header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Cloudy
Cloudy
40°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 23
1882 - Author Helen Hunt Jackson visits Rancho Camulos; inspiration for "Ramona" novel [story]
HH Jackson


| Wednesday, Dec 23, 2020
katie hill sues
Former U.S. Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce.

 

Former California Democratic Congresswoman Katie Hill, whose promising political career unraveled in 2019 after she was accused of inappropriate relationships with staffers and various media outlets published nude and sexually graphic photos of her, said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that the world is watching her ex-husband’s “revenge vendetta.”

Hill, who unseated an incumbent Republican as part of the 2018 “blue wave” at the age of 32, claims in the suit filed in Los Angeles that her ex-husband, Kenneth Heslep, orchestrated her political downfall with the right-wing news blog RedState and the British tabloid the Daily Mail after she tried to end their relationship.

In a 34-page complaint, Hill describes a tumultuous 15-year relationship where Heslep controlled her appearance and sleep schedule. He choked her unconscious, said he would kill himself if she tried to leave, and posted nude photos of her on dating websites without her consent, according to the complaint.

Hill said that Heslep physically abused her pets and was unsupportive of her run for office, and when she tried to separate herself from him, he threatened to “blow up” her campaign and told her staff and family that she was suicidal and they should commit her.

“Hill lived in fear that if she ever tried to leave, he’d kill them both and all their animals,” the complaint states.

Despite all this pressure, Hill mounted a grassroots campaign and was able to unseat incumbent Republican Rep. Steve Knight.

But all of that would come crashing down due to Heslep and the media outlets that aided him, according to Hill.

After she took office, moved to Washington, D.C. and ended her relationship, Hill says her ex-husband retaliated against her.

“That’s when Heslep’s scorched earth attack began in earnest,” the complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court states. “Less than five months after the breakup, naked images of Hill that only Heslep had previously possessed were published globally on the internet, alongside intimate text messages and cruel lies.”

Hill resigned amid an ethics probe after she was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a congressional staffer and the nude photos were published online by the blog RedState. Hill admitted to having an inappropriate relationship with a campaign staffer before she was in Congress but denied having any improper relationship with one of her male congressional staffers.

Images and intimate text messages were first published on RedState on Oct. 18, 2019, according to the suit, and the Daily Mail published sexually graphic images soon after. Hill said Heslep was the only person who had access to these images and she characterizes them as “nonconsensual porn” in the suit.

“One local Republican operative said he’d been supplied with a file containing over 700 photos and texts which they intended to release bit by bit until Hill resigned from or was forced out of Congress,” the complaint states. “And sure, enough, RedState continued to publish new material on an almost daily basis, for two weeks, until Hill finally stepped down.”

Hill says former Knight campaign advisor Joseph Messina bragged about having 700 images of her in a public blog post. Messina later told the Los Angeles Times that the images were widely shared and he did not need to distribute the images.

Before the images were made public, Heslep shopped around the photos and an interview with a local news podcast, according to Hill but Heslep denied supplying the photos that were eventually shared on right-wing media outlets like the Daily Wire, Breitbart and the Washington Examiner.

Hill says RedState’s Jennifer Van Laar authored the original post that claimed she had an affair with a male staffer. After Hill announced on Oct. 27, 2019, she would resign from office, Van Laar tweeted a link to Republican Mike Garcia’s campaign. Garcia eventually went on to win Hill’s former seat.

Hill says she was at a low point after she left office and contemplated suicide.

“Hill drank a bottle of wine in the bathtub and attempted to slit her wrists,” the complaint states. “The suicide attempt was thankfully not fatal, but the torment continued.”

While Heslep and Hill divorced in Nov. 2020, he continued to try and sell a story to the Daily Mail about Hill’s sexual, medical and financial history.

Less than a week after Hill got a temporary restraining order against Heslep, the Daily Mail published an article with 26 images, including another nude photo taken without her consent and a photo of her with her brother who died earlier this year.

Hill says the First Amendment doesn’t protect someone’s right to sexually degrade and expose public officials or disseminate nude images.

“Deciding who is allowed to see our naked bodies is an essential right,” the complaint states.

“There’s never a way to litigate privacy in our judicial system without amplifying the very invasions underlying the suit, an inevitable hell that Hill has resigned herself to knowing this further public display may have been defendant’s hope all along,” the complaint continues.

While the nude photos and other painful episodes from her relationship with Heslep may become exhibits in the case, Hill said she has no other options to restore her privacy and dignity and that she has already “given up everything” to escape her ex-husband.

“Here we reset the ideas that abuse in a woman’s past should quash their political aspirations and that public sexual humiliation is an acceptable way to vanquish a political opponent,” the complaint states. “This case pleads that everybody, even publicly elected officials and celebrities, is owed the right to sexual privacy and redress from our courts when they experience intimate partner violence.”

Heslep, The Daily Mail’s parent company, Mail Media, RedState’s owner Salem Media Group, Messina and Van Laar are named in Hill’s complaint.

Hill claims intentional infliction of emotional distress, nonconsensual distribution of intimate images, civil conspiracy to distribute the images and violation of California’s unfair competition law.

Ashley Parris from McElroy Parris Trial Lawyers and Carrie Goldberg submitted the suit.

— By Nathan Solis. CNS

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Jan 22, 2021
COVID Death Rate Soars to New Daily Record in California
Despite signs that California’s latest and most damaging wave of the pandemic is subsiding, the state nonetheless sets a one-day record of 764 deaths on Friday.
Friday, Jan 22, 2021
California Attorney General Launches Civil Rights Probe of L.A. Sheriff’s Department
Claims of excessive force, retaliation, and other misconduct by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will be probed during a C, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Friday.
Friday, Jan 22, 2021
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: 3 New Deaths at Henry Mayo; L.A. County Hospitalizations Decreased by 8%
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 256 new deaths and 9,277 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported it's 107th death.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1882 - Author Helen Hunt Jackson visits Rancho Camulos; inspiration for "Ramona" novel [story]
HH Jackson
The COVID-19 crisis has trashed recycling efforts and instead generated an increase in plastic waste, according to a recent study, but Los Angeles County restaurants could soon be required to make adjustments related to disposable food ware in an effort to reduce waste.
Jan. 26: Board of Supervisors to Consider Restaurant Requirement Aimed at Curbing Waste
Despite signs that California’s latest and most damaging wave of the pandemic is subsiding, the state nonetheless sets a one-day record of 764 deaths on Friday.
COVID Death Rate Soars to New Daily Record in California
Claims of excessive force, retaliation, and other misconduct by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will be probed during a C, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Friday.
California Attorney General Launches Civil Rights Probe of L.A. Sheriff’s Department
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 256 new deaths and 9,277 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported it's 107th death.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: 3 New Deaths at Henry Mayo; L.A. County Hospitalizations Decreased by 8%
When Dr. John Scaramella, a dental surgeon, moved to the Santa Clarita Valley in 1978, there were only 18 others in his field.
SCV Dental Surgeon Sells Practice After More than 40 Years
The Los Angeles County Library, in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is set to host a series of free virtual workshops running every other week on Fridays from January through June.
L.A. County Library to Host Virtual Art Programs in Partnership with LACMA
The temporary residential green waste pick-up schedule will continue through Jan. 29 for customers in Santa Clarita after Waste Management requested an additional week for its modified schedule.
Waste Management Extends Modified Green Waste Pick-Up Schedule an Additional Week
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold a virtual regular meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, January 26, starting at 6 p.m.
Jan. 26: City Council Virtual Regular Meeting
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board has approved the recommendation to name Julian Gomez as the assistant principal of Bowman High School.
Hart District Names Julian Gomez Assistant Principal
The Los Angeles County Development Authority will launch the Small Business Stabilization Loan Program on Jan. 28 and will begin accepting applications to help small businesses prevent further job loss and business closures.
L.A. County to Launch Small Business Stabilization Loan Program
The William S. Hart Union High School District governing board voted 3-1 Wednesday night to let athletic conditioning return to district campuses Jan. 27.
Hart District Votes 3-1 to Allow Return of Athletic Conditioning to Campuses
1839 - Gov. Juan B. Alvarado gives most of SCV to Mexican Army Lt. Antonio del Valle. [story]
Diseno map
Join the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency (SCV Water) on Thursday, Jan. 28, from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., to learn about and provide input on its Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP).
SCV Water Encouraging Public to Provide Input on Contingency Plan
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 262 new deaths, including an additional death at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, and 8,512 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 countywide, with 22,360 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: Additional Death at Henry Mayo; 22,360 Total SCV Cases
SACRAMENTO – California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan issued the following statement Thursday advising providers that they can immediately resume the administration of lot 41L20A of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which was temporarily paused on Sunday due to possible allergic reactions.
State Says Moderna Vaccine Administration Can Resume Immediately
As winds began to die down in the Santa Clarita Valley, firefighters were able to increase containment on the Towsley Fire to 53% Thursday.
Firefighters Reach 53% Containment on Towsley Fire
Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, is supporting the effort by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to address concerns of communities throughout Los Angeles County, which continue to experience ongoing Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) initiated by Southern California Edison (Edison).
Barger Supports Efforts in Limiting Power Shutoffs; Public Hearing Set
Single Mothers Outreach (SMO) is proud to announce “Survivor” as the theme for the 11th annual Empowering HeArts fundraising gala set to take place virtually on Saturday, Aug. 7.
Nominations Open for Annual Empowering HeArts Awards
The College of the Canyons School of Personal and Professional Learning was presented an Honorable Mention award by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges’ 2021 Exemplary Program Award.
COC Recognized for Personal, Professional Learning Program
The William S. Hart Union High School is looking for two new members to serve on the Measure SA Citizens’ Oversight Committee. These members will serve two-year terms with a maximum of three consecutive terms.
Hart Seeking Members for Citizens’ Oversight Committee
Santa Clarita-based Princess Cruises announced Thursday the sale of Pacific Princess to an undisclosed buyer.
Princess Cruises Announces Sale of Pacific Princess to Undisclosed Buyer
After a dayslong wind event hit the Santa Clarita Valley, most area residents power had been restored by Thursday morning.
SoCal Edison Restores Power to Most SCV Residents
The Los Angeles County Coroner-Medical Examiner’s Office identified Carlos Salgado-Ruiz, 35, of Santa Clarita, as the pedestrian killed after being struck by a vehicle in Saugus Wednesday night.
Pedestrian Killed in Saugus Hit-and-Run Identified
%d bloggers like this: