Judith Heard

Ugandan model and activist Judith Heard has come out to say that she was arrested and shamed in the local media when nude photos of hers were published without her consent last year.

Heard who was talking to the BBC said she came under attack in the local media and online after nudes emerged. The photos, she said, were downloaded from a stolen laptop.

“I have comments on Facebook attacking me about my private parts. There is no day that I am not reminded of my private parts. And when I hear them say I leaked my pictures, it really kills me,” she said.

“I was very… worried. I didn’t want to leave my house because I was scared that I might get out and maybe be killed…I might get out and maybe get stoned,” she said.

Though she says she was charged under Anti-Pornography Act, whose jail sentence carries 10 years, heard maintains her innocence.

“Whoever is doing this has the reason why they are doing it and I would never find out why,” she says. She says the nudes were leaked without her consent.

She said the nudes published in 2018 was the second time it happened to her and that the first time it happened she wanted to commit suicide.

She is now urging Ugandan women to talk openly about sexual abuse – and to show solidarity with one another.

“We are being broken every single day and we cannot come up to talk about it,” she says.

Some time on her Instagram page she urged people to face fears instead of running away from them.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along,” she posted on Instagram.