State legislative candidate Amy Biviano is slamming a "partisan agenda-driven website" for revealing she posed for Playboy while attending Yale University in 1995.
Biviano, a Democrat challenging Republican Rep. Matt Shea for the 4th District House of Representatives seat, said she doesn't regret posing for that photo, which was featured in a "Women of the Ivy League" pictorial while she was attending Yale.
The topless photo was revealed Friday by a conservative website called Western Center for Journalism, which claimed that Biviano, a wife, mother and Sunday School teacher, has seen her campaign against Shea "rocked" by the revelation of her appearance in Playboy 17 years ago.
Back at the time she posed for the pictorial, Amy Biviano, who was not married and went by her maiden name Amy Nabors, wrote for the Yale Herald after posing for Playboy, wrote that she knew that her future would be impacted by her decision to pose for the magazine.
So do I believe that my future might be affected by posing for Playboy? Yes, I believe that it will," she wrote. "But, it has made a positive contribution to my life - I gained a sense of self-reliance which I lacked before the posing scandal. Yes, it was fun to have my five minutes of fame both on the Yale campus and on the national scene. It is a nice little boost to the ego to know that some people consider me to be attractive enough to be in Playboy. But of course I know now, and I knew when I first chose to pose, that these benefits will fade, and they will only be remembered by a few people searching through dusty archives.
Indeed the Western Center for Journalism, which labels itself as "Informing and Equipping Americans who love Freedom", did look through the dusty archives of the Internet to find the pictorial from 1995, and blasted Biviano as a hypocrite for not telling voters that she had posed nude while she was a 20-year-old coed at Yale:
Biviano has worked hard to transform her image from a Yale educated anthropologist and self-avowed feminist into a suburban mom with an adoring husband. What she doesn’t share in her bio is her work as a model for Playboy. She appeared in the October 1995 issue of the Men’s soft porno magazine as part of a special spread on 'The Women of the Ivy League'
After news of the article broke Friday afternoon, Biviano released the following statement to KXLY 4 News by e-mail:
A partisan, agenda-driven website has "broken" the story that when I was a 20 year old student at Yale University, I appeared in Playboy Magazine's "Women of the Ivy League." People have asked me how I feel about this decision now, as a 37 year old wife, mother, and political candidate. My answer is that while I would not do the same thing now, this is not something that I made any attempt to hide. I haven't brought it up in the context of this race because it has no bearing on issues in the 4th legislative district nor the person I am today.
I also stand by my character and fitness for public office. In fact, I would be happy to make character a centerpiece of this campaign. I learned a lot from my college experiences. Since then, I have gone on to build an extremely happy marriage of fifteen years, have been blessed with amazing children, have been active in my church, and have worked and volunteered to help my community while living with a disability.
I remain the only candidate in this race able to work with people of all walks of life and on both sides of the aisle. I have shown the work ethic and determination to get things done.
Shea has not returned calls or e-mails for comment on this development, but instead posted an article on his campaign site where he said he was saddened by Friday's news, but claimed he already knew Biviano had posed for the magazine but had chosen not to make it a campaign issue.
I am saddened by the release by a national media outlet of my opponent’s involvement in pornography. I strongly condemn the release of this information. Our campaign was aware of this information several months ago, and made a very determined decision to not use or disperse this information in any way, shape, or form. I specifically instructed the few members of my campaign team who knew of this situation to not disseminate this information, engage in negative, personal attack campaigning, even though my opponent had already done so. This type of negative campaigning is exactly what is wrong with politics today. While these revelations are indeed alarming, my heart goes out to Amy and her family. My wife Viktoriya and I will continue to pray for her.
Biviano trailed Shea, a conservative Republican, by more than 20 points in the August primary.
The Associated Press contributed to this report