Careful of those explicit naked pictures on your handset, Ashley

Poor Ashley Cole. Not only has the footballer injured his ankle, he’s got into a spot of tabloid bother.

Here’s how the world famous red-top, The Sun, covered the story:

“X-Rated Ashely Photos Sent To Model”

I turned to the newspaper of record, The London Telegraph, for an update. That’s right, it’s even caught the attention of the Telegraph!

A topless model was the recipient of a few nude or naked photos (“Chelsea player in a state of undress”) — one which came with the message underneath reading ‘There. I look so ugly x’.

It turns out that Ashley Cole didn’t actually send the pictures himself. No.

Over to the Telegraph to explain:

He [Ashley] claims he had forgotten to delete them when he gave his old phone to a friend who then passed it on to another friend who sent the photos on as a joke.

He told The Sun: “I can’t believe that I gave a phone away that still had stuff on its memory. I thought I had deleted it.”

Miss Wild, however, insists she thought the texts were sent to her by Cole and even reciprocated by sending back naked pictures of herself.

Apparently the model had an ‘online friendship’ with the friend Cole gave his old phone to.

The Sun usually goes for the jugular when it knows precisely what happened. So the ‘Exclusive: Riddle of Cole Pics’ headline indicates clearly that Ashley’s explanation is accurate.

Turning to The Sun itself, their article explains:

“He took the images on an unregistered pay-as-you-go phone then didn’t manage to delete them when he gave it away to a mate. To say he’s horrified to discover the pictures were sent to a model is an understatement.”

Cole says he gave the unregistered mobile – which he said he had been using while “between phones” – to close pal Jay Wynters. But, unknown to the soccer idol, it is then said Wynters gave it to another pal who found the images and took his chance to hoodwink sexy Sonia.

What was he doing with a pay as you go phone?

If you’re earning 82,000 quid a week, you’d think you could probably afford to never be ‘between phones’.

I’m amazed that it’s 2010 and ‘celebrities’ are still not quite getting the reality that if you snap a picture, if you create a digital image, it’s extremely difficult to erase them. And when ‘image’ is so intertwined with ‘brand’, one would imagine it’s rather important to keep control. If you’re a nobody, there’s little value in the discovery of naked pictures. But celebrities? I wonder if someone shouldn’t setup a proper device management service for celebrities, so when they’ve finished using a handset or camera, they can have it professionally erased. Critical if you’ve been playing around with the camera functionality.

Sending naked pictures must be one of the primary uses of mobile messaging technology. Sonia, the model, even used the mobile video function on her handset:

“I sent back video footage recorded on my phone of myself naked and doing sexy things for him. At the time it was a laugh and a bit of a thrill for me.”

For years sending and receiving MMS messages (let alone video!) used to be an entirely unreliable experience. So I’m pleased the technology worked for the model and the friend-of-a-friend-of-Ashley.

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