Los Angeles: The hacker who stole naked pictures of Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson from her phone has apologised and confessed he became addicted to the thrill of it.

Christopher Chaney, 35, from Florida, who was arrested, admitted to stealing pictures from Johansson and other celebrities including Mila Kunis and Vanessa Hudgens and posting them on the internet.

He said that the hacking had started as a "curiosity" but spiralled out of control when he became addicted to it, reports said.

"I deeply apologise. I know what I did was probably one of the worst invasions of privacy someone could experience. And these people don't have privacy to begin with. And I was in that little sliver of privacy they do have.”

"The hacking started as a curiosity and it turned into just being addicted to seeing the behind-the-scenes of what's going on with these people you see on the big screen every day. It was almost reading, like, a completely uncensored blog. I wasn't saving the emails to blackmail someone," he said.

Chaney has been charged with 26 counts of identity theft, unauthorised access to a protected computer and wiretapping and faces up to 121 years in federal jail if he's convicted.

He is currently out on USD 10,000 bail after promising that he will not use a computer or access the Internet.