Attorneys for Rep. Katie Hill have threatened to bring legal action against British tabloid the Daily Mail for posting what it claims are nude photos of the freshman California Democrat, reported HuffPost.
The attorneys sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Daily Mail.com on 24 October demanding that the website remove the photos immediately.
“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,” reads the letter from Hill’s attorneys at Perkins Coie.
The lawyers also suggested Hill was defamed over a report by the Daily Mail that she has a Nazi-inspired tattoo on her body.
“California law provides a cause of action against libel, which is defined as the “false and unprivileged publication by writing, printing, picture...which exposes any person to hatred, contempt, ridicule... or which has a tendency to injure him in his occupation,”” they said.
“The claim that Representative Hill has Nazi imagery on her body in the form of a tattoo is false and defamatory.”
The letter concludes:
“The continued publication by your outlet or others of these images will warrant legal response.”
The newspaper had run a series of intimate photos it alleged were of Hill and a former campaign staffer with whom it suggested she had an affair before winning a seat in Congress.
Hill, who is going through a bitter divorce, has admitted to an “inappropriate” relationship with a female campaign staffer and apologised to her constituents over the matter.
However, she denied having a sexual relationship with her male legislative director, Graham Kelly.
Earlier, website RedState.org claimed that the congresswoman, who is the vice chair of the House Oversight Committee tasked with the impeachment inquiry launched by House Democrats against President Trump, and her husband were involved in a “throuple” relationship with a female campaign staffer.
The outlet also alleged that she had an affair with her legislative director, which is prohibited under House rules.
The House Ethics Committee is investigating the issue.
The 32-year-old has asked the US Capitol Police to look into whether any criminal laws were violated by release of the photos.
She also lambasted what she referred to as a “smear campaign”, saying it “will not get in the way of the work” that she is doing in Congress and her constituency.
The Daily Mail has not yet made an official comment about Hill’s threat of legal action.