Atlanta native Charlotte Laws takes down ‘The Most Hated Man on the Internet’ in Netflix doc

Atlanta native Charlotte Laws helped take down a man who posted a nude shot of her daughter that was hacked from her email and is featured in the new Netflix documentary "The Most Hated Man on the Internet." NETFLIX

Combined ShapeCaption
Atlanta native Charlotte Laws helped take down a man who posted a nude shot of her daughter that was hacked from her email and is featured in the new Netflix documentary "The Most Hated Man on the Internet." NETFLIX

The docuseries follows the journey to seek revenge on Hunter Moore, the man behind a notorious revenge porn site.

Atlanta native and Lovett School graduate Charlotte Laws is a tenacious bulldog when she latches onto something. So when a man hacked her daughter Kayla’s email account, stole nude photos of her and posted them on a revenge porn website, Laws was apoplectic.

Not only did Laws eventually get Kayla’s photo off the web, she would take down the unrepentant Hunter Moore, who ran the revenge porn site, with help from the FBI, anti-bullying advocate James McGibney and Anonymous, a group of Robin Hood-style hackers. The story is chronicled in a new Netflix true-crime docuseries that came out last week “The Most Hated Man on the Internet.”

The lurid subject matter and the quality of the doc itself propelled it into the Netflix top 10, where it has remained for several days.

“The one thing he didn’t anticipate was that there would be somebody like Charlotte Laws,” said Camille Dodero, who wrote a 2012 Village Voice profile on Moore and later followed up with his hacking exploits, in the third episode. “He anticipated everything else, but he never expected an angry mother to be his undoing.”

Kayla added: “My mom is not a woman you wanna cross.”

In the end, the FBI indicted Moore and his partner Charlie Evans for their hacking scheme that impacted hundreds of women. He pled guilty in 2015 and went to prison for more than two years. Free since 2017, he wrote a self-published book but has otherwise kept a relatively low profile.

In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the 62-year-old Laws who now lives in Woodland Hills, California, said she was happy with the way the docuseries turned out.

“The producers did an excellent job,” she said. “I think they’ll win awards. It was very well put together. I think it tells a compelling story.”

On her own, she found 40 other victims from Moore’s site and gave her files over to the FBI, who later raided his home for technical devices and eventually arrested him.

Laws grew up in Atlanta, the adopted daughter of a wealthy family. They belonged to the ritzy Piedmont Driving Club and she became a debutante. But her mom was chronically depressed and took her own life when Laws was 16. Two years later, her brother was killed in a car accident. After some persistent digging, she later found her birth parents and now has a great relationship with them. “I have a whole family now,” she said.

In the 1980s, in her early 20s in Las Vegas, she learned how to crash parties of major celebrities and later wrote a book about it, getting massive press including interviews with Larry King and Oprah Winfrey. Her philosophy: “There’s always a way.”

And that is how she approached going after Moore, who wore his arrogance and lack of empathy for his victims on his sleeve. “I wasn’t going to be intimidated,” she said in the series.

Moore in the early 2010s created Is Anyone Up?, which became known as a “revenge porn” site. People could send nude photos and videos of exes there and he would post that info, along with their Facebook profile. But he also hired a man to hack into people’s email accounts and glean more naked photos from there.

This is what happened to Laws’ daughter. She had taken a topless photo of herself on her iPhone but didn’t do anything with it. Her phone ran out of memory so she emailed a copy to herself. Then someone hacked into her email, stealing the photos and posting them on Moore’s website.

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Californian Hunter Moore started a website www.isanyoneup.com that focused on outrageous videos and revenge porn photos and videos. But he also posted hacked nude photos and was sent to prison. NETFLIX

Credit: NETFLIX

Californian Hunter Moore started a website www.isanyoneup.com that focused on outrageous videos and revenge porn photos and videos. But he also posted hacked nude photos and was sent to prison. NETFLIX

Credit: NETFLIX

Combined ShapeCaption
Californian Hunter Moore started a website www.isanyoneup.com that focused on outrageous videos and revenge porn photos and videos. But he also posted hacked nude photos and was sent to prison. NETFLIX

Credit: NETFLIX

Credit: NETFLIX

At the time, he was happily courting media attention. He landed on Anderson Cooper’s syndicated talk show, then Dr. Drew’s talk show on HLN where Laws confronted him and he learned who she was for the first time. From there, he went after her on social media.

Laws didn’t think much of Moore himself or that he would do anything violent against her. But she did worry about his rabid fan base.

For two years, she said she was harassed. “He’d ratchet it up on social media,” she said. “There’d be all this hatred and anger and death threats.” She placed locks on her side gates and planted metal bars under her bed in case someone tried to break in. “I was worried someone would do something to our animals, our chickens and dogs,” she said.

Fortunately, she was never hurt and once he was in prison, the threats died down. His “fans” got bored and moved on and she was able to live her life again.

She lobbied states to pass legislation to punish people who post nonconsensual porn and most have done so. (She crashed political fundraisers, using her 1980s skills, to gain access to politicians.) A federal SHIELD law has not yet been passed and she hopes the docuseries might help get that law more support.

Moore at first agreed to participate in the documentary but then pulled out. The snarky end of the series noted: “We decided to use his image anyway.”

Laws said the documentary may have been different if he had cooperated and might have elevated his profile in a more positive way. So she said she’s glad he didn’t.

Her daughter Kayla is now a successful real estate agent and recently got married. She originally didn’t want to speak to the producers in the documentary herself, worried it might hurt her business, but at the last second did so and her testimony was powerful. “She gave depth and texture to the whole thing,” Laws said.

As for her own life, Laws said she is now focused more on animal rights. And she said feedback so far regarding the documentary has been almost entirely positive.

“It’s an important issue,” she said. “There are still revenge porn sites out there. Hundreds of victims are contacting me for help. I send them to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a nonprofit that helps victims get attorneys pro bono.”

WHERE TO WATCH

“The Most Hated Man on the Internet,” available on Netflix