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‘Survivor’ Winner Nick Wilson Withdraws Kentucky Bill Legalizing Sex Between 1st Cousins

Survivor Winner Nick Wilson Withdraws Kentucky Bill Legalizing Sex Between First Cousins
Nick Wilson Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Former Survivor winner and Kentucky state representative Nick Wilson is withdrawing his controversial bill that would have legalized sex between first cousins.

“During the drafting process, there was an inadvertent change, which struck ‘first cousins’ from the list of relationships included under the incest statute, and I failed to add it back in,” Wilson wrote via Facebook on Wednesday, January 17. “During today’s session, I will withdraw HB 269 and refile a bill with the ‘first cousin’ language intact. The fact that I was able to file a bill, catch the mistake, withdraw the bill and refile within a 24-hour period shows that we have a good system.”

Wilson explained that the purpose of the bill was supposed to add “‘sexual contact” to Kentucky’s statute defining incest.

“Currently, incest only applies in cases of intercourse. So sexual touching/groping by uncles, stepdads or anyone with a familial relationship is not included in incest,” he continued. “My bill makes that kind of sexual contact a Class D Felony, unless the victim is under the age of 12, then it increases the penalty to a Class C Felony.”

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Existing legislation in Kentucky forbids sexual relationships with a parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, great-grandparent, great-grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, sibling or first cousin. In Wilson’s bill, which was introduced on Tuesday, January 16, the mention of first cousins was removed, and he now plans to fix his error.

“I understand that I made a mistake, but I sincerely hope my mistake doesn’t hurt the chances of the corrected version of the bill,” he concluded. “It is a good bill, and I hope it will get a second chance.”

Later that day, Wilson shared an update on the process of his updated legislation.

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“House Bill 289 adds ‘sexual contact’ to incest, applies a penalty to such conduct, and adds incest to the violent offender statute,” he announced via Facebook. “This bill makes NO other changes to current law.”

Wilson competed on Survivor: David vs. Goliath in 2018. He was crowned the champion of the season, beating fan-favorite Mike White who would go on to create The White Lotus. Wilson returned to Fiji in 2020 to compete against other former champions in Survivor: Winners At War where he finished in seventh place.

In 2021, Wilson decided to run for the Kentucky House of Representatives. After running unopposed, he was elected to the seat. Since his time in the legislature, Wilson has backed several controversial bills in the state, including banning gender-affirming care for transgender children and the discussion of sexual orientation in schools.

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