US congresswoman Katie Hill who announced her resignation from Congress on Sunday amid accusations of sexual relationships with staffers, is speaking out about her decision, vowing to fight back against “revenge porn” after nude photos of her were leaked to conservative media.
“I’m hurt. I’m angry,” Hill said in a taped statement released Monday. “The path that I saw so clearly for myself is no longer there. I’ve had moments where I’ve wondered what the last three years of my life were for, and if it was worth it.”
Days before the freshman congresswoman announced she would step down, a House Ethics Committee probe was launched into unproven allegations that she violated the chamber’s rules by having an affair with her legislative director ― a claim she had denied.
Hill has, however, admitted to having had an “inappropriate” relationship with a campaign employee while running for Congress. She has also apologized.
“I never claim to be perfect,” she said in her latest statement. “But I never thought that my imperfections would be weaponized and used to try to destroy me and the community that I have loved for my entire life. For that, I am so incredibly sorry.”
Last week, intimate photos of Hill were published by right-wing blog RedState and the Daily Mail. The congresswoman, who is facing a contentious divorce, blamed political operatives and her husband.
Hill described the spread of the images as a “coordinated campaign” by her adversaries, slamming it as “disgusting and unforgivable” and warning that the perpetrators “will be held accountable.”
“I will fight to ensure that no one else has to live through what I just experienced,” she said. “Some people call this electronic assault, digital exploitation, others call it revenge porn. As the victim of it, I call it one of the worst things that we can do to our sisters and our daughters.”
Hill has not specified the date on which she will formally resign, though those familiar with the matter told Politico she might vacate her seat as soon as Nov. 1.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has since addressed Hill’s resignation as the right move, stating, “She has acknowledged errors in judgment that made her continued service as a Member untenable.”
Ending her recent remarks with a message of resilience, Hill vowed that she would “not allow my experience to scare off other young women or girls from running for office.”
“I grew up riding horses, and the most important thing that I learned was that when you fall off, you have to get right back up in the saddle,” she said. “So I’m going to do that.”