Woman named in Heitkamp ad: No personal apology

Lexi Zhorela, who was identified as a survivor of "domestic violence, sexual assault or rape" without her consent in an open letter from Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's (D-ND) re-election campaign, says there's nothing the senator can do to fix it.

Posted: Oct 18, 2018 10:21 PM
Updated: Oct 18, 2018 10:35 PM

A woman who was identified without her permission as a survivor of abuse in a campaign ad for Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said Thursday she doesn't know what the senator "could do that would make it better."

Lexi Zhorela, a 24-year-old self-identified liberal from Bismarck, North Dakota, opened up about being in the ad to CNN's Erica Hill on "New Day."

"I don't know what she [Heitkamp] could do that would make it better," Zhorela said. "I know that's why a lot of the people in this situation are reaching out to seek legal counsel because of, you know, what she did is wrong."

She added that she thinks "it's very reckless" that Heitkamp didn't read and approve the document before it was published. "Somebody messed up," she said.

Earlier this week, Heitkamp, looking to slam her Republican opponent, Rep. Kevin Cramer, for suggesting "tough people" do not identify with the national conversation around sexual assault and the treatment of women, ran an open letter to Cramer to show him "what prairie tough looks like."

The letter featured over 120 names at the bottom, but several women, including Zhorela, have come forward to say they were either included without their permission or were not survivors of "domestic violence, sexual assault, or rape," as specified in the letter.

Heitkamp issued a personal apology to the women on Tuesday.

"You know, the names that didn't want to be out there are already out there for the world to see. You can't really retract that, the damage is done," Zhorela said.

Heitkamp's office told CNN Thursday that they planned to reach out to Zhorela, something Zhorela said she was already told before.

Zhorela previously told CNN that she no longer plans to vote for Heitkamp. On Thursday, she stuck to that position, telling Hill that "as of right now, she definitely lost my vote."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 468498

Reported Deaths: 9100
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison31907468
Hinds30552569
DeSoto29532342
Jackson22868335
Rankin21016355
Lee14393214
Madison13961263
Jones13053215
Forrest12879231
Lauderdale11244292
Lowndes10148171
Lamar9972122
Pearl River8569208
Lafayette8008136
Hancock7110107
Oktibbeha6764117
Washington6756146
Neshoba6350200
Monroe6304156
Warren6267159
Panola6036122
Pontotoc599292
Bolivar5960143
Marshall5917115
Union558885
Pike5424133
Lincoln5192127
Alcorn509388
George454766
Scott447392
Leflore4377138
Tippah431780
Itawamba429192
Prentiss429074
Copiah423883
Simpson4238108
Wayne419663
Tate418999
Adams4174109
Yazoo411486
Sunflower4057104
Covington404891
Marion399699
Leake389784
Coahoma385996
Newton360273
Grenada3489100
Stone342657
Tishomingo320987
Attala318285
Jasper308261
Winston298191
Clay282672
Chickasaw277464
Clarke271784
Holmes257685
Calhoun256939
Smith241546
Yalobusha215447
Tallahatchie213849
Walthall203457
Lawrence202431
Greene202045
Perry195053
Amite191251
Webster191141
Noxubee173437
Montgomery168652
Jefferson Davis164041
Carroll158936
Tunica146533
Benton137531
Kemper136538
Claiborne124134
Choctaw123824
Humphreys122036
Franklin114127
Quitman100925
Wilkinson98335
Jefferson85832
Sharkey61620
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 757893

Reported Deaths: 12784
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1082301712
Mobile694251158
Madison47738562
Baldwin35347420
Shelby34758281
Tuscaloosa32576495
Montgomery32249645
Lee21576200
Calhoun19621363
Morgan19061307
Etowah18363413
Marshall17028252
Houston15881337
St. Clair14724270
Limestone13908178
Elmore13812239
Cullman13756228
Lauderdale12909263
Talladega12124200
DeKalb11705220
Walker10047303
Autauga9371119
Blount9272146
Jackson8970132
Coffee8550150
Colbert8229160
Dale8162142
Escambia632298
Tallapoosa6255165
Covington6214153
Chilton6152128
Russell586753
Franklin558292
Chambers5155127
Dallas4569173
Marion4490114
Clarke447070
Pike439188
Geneva415999
Lawrence4002101
Winston399982
Bibb388975
Barbour334667
Marengo317778
Monroe306844
Butler305878
Pickens296166
Henry288550
Randolph288255
Hale282981
Cherokee275649
Fayette268569
Washington241844
Crenshaw226962
Clay219260
Macon211154
Cleburne205746
Lamar184638
Conecuh173337
Lowndes167856
Coosa160031
Wilcox153033
Bullock145642
Perry132430
Sumter122635
Greene117941
Choctaw71925
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