A lawyer representing Joy Reid has said the FBI is investigating claims her blog was hacked to plant homophobic content.
Reid denied writing a series of homophobic posts that were published on her now-defunct blog, The Reid Report.
In a statement to Mediaite, Reid claimed that an “external party accessed and manipulated material from [her] now-defunct blog to include offensive and hateful references.”
She went on to say that the views shared within the content do not match her own.
A representative of Reid claims a criminal investigation has been opened into whether or not her personal blog was hacked.
Reid’s lawyer, John H. Reichman, released a statement through MSNBC.
He said: “We have received confirmation the FBI has opened an investigation into potential criminal activities surrounding several online accounts, including personal email and blog accounts, belonging to Joy-Ann Reid.
“Our own investigation and monitoring of the situation will continue in parallel, and we are cooperating with law enforcement as their investigation proceeds.”
The FBI did not confirm to CNN whether an investigation had been opened or not, as is standard practice.
Reid has staunchly denied writing the statements.
“[In December], I began working with a cyber-security expert who first identified the unauthorised activity, and we notified federal law enforcement officials of the breach.
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“The manipulated material seems to be part of an effort to taint my character with false information by distorting a blog that ended a decade ago.
“Now that the site has been compromised I can state unequivocally that it does not represent the original entries.
“I hope that whoever corrupted the site recognises the pain they have caused, not just to me, but to my family and communities that I care deeply about: LGBTQ, immigrants, people of colour and other marginalised groups.”
According to numerous news outlets, the supposedly resurfaced articles — dating back over a decade — were originally shared as screenshots on Twitter by user Jason_Maz.
The social media user reportedly found them using the archiving tool Wayback Machine, which preserves cached versions of web pages from the past.
One particularly controversial post defended NBA star Tim Hardaway and his public comments about not wanting a gay teammate.
“Keeping it real…most straight men feel exactly the same way, and would have the exact same reaction to the idea of stripping naked in a sweaty locker room in close quarters with a gay teammate,” the apparently-doctored The Reid Report post read.
“Most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing… Most straight people had a hard time being convinced to watch Brokeback Mountain. (I admit that I couldn’t go see the movie either, despite my sister’s ringing endorsement, because I didn’t want to watch the two male characters having sex.) ‘Does that make me homophobic? Probably.”