E-Girl: Hack Your Way to Hollywood

In Wired News today, a story I filed about Heather Robinson -- also known as E-Girl. Her dark tale of following databases to Hollywood dreams broke first in the book Hollywood, Interrupted by Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner.
An America Online customer service rep illicitly surfs the company's customer database, ferrets out private data on celebrity members and then hunts them down online under a false identity, seeking fame and fortune in Hollywood.

Sound like a prelude to prison? Not in the case of Heather Robinson. The former AOL employee managed to parlay privacy violations into useful contacts in Hollywood. With the help of those contacts, Robinson, 25, landed a movie deal, and she's using her toehold in the industry to advance another.

Later this week, Universal Pictures will start filming Robinson's first movie, The Perfect Man, a romantic comedy staring Hillary Duff and Heather Locklear. The film is about a teenage daughter who tries to create a "nonexistent boyfriend for her dejected mother," Robinson said. The story is based on another of her youthful indiscretions when she was 16 -- this one involving a stolen credit card and thousands of dollars of purchases.

Some would say it takes Robinson's level of moxie to succeed in Hollywood. In fact, the favorite legend in the movie business is that of a hard-working kid who starts in the mail room and through ambition, flexible ethical standards and political skill becomes a mogul. Judging by her exploits so far, Robinson is well on her way.