LOS ANGELES-Movie stars Emma Watson and Amanda Seyfried launched legal action after private pictures were stolen and posted online, while Mischa Barton spoke of her anguish over a leaked tape.

Watson’s publicist said her stolen pictures were taken during a fitting she had with a stylist “a couple of years ago,” without offering further details about the circumstances of the shoot or how the images had ended up in the wrong hands.

“They are not nude photographs. Lawyers have been instructed and we are not commenting further,” he told AFP.

Media reports said the pictures had been shared on the so-called “dark web” - an encrypted part of the internet not easily accessible by users lacking specialist knowledge.

Later on Wednesday, Amanda Seyfried’s legal team said it is pursuing a website that had posted her photos, the celebrity gossip portal TMZ reported.

TMZ posted what it described as a threatening letter from the actress’s lawyer to Celeb Jihad, demanding it immediately take down the images. It was not immediately clear if the pictures, which remained available on the site early afternoon Los Angeles time, were obtained in an attack linked to the Watson theft.

Meanwhile, Barton told a news conference on the outskirts of Los Angeles she was taking action to stop the potential sale of a tape made against her will in a so-called “revenge” case.  Barton told reporters she had obtained a restraining order, and that cease-and-desist letters had been sent to those believed to be trying to buy or sell the images.

“I just want to say that I have been put through an incredibly hard and trying time,” said the 31-year-old actress best known for her starring role on the Fox series “The OC.”  Reading from a prepared statement, she said her worst fears were realized when she learned that someone she had loved and trusted had been filming her “most private moments” with hidden cameras. “I came forward to fight this, not only for myself but for all the women out there,” she said. “I want to protect them from the pain and humiliation that I have had to go through.”