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'Mad Men' gets well-timed PR from leaked Christina Hendricks photos

March 5, 2012 |  5:27 pm

The case of the sexy photos filched from Christina Hendricks' cellphone is causing concerned citizens to ask: What is the deal with celebrities and racy snapshots?

In any case, the PR surrounding the alleged hacking is providing an excellent PR boost for the Season 5 premiere of "Mad Men," coming later this month to a TV near you.

The story, as we know it so far: Shortly after a series of suggestive photos cropped up on the Internet, Hendricks' rep said the images had been hacked from a phone belonging to the red-haired actress, who plays the saucy and amply endowed Joan on the AMC hit about the 1960s ad business. One shot is supposedly of Hendricks' breasts, while the others show her posing in lingerie and other skimpy attire.

"Christina's phone was in fact hacked and photos were stolen. The proper authorities have been contacted in hopes of rectifying this unfortunate situation," the rep emailed Show Tracker. She added that the topless photo - which has no face visible - "is fake and not an image of Christina." The other photos, presumably, are real.

Assuming one accepts that explanation - and indeed, it does seem odd that the only topless shot in the bunch would be conveniently missing identifying details - there are still plenty of questions to be asked. For whom were these photos intended? Hendricks, 36, is married to actor Geoffrey Arend. Was it coincidental that they surfaced around the same time as supposedly purloined photos of "Iron Man 2" costar Olivia Munn?

And above all, why do celebrities take naughty pictures of themselves with cellphones? Hendricks is just the latest star to partake, after widely reported scandals involving Scarlett Johansson and Vanessa Hudgens. Does it never occur to famous people that after-hours images of themselves could wind up being published everywhere - or is that the whole point?

In any case, we have it on good authority that this little bout of indiscretion had nothing - nothing! - to do with the March 25 rollout of Season 5 of "Mad Men."

Set your DVRs!

What do you think of the photo controversy? Why do celebs take these pictures? And do you  believe Hendricks' rep that the nude photo is a fake?


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Photo: Christina Hendricks (with "Mad Men" creator Matt Weiner) is at the center of a photo controversy. Credit: Danny Moloshok/Associated Press.