Politics

Rep. Katie Hill hired a lawyer to hunt down people who shared ‘revenge porn’ pics of her

Former Democratic Rep. Katie Hill announces her resignation in the U.S. House chamber wearing a red suit.
Former Democratic Rep. Katie HillPhoto: C-SPAN screen capture

Out former Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) has hired Carrie Goldberg, an attorney with expertise in revenge porn and cyber exploitation, to help investigate the leak of explicit photos and texts that caused her to resign late last month.

Hill, the youngest LGBTQ person elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, resigned after texts released online confirmed her extra-marital affair with her legislative director Graham Kelly. Additional photos showed Hill sexually engaged with another woman. Hill blamed the leak on “hateful political operatives” and her “abusive husband” Kenny Heslep, who she is currently divorcing.

Related: This teen girl got sweet revenge after getting fat-shamed in a cupcake shop

Goldberg’s website describes her as a “victims’ rights attorney who… provides cutting edge legal help for clients under attack by pervs, assholes, psychos, and trolls.”

Her previous work in this field include the “removal of over 18,000 sexually graphic images and videos from the Internet that were posted without the subject’s consent” and a lawsuit against Grindr for its inaction on policies forbidding severe harassment and abuse. She is also the author of the August 2019 book Nobody’s Victim.

Speaking of Hill’s case, Goldberg told The New York Post, “This is a historic situation where an alleged abusive ex, bloodthirsty opposition, and a media without morals joined forces to hijack a brilliant young woman’s hard-fought congressional seat. It’s a new low for democracy.”

Goldberg added, “Everybody who participated in Representative Hill’s humiliation is on notice that we will track them down, [including] anybody who continues to share, barter, peddle, sell images of Representative Hill… whether you are an ex-partner, a political opponent, a publisher, or the Republican National Committee — don’t think for a second you’ll be getting away with destroying a woman’s life.”

Goldberg considers the current legal options for revenge porn victims to be imperfect. She says the U.S. needs a federal revenge porn law that allows civil and criminal prosecution.

It’s unclear if Goldberg will target the Christian-owned conservative site RedState for sharing a redacted topless image of Hill. The site’s deputy managing editor defended the image’s publication as necessary to substantiate Hill’s affair, but the affair had already been substantiated by Hill’s other published text messages. As such, RedState apparently published the image for web traffic and to shame the politician.

In her resignation speech, Hill said her enemies intended to release “hundreds more photos and text messages… bit by bit until they broke me down to nothing.”

Here is Hill’s resignation speech:

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