A leaked nude photo of Congresswoman Katie Hill has deepened the controversy surrounding the California Democrat and led to a legal threat against the newspaper that published it.
Hill has been embroiled in controversy after naked pictures turned up online and reports that she and her husband engaged in a relationship with a younger staffer. New nude images of Hill were published in the Daily Mail on Thursday have prompted a legal threat from Hill’s camp. The picture appeared to show a fully nude Hill holding what was identified as a bong, with the report highlighting what it said was a Nazi-connected tattoo on her hip.
As The HuffPost reported, Hill’s lawyer sent a letter demanding that the pictures be taken down immediately. It also demanded retraction of a report that Hill had a tattoo of a Nazi symbol in one of the photos.
“This letter serves as notice that civil and criminal laws prohibit the publication of images of the character you have posted, and that our client is prepared to take all necessary means to protect her rights and to protect herself from an unprecedented, unwarranted and extraordinarily offensive invasion of personal privacy,” the letter from law firm Perkins Coie, demanding that the news outlet remove the pictures at once.
Several hours after the letter was first reported, the Daily Mail story still contained the nude pictures of Katie Hill, though they were censored. The reference to what was described as a Nazi-themed tattoo was still included in the story as well.
Hill this week said that she and her husband were in a “three-way” relationship with a female staffer, admitting that it was not appropriate.
“I know that even a consensual relationship with a subordinate is inappropriate, but I still allowed it to happen despite my better judgment,” Hill said in a statement, via the New York Post. “For that, I apologize. I wish nothing but the best for her and hope everyone respects her privacy in this difficult time.”
This is not the first time that the Daily Mail has courted trouble with reporting on a political scandal. In 2017, the newspaper settled a libel lawsuit brought by Melania Trump after a report insinuated that she provided “services beyond modeling” as she was making her way as a young model in New York City.