March 31 (UPI) -- Mischa Barton says her stolen sex tape was a form of "emotional blackmail."
The 31-year-old actress said in a preview for Monday's episode of The Dr. Phil Show that an "emotionally abusive" ex-partner secretly recorded and shopped her sex tape.
"I didn't believe it at first. I couldn't believe it because I had loved this person and I didn't think it was possible. I later learned that it was entirely possible," Barton told Dr. Phil. "It [was] complete emotional blackmail."
"It was a crime," she said. "It is a serious crime to tape people without their knowledge like that. I had made the mistake of putting myself into the situation with the person, so I just removed myself as quickly as I could, and then it just continued to be compete emotional abuse after that."
Barton retained attorney Lisa Bloom this month after reports of the tape surfaced. She and her lawyer plan to prosecute her ex-partner under "every available civil and criminal law" for the "revenge pornography," according to People.
"This is a painful situation, and my absolute worst fear was realized when I learned that someone I thought I loved and trusted was filming my most intimate and private moments, without my consent, with hidden cameras. Then I learned something even worse: that someone is trying to sell these videos and make them public. I came forward to fight this not only for myself but for all the women out there," the star said at a press conference March 15.
"Because Miss Barton has dated him, we contended that she was protected under California's laws against domestic violence which prohibit all forms of abuse by a former intimate partner," Bloom added. "In short, we consider this to be a form of domestic abuse."
Barton is known for playing Marissa Cooper on The O.C., which had a four-season run on Fox. She made headlines in January after police responded to a disturbance at her home, and later said a date rape drug led to her hospitalization.