Former Representative Katie Hill Is Ordered To Pay DailyMail.com’s $105,000 Legal Fees After Judge Throws Down Lawsuit
Former Representative Katie Hill has been ordered to pay more than $100,000 in legal fees to DailyMail.com after a judge dismissed her lawsuit over an article revealing her “throuple” with a campaign employee.
Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Yolanda Orozco awarded Mail Media Inc., the parent company of DailyMail.com, about $105,000 on Wednesday, raising Hill’s legal costs for the revenge porn case to about $220,000.
The judge previously awarded approximately $84,000 in attorney fees to Jennifer Van Laar, editor-in-chief of conservative website RedState, and approximately $30,000 in attorney fees to radio producer Joseph Messina.
Hill was once a rising star in the Democratic party before falling out of favor when her relationship with her then-husband Kenneth Heslep and 22-year-old campaigner Morgan Desjardins came to light. She was the first openly bisexual congressional legislator in California.
The 33-year-old filed a failed revenge porn lawsuit in December against Heslep, DailyMail.com, RedState and the two conservative journalists for publishing nude photos of her showing the inappropriate rendezvous.
The lawsuit was dismissed in April on the grounds of public interest and First Amendment rights.
Former Representative Katie Hill has been ordered to pay more than $100,000 in legal fees to DailyMail.com after a judge dismissed her lawsuit over an article revealing her “throuple” with a campaign employee. Hill speaking at a press event with House Democrats in July 2019
Hill furiously rejected the statement on Twitter on Wednesday that the justice system is “broken.”
“A judge has just ordered me to PAY the Daily Mail more than $100k for the privilege of publishing nude photos of me obtained from an abuser,” she tweeted.
“The justice system is broken for victims.”
She also called on her social media followers to help fund her legal fees and boycott DailyMail.com
A spokeswoman for Hill told the Los Angeles Times the former legislator plans to appeal the rulings that dismissed her lawsuit.
Krista Lee Baughman, a lawyer for Van Laar and Messina, said the judge’s decision showed that “those who file their confusion of tongues, [intimidation] lawsuits have to pay the price.’
“If you have a problem with the way the legislature has written the revenge porn statute, that should be addressed in the legislature,” she said.
“The court is obliged to follow the writings. In this case, the statute itself clearly had an exception in the public interest.’
Hill was elected Democratic Representative to California’s 25th congressional district in 2018, turning a historic red state into blue and putting her name in the spotlight.
Hill furiously slammed Wednesday’s statement on Twitter that the justice system is ‘broken’
In October 2019, DailyMail.com published texts and photos showing that the congresswoman had been in a relationship with Heslep and Desjardins.
Desjardins started working as a campaigner for Hill in 2017 and the trio started their trio shortly after.
The affair ended in the summer of 2019 when Hill told both her husband and her lover that she wanted to focus on her work.
The affair was first reported by RedState, which also published allegations that Hill had a separate affair with Graham Kelly, her male legislative director.
A relationship between a congressman and a congressman is a violation of the House Rules.
DailyMail.com and Red State published intimate photos of the battle between Hill, Heslep and Desjardin.
In one, Hill was seen brushing Desjardin’s hair naked during a trip the three took to Alaska.
Hill was once a rising star in the Democratic Party before falling out of favor when her triple relationship with her then-husband Kenneth Heslep and 22-year-old campaign worker Morgan Desjardins was exposed (all three pictured together)
Hill with Heslep. The ex-congresswoman filed a botched revenge porn lawsuit for publishing nude photos of her showing the inappropriate rendezvous
The trip is said to have been funded with campaign funds.
Another photo showed a naked mound with a bong decorated with a skull and crossbones, while another showed her with an iron cross tattoo that resembled a Nazi symbol on her bikini line.
The scandal prompted the House Ethics Committee and the Federal Election Commission to launch an investigation into the congresswoman.
Hill resigned from office a few days later, and her seat was later won by Republican Congressman Mike Garcia.
She admitted to having an affair with Desjardin and said the relationship – also involving Heslep – took place “during the final tumultuous years of my abusive marriage.”
Hill continues to deny allegations of an affair with Kelly.
Hill then filed a lawsuit in December accusing Mail Media Inc., Salem Media Group Inc., which owns RedState, Heslep, Van Laar and Messina, of publishing “unauthorized porn” without her consent.
She claimed that the distribution and publication of the intimate images violated California’s revenge porn laws.
Orozco dismissed the case in April, ruling that the articles and the release of the photos were of “imperative public interest” and protected by the First Amendment.
In one, Hill was seen brushing Desjardin’s hair naked during a trip the three took to Alaska. Photo of the two women together
Hill arrived at the Capitol in 2019. The lawsuit was dismissed in April on the grounds of public interest and First Amendment rights
The judge said Hill’s attorneys’ arguments were “inconclusive.”
She added that DailyMail.com’s stories about the former congresswoman were in the “public interest” as they detailed her alleged affair with a campaign official.
The judge said there was another justification in the public interest because Hill was portrayed with drugs that were illegal at the time, exposing her tattoo of an iron cross in the crotch that “looked like a white supremacist symbol that had become a problem during her life.” congress campaign’.
“The photos show a sitting congressman engaging in behavior that some consider highly inappropriate and perhaps illegal, with one showing the plaintiff’s tattoo resembling the symbols formerly used by white supremacists,” the ruling said.
‘The facts of which these photos speak relate to Plaintiff’s character, judgment and qualifications for her congressional position. These are, of course, matters of general interest.’
Hill had dropped her claim against Messina earlier this year.