Nollywood star, Toyin Abraham, revealed that she suffered from panic attacks and had to be hospitalised after her new movie, Malaika, was illegally leaked online.
According to Abraham, she was shocked and devastated when she saw her movie on a social media platform.
The movie, which had a huge budget, was only meant to be shown in cinemas from December 15, 2023.
The actress revealed this to teporters at the Federal Investigation Department of the Nigeria Police Force in Alagbon, Ikoyi, on Wednesday, where some suspects involved in the piracy were arrested, that she felt betrayed and hurt after spending nearly N500m to make the movie.
Abraham added that she was so desperate that she even begged one of the pirates on Telegram.
She also said she was surprised that “one of those guys told me to send a mail to a certain email and I said, ‘For my film!’
In her words, “If you look at me, you will know that I am actually not okay. I had to come from the hospital. I have been having panic attacks.
“It is not easy shooting a movie close to N500mi and you just see it out there.
“I saw my movie and another movie and I was like, am I dreaming? And they said, ‘No, you are not dreaming’.
“And the next thing, they put it on Telegram, telling people they are going to upload it by 12pm. I opened the link and I saw Malaika, I wanted to run mad, it was like my whole world was coming to an end in front of me.
“You know as a woman, I was crying and my manager said, ‘Don’t worry’, and he started making calls to my godparents, my husband and the Filmone team. So we started calling tech guys and how to get to Google. They had to call Telegram. So the next thing, they started breaking the links. Google started to send emails telling us that they had broken the links.
“I don’t know what to do; this is my life, this is the only thing I do. That is why I decided to take it upon myself, upon manager and Filmone to fight piracy and this is not about me; not about Malaika, not about any movie in the cinema, not about tribe but about the creative industry. It is about the entertainment industry because this is the only thing we do.
“I have lost a lot because even when you go on social media, you will see people saying, oh, we will not go to the cinema. We will wait for the movie to drop. Even fans abroad will say they are waiting for the meeting to drop and obviously, anyone who is waiting for such a particular thing will not watch the movie.
“But it is okay, I am doing well. It is not about the money now. It is about fighting a particular cause for the entertainment and creative industry which I am happy about.”