Former school principal says she's a victim of revenge porn and slut-shaming

Annie Schmutz Seifullah is fighting back against charges against her, saying she is a victim of revenge porn, slut-shaming, and humiliation. (Photo: Facebook)

Annie Schmutz Seifullah was príncipal of New York City’s Robert Wagner Secondary School until 2014, when she was dismissed due to allegations of sexting, inappropriate behavior, and charges of having sexually related material on her school computer. While the sexting allegations were not enforced, at a recent hearing, Seifullah was punished with a year without pay, and a professional reputation that seems to be in ruins.

Seifullah’s saga began, according to her accounts, when her boyfriend at the time, Robert Sofia — then the school’s PTA president — planted images on the computer of Seifullah and her ex-husband having sex. “I lost everything and was publicly degraded because my ex-boyfriend used revenge porn to attack me,” Seifullah told the Daily News.

Seifullah and Sofia had been dating for two years, and she said broke up with him after he became abusive and attempted to blackmail her in exchange for not sharing the intimate photos of her with her employers and the public. Seifullah says her troubles began when Sofia followed through on his threats and turned over the laptop with the revealing photos education department officials and a local newspaper — which ended up printing her photos on the cover.

Even though allegations that Seifullah had sex on school property were never substantiated, she was still reprimanded — and subsequently humiliated when printed photos of her were shared during her termination hearing. “It was demoralizing and traumatizing,” Seifullah said. She was even found guilty of causing “widespread negative publicity” because of the media attention her story drew — attention proven to have been caused by the actions her jilted lover.

Seifullah plans to appeal the trial outcome. “The Education Department should have protected and defended me,” she said. “Instead, they spent the next three years stoning me in the public square.” According to Seifullah’s lawyer, Peter Gleason, “Slut-shame and misogyny have guided the campaign against my client from the start.” If these statements are indeed true, one can understand why Seifullah will make the effort to clear her name.

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