Former California Rep. Katie Hill filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Los Angeles against her ex-husband, the Daily Mail, and RedState.com, alleging that they did not have the right to publish sexually explicit photos of her, NBC News reported.
The 41-page lawsuit argues that the First Amendment did not give the outlets the “carte blanche right” to “sexually degrade and expose public officials,” NBC News reported. RedState.com deputy managing editor Jennifer Van Laar, Salem Media Group Inc., Mail Media, Inc., and radio show host Joseph Messina are listed as defendants alongside other unnamed individuals.
Attorneys Carrie Goldberg and Ashley Parris filed the civil lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court. (RELATED: ‘Misogynistic Culture’: Rep. Katie Hill Calls Her Decision To Resign A ‘Double Standard’)
BREAKING from @NBCNews: Former Rep. Katie Hill sues ex-husband, Daily Mail and Redstate.
— NBC News PR (@NBCNewsPR) December 22, 2020
Hill’s ex-husband, Kenny Heslep, is accused of violating state law by releasing intimate text messages and “nonconsensual porn” as “a revenge vendetta” using the outlets named in the suit. The lawsuit also seeks damages for emotional distress, according to NBC.
Two weeks ago, a judge approved a restraining order against Heslep, NBC reported. The order prohibits Heslep from coming within 100 yards of Hill, her relatives, or her pets. Hill said that she feared for her life and accused Heslep of abusing her for 15 years, including choking her unconscious, abusing her pets, using a gun to threaten her, and releasing sexually explicit images of her, according to the report.
In a Dec. 11 article, which was published three days after Hill obtained the restraining order, the Daily Mail published a nude photo of Hill that was taken by her ex-husband, NBC reported. The lawsuit alleges that the restraining order triggered 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.”
As part of the restraining order, Hill has asked a judge to prohibit Heslep from distributing “confidential information” about her to the media or the public. A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 30 to determine if the restraining order should include these provisions.