Democrat Krystal Ball dismisses leaked internet pictures
A 28-year-old Democratic candidate called Krystal Ball has dismissed a series of racy pictures of her leaked on the internet, claiming women of her generation running for office are likely to be caught out by such images.
Nine compromising pictures of Miss Ball, who is vying to become the youngest woman ever elected to the US Congress, were posted on the internet.
Taken at a Christmas party six years ago, they show her clad in a red velvet Santa Claus hat and black lace camisole, cavorting with her ex-husband and making obscene movements using a sexual aid strapped to his head.
Publication of the images has been a blow to her long-shot campaign to replace incumbent Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman, who personally asked the bloggers responsible to remove them from their websites.
Miss Ball said that the publication of the photos were part of a plot to portray female politicians as "whores". She sought to portray herself as victim of sexism, stating that "society has to accept that women of my generation have sexual lives that are going to leak into the public sphere" and evoking the experiences of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.
"You know it's really interesting because this is really not a new thing," she told MSNBC. "I think for years and years, women have been delegitimized and denigrated by being portrayed as whores. And I can't believe that I'm on your show saying that word but I think that's true."
Miss Ball, who uses the unusual name that was given to her by her father, a scientist who studied crystals, has since remarried and is the mother of a two-year-old girl.
She appeared to concede that the furore over the photographs might actually help her campaign.
"I realised that in this lies an opportunity, because we have a shot to win this race."
She continued: "I am not the only one that is frustrated with these types of tactics and we've seen it in the support that I've received in the community since these photos came out last week.
"People come up to me and say, you know what Krystal, you're just a normal person. What we want to hear about is how we're going to get people back to work. How are we going to work on our education system? How are we going to invest in infrastructure?"