Virginia Democrat Denounces Washington Post Article On ‘Sex Act’ Videos

Susanna Gibson, a Democratic candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates, slammed a Monday report in The Washington Post about consensual sex acts she once performed with her husband via livestreamed video and suggested she may pursue legal action.

Gibson said in a statement to The New York Times that the publicity amounted to “an illegal invasion of my privacy designed to humiliate me and my family” and an example of “the worst gutter politics.”

A nurse practitioner and public health advocate, Gibson is running to represent the state’s 57th District, an area northwest of Richmond. Her race is one of just a handful of toss-ups, the results of which will help determine which party controls the Virginia House of Delegates, currently led by Republicans. Her campaign website outlines policy stances in favor of reproductive rights, gun control, public school education and several other issues.

The Washington Post reported that it had received a tip about the consensual videos from a “Republican operative” whose identity the paper agreed to protect. The operative said he was not working on behalf of Gibson’s Republican opponent in the race, David Owen.

While the original videos, hosted on the website Chaturbate, have been taken down, the Post reported that they had been “archived” on a different website, Recurbate.

An attorney for Gibson, Daniel P. Watkins, suggested the publicity amounted to a violation of Virginia law that makes it illegal to record someone nude or in a state of undress and distribute the recording to third parties without their knowledge — a practice also known as “revenge porn.” Like several other states, Virginia passed a law against revenge porn around a decade ago.

“It’s illegal and it’s disgusting to disseminate this kind of material, and we’re working closely with the FBI and local prosecutors to bring the wrongdoers to justice,” Watkins said in a statement.

It is not clear whether Gibson would pursue a lawsuit against The Washington Post, the unnamed Republican operative or some other party. HuffPost reached out to Watkins and Gibson for comment but did not receive an immediate response.

Gibson has given no indication she plans to drop out of the race.

“It won’t intimidate me and it won’t silence me,” Gibson said in a statement to the Post and The Associated Press, which also reported on the videos. “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.”

It is not clear when the videos were originally streamed. The Post could only report that two of the videos had been reposted to Recurbate on Sept. 30, 2022; Gibson entered the race that month.

The Post framed the story around Gibson’s candidacy and her solicitation of monetary “tips” in the videos, telling readers:

Gibson takes the lead in addressing viewers on videos viewed by The Post, but in one case her husband, an attorney, chimes in with, “C’mon, guys,” to echo her entreaties for tips.

The paper suggested asking for tips was against Chaturbate’s terms and conditions. Gibson reportedly told her viewers at one point that she was “raising money for a good cause.”


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