Katie Hill says judge ‘thinks revenge porn is free speech’ in reaction to Daily Mail ruling

‘This fight has massive implications for any woman who ever wants to run for office,’ she says

Louise Hall
Thursday 08 April 2021 17:34
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Katie Hill recounts experience of having nude photos published in press

Katie Hill has accused a judge of equating revenge porn with free speech in reaction to the dismissal of her case against The Daily Mail for publishing unauthorised nude photos of her on its website.

The lawsuit, filed by the former California representative was dismissed on Wednesday by a judge who said the tabloid was protected under the First Amendment when it published the photos.

The judge noted that she accepted The Mail’s argument that the publication of the photos was "a matter of public issue or public interest.”

Ms Hill released a statement on Twitter in response to the ruling saying: “Today, we lost in court because a judge - not a jury - thinks revenge porn is free speech.”

She added: “This fight has massive implications for any woman who ever wants to run for office, so quitting isn’t an option.”

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Ms Hill’s lawyer, Carrie Goldberg, indicated that the former representative would appeal, saying “DM said, and the court agreed, that Katie’s nudes were their free speech. We think the appellate court will disagree.”

The 33-year-old has also sued her ex-husband, Kenneth Heslep, and conservative news site redstate.com, alleging they distributed “nonconsensual porn” that helped derail her political career.

According to The Hill, the suit specifically named Salem Media Group Inc, Mail Media Inc and Ms Hill’s ex-husband, Kenny Heslep. 

Mr Heslep, denies leaking the photos and has said a computer hack led to the release of the suggestive photos.

“We’re up against a deeply misogynistic system that has to change, and it won’t until we force it to,” Ms Hill said in conclusion to her statement.

The 33-year-old resigned from Congress in 2019 after the nude pictures of her and an aide were leaked.

She acknowledged having an inappropriate affair with a female campaign aide but denied allegations of a relationship with a male congressional staffer which would have violated House rules.

The Independent has contacted The Mail for comment.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press

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