Katie Hill resigns from Congress and vows to end scourge of ‘revenge porn’

One of America’s first openly bisexual members of Congress has resigned amid allegations of an affair with an aide.  Katie Hill, a 32-year-old Democrat representing California, announced her resignation on Sunday.

On Thursday the website DailyMail.com had published naked images of her with her aide Morgan Desjardins. Miss Desjardins began a relationship with Ms Hill and her husband in 2017, shortly after she began working for the congresswoman. Ms Hill has admitted the relationship was “improper”.

The website also published images of Ms Hill with her campaign finance director, Graham Kelly, and claims by Ms Hill’s now-estranged husband that the pair were having an affair. Ms Hill has denied having a relationship with Mr Kelly. He has not commented.

The publication of the images sparked an investigation announced on Wednesday by the House Ethics Committee.

Both her relationship with Miss Desjardins and Mr Kelly – if proven – would violate House ethics rules against relationships with junior employees, brought in in light of the #MeToo scandal.

At the time the law passed, in February 2018, nine members of Congress had recently resigned or announced their departures amid allegations of sexual misconduct or related impropriety — including one case that also involved leaked nude photos.

Ms Hill is the first congressman to step down as a result of the new law.

In her resignation letter, she apologised to her constituents but also vowed to work to end “revenge porn”. She said the photos were leaked by her estranged husband, amid a bitter divorce.

“Having private photos of personal moments weaponized against me has been an appalling invasion of my privacy,” she said.

“It’s also illegal, and we are currently pursuing all of our available legal options.”

Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, supported Ms Hill’s resignation, saying that Ms Hill has “acknowledged errors in judgment that made her continued service as a Member untenable.”

But Ms Hill has received support from an unlikely corner, with Republican Matt Gaetz calling the House ethics investigation “absurd”.

“Who among us would look perfect if every ex leaked every photo/text?” he said.

He suggested that the real reason Ms Hill was being investigated “is because she is different.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *