The DailyMail.com published a story Thursday about the California Democrat’s personal life, which included naked photos it said were of Hill, including one it claimed shows her with a “Nazi-era” tattoo.
The website’s story followed one published Wednesday by the conservative website RedState.com, which first alleged that Hill, 32, had been in a three-person relationship that included her husband and a female campaign aide. It also alleged she is in a romantic relationship with a member of her congressional staff — an accusation the House Ethics Committee is investigating.
RedState published one nude photo allegedly of Hill as well. It is unclear whether her legal team will also send that website a similar letter demanding it be taken down.
The attorneys, who addressed their letter to Candace Trunzo, executive editor of the DailyMail.com, said Hill was sent a message before publication asking if she wished to comment on its “professed intention to distribute lewd images of her, of unknown and unverified provenance.”
They wrote that Hill’s estranged husband had been emotionally abusive for years and that by “spreading these purported claims, and dehumanizing and shaming images across the globe, you have perpetuated the cycle of abuse Representative Hill has endured.” Hill and her husband, Kenny Heslep, have filed for divorce.
Trunzo did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did Hill’s attorneys.
Hill is a freshman rising star in the Democratic Party who won a Republican-strong seat in 2018 to help the Democrats take the majority of the House. She is a junior member of the Democrats’ leadership team with a powerful post on the House Oversight Committee.
Hill has acknowledged that she had been in an “inappropriate” relationship with a campaign aide but has denied that she’s had a romantic affair with a congressional staffer, which would be against the House’s code of conduct.
In their letter, her attorneys cite California law against distribution of private, sexual images as well as libel laws, contending that the website’s claim that Hill has “Nazi imagery on her body in the form of a tattoo is false and defamatory.”
They also comment on the emotional duress the publication has caused the congresswoman, writing: “No one — not Representative Hill, not anyone else — should ever be expected to endure a publication like that which she has suffered today.”