A candidate in a high-stakes congressional race in Virginia had sex with her husband in live videos posted on a pornographic website and asked viewers to pay them money in exchange for performing specific sexual acts.
Screenshots of Susanna Gibson on the website were shared with The Associated Press. The campaign of Gibson, a Democrat running for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates in a district outside Richmond, issued a statement Monday denouncing that sharing the videos was a violation of the law and your privacy. Gibson called the exposure of the videos “corrupt politics at its worst.”
"He will not intimidate me or silence me," he said in the statement. "My political opponents and their Republican allies have shown that they are willing to commit a sexual crime to attack me and my family because there is no line they will not cross to silence women when they speak."
The Washington Post first reported on the videos on Monday.
The revelation marked an explosive turn in a race that will have significant weight in determining the balance of power in the Virginia General Assembly. The race has drawn huge 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 Gov. Glenn Youngkin, the Republican Party's rising national political star, seeks to bolster his conservative agenda with full control of state government.
Gibson said exposing the videos is “an illegal invasion of my privacy designed to humiliate me and my family.” Gibson's attorney, Daniel P. Watkins, said releasing the videos is a violation of the Virginia 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 intimate.”
Watkins cited a 2021 Virginia Court of Appeals ruling that found it was illegal for a man to secretly record his girlfriend during a consensual sexual encounter even if he did not show the video to others. The court determined that consent to be viewed is not the same as consent to be recorded.
Gibson, 40, a nurse 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 state's most competitive districts.
Gibson and Owen are competing in District 57, an area that includes Richmond suburbs in Henrico and Goochland counties. The district elected 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 had an account on Chaturbate, a legal website where viewers can watch live webcam performances featuring nudity and sexual activity, according to screenshots reviewed by the AP. The videos show GIbson and her husband, John David Gibson, having sex and sometimes looking at the camera and asking viewers for donations in the form of “tokens” or “tips” to watch a private program.
Chaturbate videos are streamed live on that site and 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 such site, Recurbate, in September 2022, a month after she announced her candidacy. The most recent were two videos archived on September 30, 2022. It is unclear when the live broadcast occurred.