Judge tosses former Rep. Katie Hill’s suit against tabloid
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A lawsuit by former U.S. Rep. Katie Hill of California against the Daily Mail was dismissed Wednesday by a judge who said the tabloid was protected under the First Amendment when it published nude photos of her.
Judge Yolanda Orozco wrote in her decision that she accepted the Daily Mail’s argument that the publication of the photos was “a matter of public issue or public interest.”
Hill’s lawyer, Carrie Goldberg, indicated her client would appeal.
“DM said, and the court agreed, that Katie’s nudes were their free speech. We think the appellate court will disagree,” Goldberg tweeted Wednesday.
“I sued the Daily Mail for their publication of my nonconsensual nude images,” Hill wrote on Twitter. “Today, we lost in court because a judge — not a jury — thinks revenge porn is free speech,”
Hill has also sued her ex-husband, Kenneth Heslep, and conservative news site redstate.com, alleging they distributed “nonconsensual porn” that helped torpedo her political career.
Hill, 33, resigned from Congress in 2019 after 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. A relationship with a congressional staffer would have violated House rules.
Hill had been part of a Democratic wave that knocked seven California Republicans out of office in 2018 when she defeated Republican Steve Knight for the 25th Congressional District seat, which covers northern Los Angeles County and part of Ventura County.
Republican Mike Garcia won Hill’s vacant House seat in November’s election.