you?
It doesn't make much sense to us, especially since the pictures -- if they are, in fact, of Lively -- look like they were taken during the filming of The Town in 2008. (A few of the pictures show tattoos that appear to match Lively's fake tattoos in the film.) Why wait three years to leak old pictures? There is, however, one thing we know for sure: The shelf life of a scandal is a heck of a lot shorter than it used to be. The photos may live forever on the Internet, but when it comes down to it, Lively's reputation will be made in the movies -- not on a hacked iPhone.