NATIONAL NEWS

Candidate in high-stakes Virginia election performed sex acts with husband in live videos

Sep 11, 2023, 4:20 PM | Updated: Sep 12, 2023, 8:58 am

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A candidate in a high-stakes legislative contest in Virginia had sex with her husband in live videos posted on a pornographic website and asked viewers to pay them money in return for carrying out specific sex acts.

Screenshots of Susanna Gibson on the website were shared with The Associated Press. The campaign for Gibson, a Democrat running for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates in a district just outside Richmond, issued a statement Monday in which it denounced the sharing of the videos as a violation of the law and her privacy. Gibson called the exposure of the videos “the worst gutter politics.”

“It won’t intimidate me and it won’t silence me,” she said in the statement. “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 Washington Post first reported the videos on Monday.

The revelation marked an explosive turn in a contest that will carry significant weight in determining the balance of power in the Virginia General Assembly. The race has attracted large amounts of spending and interest for an off-year legislative race.

Democrats control the Senate by a four-vote margin, and Republicans control the House of Delegates by the same margin, with four seats currently vacant. The parties are waging intense legislative battles as GOP rising national political star Gov. Glenn Youngkin looks to bolster his conservative agenda with full control of state government.

Gibson said that exposing the videos is “an illegal invasion of my privacy designed to humiliate me and my family.” Gibson’s attorney, Daniel P. Watkins, said that disseminating the videos is a violation of Virginia’s revenge porn law, which makes it a crime to “maliciously” disseminate or sell nude or sexual images of another person with the intent to “coerce, harass, or intimidate.”

“A criminal act has occurred here, and that’s the dissemination of revenge porn by a Republican operative,” Watkins told the AP.

Watkins cited a 2021 Virginia Court of Appeals ruling that found it was unlawful for a man to secretly record his girlfriend during a consensual sexual encounter even if he did not show the video to other people. The court found that consent to being seen is not the same as consent to being recorded.

Gibson, 40, a nurse practitioner and married mother of two young children, won a Democratic primary in June and is running against Republican businessman David Owen in one of the most competitve districts in the state.

“I’m sure this is a difficult time for Susanna and her family, and I’m remaining focused on my campaign,” Owen said in a statement.

A top-ranking Virginia Democrat immediately came to Gibson’s defense after the videos were reported by the Post. “Now we are going to make this the biggest fundraising day of her campaign,” Sen. L. Louise Lucas said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Garren Shipley, a spokesman for Republican House Speaker Todd Gilbert, did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

Gibson and Owen are competing in the 57th District, an area that includes suburbs of Richmond in both Henrico and Goochland counties. The district chose Youngkin by a 51.2%-to-48.3% margin in 2021, but in the 2022 congressional midterm elections, the split in the district was 50% Democratic to 49.1% Republican.

Gibson has said the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 decision overturning Roe v. Wade propelled her into the race.

Gibson had an account on Chaturbate, a legal website where viewers can watch live webcam performances that feature nudity and sexual activity, according to the screenshots reviewed by the AP. The videos show GIbson and her husband, John David Gibson, having sex and at times looking into the camera and asking viewers for donations in the form of “tokens” or “tips” to watch a private show.

Chaturbate videos are streamed live on that site and are often archived on other publicly available sites, the Post reported. More than a dozen videos posted under Gibson’s Chaturbate username were archived on one of those sites — Recurbate — in September 2022, the month after she announced her candidacy. The most recent were two videos archived on Sept. 30, 2022. It is unclear when the livestream occurred.

___

This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Sen. L. Louise Lucas’ name.

National News

FILE - Emergency personnel arrive to evacuate people at a mass shelter, Sept. 2, 2021, in Independe...

Associated Press

No prison for a nursing home owner who sent 800 residents to ride out a hurricane in squalor

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana businessman who sent more than 800 elderly residents from his seven nursing homes to ride out Hurricane Ida in a crowded, ill-equipped warehouse pleaded no contest to 15 criminal counts Monday and was sentenced to three years of probation. Bob Dean Jr. also must pay more than $358,000 in […]

4 minutes ago

Associated Press

New Orleans civil rights icon Tessie Prevost dead at 69

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Funeral services will be held Saturday for one of four Black girls who helped integrate New Orleans public schools in 1960. Tessie Prevost Williams, known as one of the “New Orleans Four,” died July 6 following a series of medical complications. She was 69. On Nov. 14, 1960, Prevost Williams, along […]

26 minutes ago

A deer walks past a law enforcement blockade of President Joe Biden's beach house neighborhood, Mon...

Associated Press

Biden continues to recover from COVID-19, stays out of public view after ending his 2024 campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s “symptoms have almost resolved completely” from COVID-19, according to his physician, as the president on Monday remained out of public view for the fifth straight day. Biden announced he was ending his reelection campaign in a letter posted Sunday on social media. He also announced in a statement on […]

28 minutes ago

Associated Press

Plane crashes near the site of an air show in Wisconsin, killing the 2 people on board

NEKIMI, Wis. (AP) — A plane crashed in a Wisconsin farm field near the site of an air show Monday, killing the two people on board, authorities said. Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters responding to the crash in the eastern Wisconsin town of Nekimi on Monday afternoon found the aircraft fully engulfed in flames, the Winnebago […]

30 minutes ago

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks about his possible political future during an interview at the Ke...

Associated Press

Gov. Andy Beshear endorses Harris amid speculation on whether he’s in the running to join the ticket

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday he spoke with Vice President Kamala Harris soon after she became the prohibitive favorite to lead the Democratic ticket, and said his state’s progress “should be a model for the country” as speculation swirled around whether he’s in the running to join the slate. Beshear […]

53 minutes ago

Associated Press

Largest trial court in the US closes after ransomware attack, California officials say

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The largest trial court in the country was closed Monday after a ransomware attack shut down its computer system late last week, officials with the Superior Court of Los Angeles County said. The court disabled its computer network upon discovery of the cybersecurity attack early Friday, and the system remained down […]

1 hour ago

Candidate in high-stakes Virginia election performed sex acts with husband in live videos