Susanna Gibson, the Democratic candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates, called the move the “the worst gutter politics” and “an illegal invasion of my privacy designed to humiliate me and my family.”
"It won’t intimidate me and it won’t silence me,” she told the Associated Press. “My political opponents and their Republican allies have proven they’re willing to commit a sex crime to attack me and my family because there’s no line they won’t cross to silence women when they speak up.'
The videos were first brought to the attention of the Washington Post by an unnamed Republican operative. The outlet reported that the videos feature Gibson and her husband on a livestream where they asked viewers to pay for the performance of certain sex acts. The footage was then archived on some pornographic websites before the operative flagged it.
Gibson, who won the Democratic primary over the summer, is facing Republican David Owen for the Virginia House seat representing Richmond.
Owen did not say if he knew or worked with the Republican operative. He claimed that he found out about the videos through the Washington Post story, only telling CNN: “I’m sure this is a difficult time for Susanna and her family, and I’m remaining focused on my campaign.'
Sharing the videos violates Virginia’s revenge porn law, according to Gibson’s attorney Daniel P. Watkins, who said they were working with law enforcement to identify the person who disseminated them.
“Capturing and disseminating this content without permission is unlawful recording and it plainly violates Virginia’s revenge porn statute," he told the outlet. 'We are working closely with law enforcement to bring accountability to the wrongdoers."
Gibson indicated that she does not intend to drop out of the race, stating: "They are trying to silence me because they want to silence you, and I won’t let that happen.”
“My opponent and his allies know that the people of this district are on our side on the issues, so they’re stooping to the worst gutter politics," she said. "There’s too much at stake in this election and I’ll never stop fighting for our community.”
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