Judge tosses Katie Hill’s lawsuit against Daily Mail over nude photos
A Los Angeles judge has tossed former Rep. Katie Hill’s (D-Calif.) lawsuit against the Daily Mail over the website’s publications of nude photos of her.
Hill filed suit against the news outlet and Salem Media Group, which owns the conservative blog RedState, alleging that their publication of nude photographs of her in 2019 constituted “non-consensual porn.”
She further alleged that the news outlets didn’t have a First Amendment right to “sexually degrade and expose public officials.”
The suit specifically named Salem Media Group Inc., Mail Media Inc. and Hill’s ex-husband, Kenny Heslep.
Judge Yolanda Orozco sided with the Daily Mail on Wednesday, finding that the photos were a matter of public concern, according to The Orange County Register.
“Here, the intimate images published by (the Daily Mail) spoke to (Hill’s) character and qualifications for her position, as they allegedly depicted (Hill) with a campaign staffer whom she was alleged to have had a sexual affair with and appeared to show (Hill) using a then-illegal drug and displaying a tattoo that was controversial because it resembled a white supremacy symbol that had become an issue during her congressional campaign,” Orozco wrote, according to the newspaper.
Hill, who represented California’s 25th Congressional District, resigned in October 2019 amid allegations that she had inappropriate relationships with congressional and campaign staffers. This came after the Daily Mail published photos that were purportedly of Hill following the allegations, which had been previously reported by RedState, citing text messages from Heslep.
Hill blasted Wednesday’s ruling on Twitter, saying that “we lost in court because a judge – not a jury – thinks revenge porn is free speech. This fight has massive implications for any woman who ever wants to run for office, so quitting isn’t an option.”
I sued the Daily Mail for their publication of my nonconsensual nude images. Today, we lost in court because a judge – not a jury – thinks revenge porn is free speech. This fight has massive implications for any woman who ever wants to run for office, so quitting isn’t an option. https://t.co/Sjhl5XOB6j
— Katie Hill (@KatieHill4CA) April 7, 2021
Carrie Goldberg, an attorney for Hill, suggested on Twitter that they will appeal the ruling, saying that “DM said, and the court agreed, that Katie’s nudes were their free speech. We think the appellate court will disagree.”