Azalea deactivated both her Instagram and Twitter accounts, though she did also send out a statement explaining her thoughts. Within that statement, she said that the leaked images were produced during a 2016 photo shoot for GQ Australia, and that they were never intended to be released.
"Recently some outtakes from my 2016 GQ magazine cover were leaked to the public," she said. "A lot of high profile women have shot covers for GQ with a strategically placed hand etc Covering their breasts etc. I always felt they were very beautiful covers, so I jumped at the opportunity.
"I hadn't seen other women's covers leak so I felt comfortable (on a closed set) to model for such a reputable magazine knowing only the images with my hands covering would be considered for print. I never consented to taking topless pictures for potential release, period. It was my understanding BEFORE shooting, GQ do not print topless pictures.
"There was no reason for anyone to have kept the outtakes from the shoot. I'm surprised and angry that they were not immediately deleted after the final images were selected."
She went on to say that the release of these photos has left her feeling "blindsided embarrassed, violated, angry, sad, and a million other things." She contends that this is due as much to social media reaction as it is to the leak itself.
She said her current outrage is "[n]ot solely because I didn't consent to this -- but also because of the vile way people have reacted," she wrote. "A lot of the comments I see from men in particular taking things even further and sharing their thoughts and fantasies in regards to my body had honestly disturbed me. The outright wicked things people say is overwhelming & makes me feel like throwing up."
She went on to compare the way she feels to a "nuclear bomb that explodes and not only destroys you emotionally, but leaves a path of destruction in your personal life."
In addition to sharing her anger and embarrassment over the public's viewing of the photos she also declared her intention to press charges against the person(s) who made them available.
"I fully intend on finding out where the leak originated from and pressing criminal charges," she said, while stating the importance of "someone actually be[ing] held accountable for their actions & the way it impacts my life."
She addressed the social media deactivation by stating she has no place to "retreat to."
"I have seen some really vicious s**t written in the last 24 hours and it is too much negativity for me to handle," she said. "For now it's best to keep my accounts deactivated. Please be kinder to one another."
TMZ adds that the photographer who shot the cover for GQ Australia claims that the photos were stolen from him and published without permission (this is the part where it's worth noting what she said in her statement above, about how nobody should've kept her photos). The photographer further states there's an ongoing investigation. Though he didn't call Azalea by name he also said he empathized "with any discomfort that this situation has caused to anyone that is involved."