When explicit images of this actor's penis leaked online, 'it' wrote a powerful letter.

According to Joel Dommett, he's a celebrity of "below average levels of fame." But a recent incident threatened to give him the kind of exposure nobody wants or deserves.

Photo by Matt Crockett used with permission

The comedian and actor wrote that he recently met someone online for "Skype sex," but that person turned out to be a scammer in disguise. Soon, photos and videos of Dommett from the Skype session were popping up all over the internet, to his horror.


What happened to Dommett has become a frighteningly common method for criminals to extort money from innocent people, usually men.

According to an account written for the BBC, scammers create fake profiles for attractive females and use Facebook messenger or another app to lure unsuspecting guys into video calls. There, using a combination of text-chat and what looks like a live stream of said attractive female (it's often just video downloaded from a porn site), they entice the victim into explicit acts.

They record the whole thing, and as soon as it's over, demand huge amounts of money under threat of distributing the video to friends, family, or in Dommett's case, to the media.

Dommett figured the news, and video, was bound to get out. So he did what he felt he needed to do to get ahead of the story: He wrote an open-letter from his penis.

"...There are now pictures of me, ’Joel’s part’ on the internet," the tongue-in-cheek statement began. "I was quite happy being a completely unknown penis and this new found fame is frankly horrific for me and Joel, although we have both realised that it’s better to laugh about it than cry about it."

He (it?) goes on to warn people about the serious nature of the scam.

"It's a horrific thing for another human being to do, to take advantage of what is private of someones life and make it public for everyone to see."

Read the full post here:

Statement From Joel Dommett's Penis. The following is a statement written by Joel’s Penis before it went, with Joel,...

Posted by Joel Dommett on Sunday, December 11, 2016

This may seem like a joke, but Dommett, and his penis, are right: This new breed of cybersex crime deserves to be taken incredibly seriously.

It's great to see Dommett sticking with his cheerful brand of self-deprecating humor to bring awareness to this issue, but for a lot of men in similar predicaments, the shame is too much to bear.

Many are too mortified to ask for help and end up paying exorbitant amounts of money to keep the scammers quiet. Others fare even worse. In 2013, a Scottish teenager reportedly committed suicide after criminals threatened to send explicit video of him to his family members.

Dommett wants people to know that there's no shame in asking for help if you find yourself being extorted by internet criminals. He even links to an organization that offers a friendly ear, sound advice, and total anonymity to anyone who needs it.

He may have chosen a, uh, unique way of getting his message out, but to the countless men suffering silently through a potentially life-ruining extortion, Dommett giving his penis a "voice" may have been the bravest thing he could do.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.