The devastated mother of an Italian woman who took her own life after a sex tape was leaked online believes the video was shared as part of a "premeditated, criminal plan" to humiliate her daughter.

Revenge porn victim Tiziana Cantone, 31, died in September 2016, a year after videos of her performing sex acts with unidentified men went viral after they were posted online without her permission.

Videos of Cantone, from Naples, Italy, were uploaded to the internet in Spring 2015 after she had sent them to five people on WhatsApp, including her then-boyfriend, Sergio Di Palo.

After the videos were posted online, Cantone was turned into a cruel meme in Italy, where people mocked the phrase she can be heard saying in the clip, "Are you making a video? Bravo."


Cantone's mother, Maria Teresa Giglio, believes that the videos were uploaded on purpose.

Read more: Tiziana Cantone: Prosecutor seeks justice after revenge porn abuse

"It's as if this was a premeditated, criminal plan. They just wanted to show the face of this poor girl, with the intention of exposing her on the internet," she told BBC.

She wants to know what role Cantone's boyfriend had in sharing the videos.

"He didn't help me to save her life. But maybe he can help me get to the truth. I'm desperate," she said.

The woman was recognised on the street by people who watched the video and feel into a depression, forcing her to quit her job and change her name.

After the videos were shared widely, she was subjected to abuse by web users which, along with the pressure of court costs, led her to her taking her own life.

Cantone then returned to her mother's home in the Naples suburb, Mugnano.

She had successfully fought to get explicit images taken down from Facebook, but owed five porn sites €20,000 after they successfully argued the videos showed her consenting to sex.

Cantone said she sent the videos to Antonio and Enrico Iacuzio, Christian Rollo and Antonio Villano and a man who went by the Facebook nickname Luca Luke in private using WhatsApp messenger, according to Leggo.

Di Palo was not mentioned when she brought the case to court.

The magistrate in Italy opened a file for defamation and after her death added another for instigation to commit suicide.

In November 2010, Di Palo was questioned by prosecutors for ten hours.

"My daughter was a good girl but she was also vulnerable," Cantone's mother told the BBC.

"She lacked a paternal figure, from birth. She never met her father. This affected her entire life."

But she withdrew after the videos were leaked online, Giglio said.

"Her life was ruined, in front of everyone," she said. "People made fun of her, parodies ended up on pornographic websites. She was called shameful names."

Giglio said she learned her daughter had died after receiving a phone call from her sister-in-law.

"I almost fainted. They didn't want to let me into this house. I wasn't even able to see her for a last time," she told BBC. "The day she died, my life ended."

Following Cantone's death, Giglio forced herself to watch the videos that were leaked online. Though they can no longer be found on main internet search engines, the videos still exist.

"You can only imagine what it is like. I wanted to see details that would allow me to understand the truth. That was not my Tiziana," she said, believing that her daughter was under the influence of drugs.

According to close friends and relatives, the 31-year-old was deeply depressed and on the brink of taking her own life for months prior to her death.

They claim she could not handle the negative attention on social media.

Friend Teresa Petrosino, who knew Cantone for 15 years, said Cantone was "with the wrong people at the wrong time".

She said she didn't want people to recognise her, and that she was horrified after the video was leaked.

"She understood at some point that the situation would never be resolved; that a potential husband, her potential children could find those videos; that they would never disappear."

Giglio told the BBC that she wants Italy and the rest of the EU to find a faster way to remove private material from the internet.

Her goal now is to defend her daughter's name and prevent others from being the victims of similar acts.

"I hope that the name Tiziana Cantone, instead of standing for mockery, becomes a name that could save the lives of other women. I would like this to happen. To save other people," she said.

So far, no government has taken action to expedite the removal of private information from the internet.

It still remains a mystery as to who posted the video of Cantone online, and no one has been charged.

Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
Samaritans 0800 726 666
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.