Former Rep. Katie Hill sues ex-husband, Daily Mail for publication of 'non-consensual porn' over nude leaks
A nude of Hill was published by the Daily Mail within days of the California Democrat getting a restraining order against ex Kenny Heslep
Former Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.) brought a lawsuit Tuesday against her ex-husband and the owners of the Daily Mail and right-wing blog Red State for sharing nude photos of her. Hill, in her 41-page suit, said the materials constituted "non-consensual porn" and named Salem Media Group Inc., Mail Media Inc., her ex-husband Kenny Heslep and Red State deputy managing editor Jennifer Van Laar as defendants, The Hill reported. The California Democrat acquired a temporary restraining order against Heslep about a fortnight ago, which, according to her, prompted some of the defendants to "humiliate her further, harder, louder and more viciously; even publishing new naked images they know were taken and disseminated without Hill's consent,” NBC News reported. A nude photograph of Hill was published by the Daily Mail within days of a court granting the order, it is alleged.
Furthermore, the former congresswoman argued that media outlets referenced in the suit do not have a First Amendment right to "sexually degrade and expose public officials."
The Daily Mail made waves in November 2019 after it published shocking photographs of the former representative from California's 25th congressional district. One of the images showed Hill posing naked with a tattoo of what appeared to be a Nazi Iron Cross on her bikini line while holding a bong. Another photo showed her making out with a young female aide.
The 33-year-old was also photographed naked brushing the aide's hair, who the British newspaper identified as 25-year-old Morgan Desjardins, from Santa Clarita, California. The outlet reported that Desjardins got into a relationship with Hill and Heslep shortly after she started working for the former congresswoman in 2017. The three-way affair broke down last summer after Hill allegedly told both her husband and girlfriend that she wanted to concentrate on her work.
As reported by the Daily Mail, one of the most scandalous photos showed Hill in the nude and holding a giant bong filled with an unidentified brown liquid. The bombshell snap was taken on 9/11/2017, per metadata from the picture, before marijuana was legalized for recreational consumption in the state. That said, it is unclear whether Hill had a medical license to consume the drug at the time. Adding to the scandal, the picture also revealed an iron cross tattoo on Hill's pubic area - similar to symbols used by white supremacists referencing a World War II Nazi medal, per the outlet.
The House Ethics Committee subsequently announced they were investigating Hill's relationship with Desjardins as it could violate congressional statutes. Hill later admitted to and apologized for the relationship in a letter to her constituents. "I am going through a divorce from an abusive husband who seems determined to try to humiliate me. I am disgusted that my opponents would seek to exploit such a private matter for political gain. This coordinated effort to try to destroy me and people close to me is despicable and will not succeed,” she said. “I, like many women who have faced attacks like this before, am stronger than those who want me to be afraid," Hill said then.