Disgraced former Congressman Katie Hill has lost a lawsuit against DailyMail.com for revealing details of her three-time affair with a campaign executive.
In a verdict handed down on Wednesday, Los Angeles Judge Yolanda Orozco threw out Hill’s case and found that the stories about her were of “ overriding public interest ” and protected by the First Amendment.
In her ruling, the judge said that Hill’s lawyers’ arguments were “ inconclusive, ” and that DailyMail.com’s stories about the former congressman were in the “ public interest ” as they carried out her alleged affair with a campaign executive, claiming suggested that she was using drugs that were illegal at the time, and showed her iron cross-cross tattoo that “resembled a white supremacy symbol that had become a problem during her convention campaign.”
A judge in Los Angeles ruled on Wednesday against former Rep. Katie Hill (photo arriving at the Capitol in 2019) in her lawsuit against DailyMail.com
Hill, 33, resigned from Congress in 2019 after shocking nude photos emerged of the politician arguing with Morgan Desjardins, who was then a 22-year-old junior staffer (all in the photo), and an ethics investigation was initiated to her alleged affair with another assistant
Texts and photos obtained and published by DailyMail.com in October 2019 showed that Hill was in trouble with her then-husband Kenny Heslep and 22-year-old staffer Morgan Desjardins.
Desjardins began a three-time relationship with the married couple shortly after she started working for Hill in 2017. The affair broke up in the summer of 2019 when Hill told both her husband and her lover that she wanted to focus on her job.
The 33-year-old congressman was pictured nude brushing Desjardin’s hair on a trip the three took to Alaska – reportedly funded by campaign finance.
The photos also include a photo of Hill naked with a hookah adorned with a skull and crossbones, and with an Iron Cross tattoo resembling a Nazi symbol on her bikini line.
The revelations sparked investigations by the House Ethics Committee and the Federal Election Commission, and Hill resigned from Congress days later and offered a public apology.
Hill sued her ex-husband Kenneth Heslep in December, accusing him of carrying out a “ scorched earth attack ” on her after breaking up by spreading nude photos to DailyMail.com and RedState, a conservative media site.
The couple (pictured at their wedding) quietly arranged their divorce in October 2020, a year after Hill was forced to resign after it became known that she had a ‘throuple’ with a campaign executive.
In December last year, DailyMail.com published allegations by Hill’s ex-husband that she had had sex with three of her staffers, had been involved in another throuple for Desjardins, used campaign donations for a ‘sex cation’ and drank and smoked excessively marijuana. . while serving as a member of Congress.
Heslep also claimed that a restraining order Hill issued against him was an attempt to dissuade him from talking to the media.
Later that month, Hill sued the publisher of DailyMail.com, news site Red State, a reporter from the site and Hill’s ex-husband, alleging that naked photos of her included in the stories were “ evidence of her affair with her staff member ” revenge porn ‘. ‘and part of’ an act of revenge ‘.
Judge Orozco ruled on Wednesday that Hill’s allegations were an “ illegal strategic lawsuit against public participation, ” citing a law intended to encourage freedom of expression on “ matters of public interest, ” including politicians, without the chilling effects of fearing costly lawsuits.
Heslep said Desjardins told Hill she was bisexual when they first met, and described how his wife broached the subject of a three-person date about a month later.
Intimate images published by the Defendant spoke to Plaintiff’s character and qualifications for her position, as they allegedly depicted Plaintiff with a campaign executive with whom she allegedly had a sexual affair and which appeared to show that Plaintiff had a sexual affair. then used an illegal drug and a tattoo that was controversial because it resembled a white supremacy symbol that had become a problem during her convention campaign, ” the ruling said.
Accordingly, the images were a matter of ‘public question or public interest’.
In the court documents, Judge Orozco cited statements in which “the public should be able to determine the importance or relevance of the reported facts for itself.”
“ The photos show a sitting congresswoman engaged in behavior that some may consider highly inappropriate and perhaps illegal, with one of them showing the prosecution’s tattoo resembling the symbols used by white supremacists, ” the report said. statement.
The facts that these photographs speak of are about Plaintiff’s character, judgment, and qualifications for her conference position. These are, of course, matters of general interest. ‘