Former Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), who stepped down from her congressional seat in October following a nude photo leak and allegations of a sexual relationship with a staffer, vowed a tough legal battle against media involved in her takedown.
While Hill told Hayes she didn’t realize the photos had been taken, she noted, “I have taken images like that, and I’m not even ashamed to say that I’ve taken images and sent images like that.”
“Let’s not pretend that this is some taboo thing that people aren’t doing,” Hill said, stressing that the exploitation of intimate photos is being used overwhelmingly against women.
Hill, who is facing a contentious divorce, has described herself as the victim of so-called revenge porn. She claims to have been the target of a smear campaign waged by adversaries including her husband, whom she has accused of releasing the photos.
“I do not think this is an acceptable precedent that can be set,” she said, arguing that publications that spread the images cannot justify the action in the name of the First Amendment.
“There is a line,” she said. “And it comes down to fundamental human decency, and are you enabling or empowering somebody who is literally using this to abuse you and to take you down, and putting that out for the world to see, and in the most vulnerable state that you could possibly be in.”
Ahead of her decision to leave Congress, the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into claims that she had an affair with her legislative director, which she has denied. She has, however, admitted to an “inappropriate” relationship with her past campaign staffer.
Since resigning, Hill has made several media appearances in which she promised to fight back against online bullying.
Last month, she told CNN that it was “one of the darkest things” she has experienced.
“These kinds of attacks are meant to silence you, demean you and show that you do not have power,” she said. “You’re not seen as a person anymore, and the dehumanization is something that I think people can’t really understand unless you’ve been there.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.