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Stephen Bear made £22k from revenge porn video, court hears

Stephen Bear made a profit of £22,305 from the revenge pornography video posted online that resulted in his prison sentence. 

The 2016 Celebrity Big Brother winner was posing as a "billionaire" on his Twitter and YouTube accounts but was "in fact heavily overdrawn", Chelmsford Crown Court heard on Friday.

The 34-year-old was jailed for 10 and a half months in March last year for posting a private film of him having sex with his ex-girlfriend, The Only Way Is Essex star Georgia Harrison on the subscription website OnlyFans.

Bear was found guilty of voyeurism and of two counts of disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress.

He was released from HMP Brixton in south London earlier this month.

Prosecutor Andrew Bousfield told the court that "despite pretending to be a billionaire, his most valuable asset at the time was selling sexual videos".

The court heard that Bear's OnlyFans subscriber count jumped 43% as a result of the video, from 1,061 when it was uploaded on 8 November 2020 to 1,883 by the time his OnlyFans account was deactivated on 8 December.

The CCTV footage of Bear and Harrison having sex in a garden in August 2020 was available to subscribers who paid $9.99 (£7.84) a month to access his profile @hollywoodbear.

But after the footage started to "go viral" and Ms Harrison became aware of it, Bear appeared to change the subscription fee - adjusting it to range from $7.50 (£5.89) to $50 (£39.28).

A total of 273 subscribers purchased the video, earning Bear £1,650.98 after the standard 20% cut to OnlyFans.

Through extra subscribers drawn in by the video, he was found to have earned £15,440.28, on top of the £1,650.98 earned through the video paywall, Essex Police financial investigator Laura Mackenzie told the court.

Calculations on how much Bear earned from the video were debated during the hearing, and the judge noted that this was troubled by the convicted sex offender refusing to take the stand and provide evidence.

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Judge Christopher Morgan accepted Ms Mackenzie's valuation of his profits, and acknowledged it was difficult to deduce precisely what each new subscriber sought when they joined his account after the video's release.

The court has not been able to contact Ms Harrison because she is currently in South Africa on this year's Love Island: All Stars, where former contestants return to the show.

The hearing has been adjourned to 4 March after the show has finished.