The former Dartmouth South candidate for the Nova Scotia Liberals says the party dropped her from the ticket over boudoir photos she had already disclosed, and asked her to lie by claiming mental-health concerns instead.
Robyn Ingraham announced Saturday she would no longer be running for the Liberals, citing “the time commitment and intensity of a campaign and the impact it will have on my mental health.”
On Wednesday night, Ingraham posted a detailed open letter, and a copy of an email she sent to Liberal Leader Iain Rankin on Saturday.
Ingraham said she was much open with the party during her vetting process regarding intimate images she had taken, and sometimes sold online.
“I explained that I love to show off the artwork on my skin, and I have no problem taking boudoir photos alone and with my friends. I’ve used multiple platforms to express myself online, some including Instagram, Tumblr and OnlyFans,” Ingraham wrote.
Ingraham saw photos as ‘teachable moment’
OnlyFans is a network frequently used by adult performers, where fans of a creator can view their content for a monthly subscription fee.
In her letter to Rankin, Ingraham – a barber and small business owner – the COVID-19 pandemic has been quite difficult for her financially. She stated that she has “every night” to use her body as she sees fit, including taking pictures and selling them online.
Ingraham said she believed that when her pictures surfaced, “there would be a teachable moment for the community and province.
“Why should I be ashamed of my body and what I decide to do with it?”
Soon after her candidacy was announced Friday night, Ingraham said the Liberal party called her to say that her pictures had already surfaced.
She said she was asked to call the party’s communications director, to whom Ingraham explained herself “for the 10th time”, and told them regarding how she lives with mental health challenges.
“I was lead (sic) on to think that everything was fine,” Ingraham said.
On Saturday morning, Ingraham said she was getting ready to meet Rankin at the Alderney Farmers Market in Dartmouth for a campaign event when she got a call from the party saying that the pictures had “made the higher ups worried.”
In her email to Rankin, Ingraham said she was told she could “no longer represent your party.”
“When I was told to step down, I was asked to blame myself. I blamed my mental illness, something that I was going to use as an advantage for your government,” Ingraham wrote to the lieutenant governor, Rankin and other accounts connected to the Liberal leader just before 6 p.m. AT Saturday.
“I was told you had my back.”
Rankin says Ingraham made her own decision
Rankin told the media that he first knew Ingraham was dropping out of the race from her Saturday social media post, and said she made the decision to withdraw.
On Wednesday, Rankin again was asked if Ingraham was pushed out by the party.
“My understanding is she withdrew, that’s what I saw on the statement that she made and I’ve been trying to reach out,” Rankin said.
Howver, Ingraham said the Liberal party had given her two prewritten statements to choose from, which she then posted to her own social media accounts that Saturday.
Ingraham seeking ‘sincere reply’ from Rankin
“I posted the statement of lies. I posted because I was worried how this would look on the team that worked so hard to get me on board,” Ingraham said in her Wednesday post.
“All I want is for the real story to be out there, and for those to know that though my mental illness’ have hindered me in the past — they are not responsible for this.”
She went on to ask Rankin to contact her with a “sincere reply”, not one crafted by his communications team “to lessen the blow of this matter.”