Court Battles

Former Rep. Katie Hill files lawsuit against ex-husband, Daily Mail over nude photos

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Former Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.) on Tuesday sued her ex-husband and the owners of the Daily Mail and the conservative blog RedState for distributing nude photographs of her, saying the materials constituted “non-consensual porn.”

In the 41-page lawsuit, Hill named Salem Media Group Inc., Mail Media Inc., her ex-husband Kenny Heslep and RedState deputy managing editor Jennifer Van Laar.

Hill received a temporary restraining order against Heslep two weeks ago, which she said in the lawsuit 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,” according to NBC News. The Daily Mail published a nude photograph of Hill within days of a court granting the order.

The lawsuit further argues the media outlets named in the complaint do not have a protected First Amendment right to “sexually degrade and expose public officials.”

Hill resigned her seat in November 2019 after the publication of other photos and an ethics probe into allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a staffer. She has blamed Heslep for the release of the images and has accused him of abusing her during their marriage, saying he threatened her with a gun and choked her to the point of unconsciousness.

The judge who granted the restraining order against Heslep will rule on Dec. 30 on whether it should include an injunction against him providing “confidential information” about his ex-wife to the public or the press.

The Hill has reached out to Salem Media Group and Mail Media for comment.

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