A country music star arrested by police probing ‘revenge porn’ and harassment of his ex-girlfriend has said someone stole his identity to post the videos online.
hane Owens (23) is one of country music’s biggest up-and-coming stars. He first emerged as a country music talent five years ago and won awards when he was still in his teens.
However, this month he was arrested and questioned by UK police in Reading, England, on suspicion of harassment without violence and disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress to his ex-girlfriend, Jodie Lucas.
He was later released on bail while investigations continued.
Shane, whose parents are from Co Cavan, was previously based in Ireland but currently resides in Reading. Social media accounts using his name posted naked videos and pictures — which Jodie had sent him while they were dating — on various social media platforms on a number of occasions since November 2019.
One of the videos was captioned ‘The definition of a slut, hit her up for an easy lay’.
It is understood Jodie (35) told friends the ordeal had negatively impacted her work and social life and left her severely isolated from friends, family and colleagues.
She said the public posting of the images and videos has been “incredibly degrading” and had an immense impact on her life.
Speaking this week, Shane confirmed he had been arrested in relation to the incidents but denied being responsible for posting the images and videos.
“They confiscated my phone the other week. It’s under investigation at the moment. It’s all allegations.
“I never admitted it. I have got nothing to hide at all. They can go through anything and they won’t find anything. No matter how much I fell out with someone, I would never go out [and do that],” Shane said.
Most of the naked pictures and videos posted of Jodie contained captions calling her a ‘slut’. She also alleged she was bombarded with calls and messages in recent months.
Police in the UK wrote to Shane in April saying they had received complaints he was making malicious and unwanted texts and calls to Jodie and warned him further action could be taken if it didn’t stop.
Shane arrived on the country music scene five years ago and was billed as the next Nathan Carter when he won a competition seeking Ireland’s next new country music star.
He went on to win best newcomer at the Irish Country Music Awards and also scooped the ‘Keep It Country Award’ at the Sunday World Country Music and Entertainment Awards. He spent two years touring across Ireland.
It is understood Jodie, whose father passed away in April, claimed that on the day her dad was diagnosed with cancer, a number which appeared to be Shane’s called her 108 times in the space of an hour and sent her multiple messages demanding she travel to another part of the country to watch him play a gig.
She also claimed that on the day of her father’s funeral she received a Snapchat message from an account called ‘Heaven’, pretending to be her father sending her messages.
Shane denies sending the messages.
He has deleted all his social media profiles in recent days but says the accounts linked to the naked pictures of Jodie were not his.
“I would not be harassing anyone. I have better things to be doing with my time,” he said.
“Someone opened an account with my profile picture. I did have an original account but they screengrabbed that to make it look like me. It’s one thing after another,” he said.
“I’ve never been in trouble with the police. I’m not that type of person. People who know me in the music industry know this isn’t me – but if someone puts up a fake profile of Shane Owen, with the same profile picture as me, some people think it comes from me.”
Accounts under Shane’s name posted naked pictures and videos of Jodie on social media on four occasions.
They included naked photos sent to a group Facebook page of Shane’s friends on November 9, 2019, and topless snaps of her posted on social media on April 13 this year.
They also included a video of her naked, posted on June 20 this year, and two other naked photos, uploaded to Instagram on July 27, which tagged her friends and work colleagues and was captioned ‘good ride but not good for much’.
Jodie is also understood to have claimed she was bombarded with phone calls and messages in recent months and has had to change her number three times.
Shane said he was shocked when police raided his home earlier this month.
“My whole family was distressed. My mum was in tears crying. Just to see that, it was distressing for all us.
“But I was kind of happy. I was saying to the police that I was reaching out to them to help me find out who the person is.”
Asked if he knew who was behind the posts and how they got pictures Jodie had shared with him, Shane said: “There’s a gang of them. I can’t say I think it’s this person or that person.
“There has to be a gang of them doing it. I’ve seen the way they’ve worded things. Some will be very formal and others will be in very bad English. I don’t know who is doing it. I have my suspicions.”
He said he condemned anyone putting revenge porn online.
“What the people are doing is a joke and it’s a bad joke. To do that on a person. There were naked pictures put up and sent to my girlfriend and family. For a person to do that, they’re not right in the head.”
He denied having any recent contact with Jodie.
“I have never made contact with her since February. It just seems to be coming back and forth and she just seems to be winning every time. I’m putting my case forward and no one seems to listen. I don’t understand.”
He said he welcomes the police investigation and hopes officers can uncover who is behind the posts.
“My whole life has been turned upside down for the past six months because of this. I can’t stop it. I’m begging people to help me. Honestly, it’s a nightmare and I hope to get out of it. How it’s come to this point I really don’t know.”
Jodie declined to be interviewed when contacted but in a statement she said: “The past seven months have been horrendous.”
Source: Irish News