Disgraced former U.S. Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) has sued her ex-husband and media outlets RedState and the Daily Mail after intimate photos of her were published online.
Attorney and professor Jonathan Turley reported Hill, who resigned in 2019 amid allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a staffer, has sued, alleging the release of the photos by her now ex-husband, Kenneth Heslep, which her suit dubbed “nonconsensual porn.”
In early December, Hill obtained a temporary restraining order against Heslep “after Hill alleged her ex had subjected her to 15 years of abuse, including choking her unconscious, threatening her with a gun, abusing her pets, and releasing sexually explicit pictures that ended her political career,” according to NBC News.
Claiming she had considered pursuing one “many times over the years,” Hill said, “At this point, I am finally seeking a restraining order because I am afraid that he will not give up until I am dead.”
A judge ordered Heslep “to stay at least 100 yards away from Hill, Hill’s mother and sister and Hill’s goat, dog and horse.”
In her suit against RedState and the Daily Mail, Hill is seeking “unspecified damages for emotional distress and violation of state law for distribution of intimate personal material without Hill’s consent,” Turley reported, and named RedState’s parent company, Salem Media Group Inc., Mail Media Inc., RedState deputy managing editor Jennifer Van Laar, and Joseph Messina, a California-based radio show host.
Hill is targeting the site after it published photos of a nude Hill in compromising positions.
“Deciding who is allowed to see our naked bodies is an essential right,” Hill said, according to Turley.
In October, several of Hill’s former congressional staffers posted to her official Twitter account after it was revealed a movie would be made about Hill’s life, Breitbart News previously reported.
In a string of messages, which have since been deleted, Hill’s former aides said they were “disappointed” such a project would be produced, and were concerned it would position Hill as merely a victim in a case that includes Hill in a “throuple” involving her then-husband and a female campaign staffer.
“What happened to Katie Hill shouldn’t happen to anyone. But, this moment requires more nuance, as Katie Hill’s story — our story — is also one of workplace abuse and harassment,” they said in one tweet.
“Katie Hill can be both a victim and perpetrator,” they wrote, alluding to Hill’s allegations against her husband. “And, staff can experience severe consequences for speaking out against their powerful boss.”
“Katie Hill was never investigated by the House Ethics Committee, nor has she been held accountable by anyone other than herself,” her former staffers wrote in another post.
“Katie took advantage of her subordinates,” Hill’s former staffers alleged in another message. “She caused immense harm to the people who worked for her, many of whom were young women just beginning their careers in politics.”
“Believe us when we say: it’s not only about who starts it, it’s also about who ends it,” the anonymous ex-employees said. “And, while Katie is certainly the survivor of abuse, we are not confident that she sufficiently acted to end her own patterns of inappropriate and abusive behavior.”