Democratic candidate Susanna Gibson is caught up in a scandal about her past engagement in adult streaming video and her request for “tips” from viewers during her graphic online performances. Gibson is running for the Virginia House of Delegates. In a race that is well followed, the 40-year-old mother of two is presently seeking election in Richmond, Virginia’s District 57.
As screenshots of her stored explicit online performances began to spread, shocking details about Susanna Gibson’s online activities became apparent. Gibson and her spouse are said to have performed intimate acts in front of a virtual audience on the adult streaming service Chaturbate. The screenshots were then made available to the public in September 2022, not long after Gibson declared her candidacy, on the publicly accessible archive website Recurbate.
The graphic material featured Gibson taking part in more than twelve live broadcasts alongside her husband. She occasionally asked her Chaturbate fans for “tips” in exchange for doing particular actions during “private” shows. Gibson also stated that she was “raising money for a good cause,” which complicated the situation around her unusual campaign even more.
With over 5,770 followers on Chaturbate, Gibson frequently begged her viewers to donate tokens while she was performing. The purpose of these tokens was presented as backing for her professed humanitarian endeavors. While claiming to be “ethically non-monogamous,” she made reference to her and her husband’s experiences “swapping” lovers in other videos. She also acknowledged her husband’s reluctance to share.
The terms and regulations of Chaturbate, however, clearly indicate that “requesting or demanding specific acts for tips may result in a ban from the platform for all parties involved.” Her acts on the platform seem inappropriate in light of this law.
Susanna Gibson commented to the Washington Post upon the discovery of the obscene recordings, calling the public release of them “an illegal invasion of my privacy designed to humiliate me and my family.” She continued by announcing her resolve to resist such strategies and claiming that her political rivals had gone too far in their attempts to silence her.
Gibson’s lawyer, Daniel P. Watkins, said that the stored recordings were illegal under Virginia’s revenge porn legislation, which classifies the intentional dissemination of sexual photographs or the nudity of another person as a Class 1 misdemeanor in order to force, harass, or intimidate. Watkins cited a Virginia Appeals Court decision from 2021 that said it was unlawful for someone to secretly film their partner during a consensual sexual encounter—regardless of whether the footage was ever shown to anybody else.
Gibson’s campaign has escalated the dispute by involving both state and federal law enforcement authorities due to the circumstances.
Susanna Gibson is running a campaign against former house builder David Owen, a Republican, while the story develops. In the ongoing battle for control of the Virginia House, where Republicans now hold a tiny majority of three delegates (49-46), the election on November 7 is seen as crucial. In the state Senate, Democrats continue to lead, 22–18.
Since the beginning of her campaign in July 2022, Gibson has raised $376,895 and has attracted a large amount of financial support. By contrast, $339,621 has been raised by the Owen campaign. But even with the substantial fundraising, Gibson has $77,435 in cash on hand following a close Democratic primary loss to Bob Shippee. Having raised no money in the primary, Owen still has $166,179 in his campaign account. The issue surrounding Gibson’s previous internet actions may have an impact on the outcome of the election, which is widely followed.