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Accused celebrity hacker pleads not guilty

November 1, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Accused celebrity hacker Christopher Chaney was stoic and silent as he entered the federal building Tuesday for his first court appearance in California.

Prosecutors said the 35 year old from Florida hacked into the phones of a long list of starlets including Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Alba, Miley Cyrus, Vanessa Hudgens and Mila Kunis, whose racy pictures of Justin Timberlake surfaced online and dozens of others.

Chaney pleaded not guilty. A trial has been scheduled for Dec. 27.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Walsh denied federal prosecutors' request to remand Chaney to custody but modified his bond to $110,000. He will have to wear an electronic monitoring device upon his return to Florida.

Johansson broke her silence on the matter Tuesday, seemingly unashamed of her nude photos that have now been seen around the world, for an upcoming Vanity Fair article.

"I know my best angles," she said. "They were sent to my husband. There's nothing wrong with that. It's not like I was shooting a porno, although there's nothing wrong with that either."

Investigators said Chaney figured out his victim's passwords using public information and then created a way to forward their emails, texts, financial information and scripts to himself.

In an earlier interview, he expressed remorse and said he was glad he got caught.

"I was almost relieved months ago when they came and took the computer," Chaney said.

Chaney is charged with identity theft and illegal wire tapping among other charges.

He was visibly shaken, even crying at one point, in the courtroom Tuesday. He could face up to 121 years in prison if convicted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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