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Former Rep. Katie Hill, D-Calif., had her case dismissed against the Daily Mail for publishing nude photos of her in 2019.
A few of the controversial photos depicted her in an intimate relationship with one of her campaign staffers, leading to rumors she was in a “throuple” with the staffer and her then-husband Kenny Heslep. Dismissing the case on Wednesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yolanda Orozco cited the First Amendment and ruled the Daily Mail photos were in the “public interest.”
“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.
Her lawsuit, filed on Dec. 22, alleged the Daily Mail, RedState.com, who published text messages between Hill and the staffer, and Heslep, who took the photos, were guilty of violating the Civil Code and intentionally inflciting “emotional distress” on her.
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Hill also was accused of having an affair with her legislative director in 2018, sparking a House Ethics Committee investigation. She resigned that year from Congress after less than a year in office.
In her statement at the time, Hill insisted the Mail’s publication of the photos was illegal and an “appalling invasion of her privacy.”
Hill was one of the youngest new members of Congress when elected in 2018 at age 31. She has continued to maintain a public profile since her resignation, publishing a memoir, “She Will Rise,” in 2020.
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Her district, California’s 25th, is now represented by Republican Mike Garcia.
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