Representative Katie Hill (D., Calif.) admitted Wednesday evening that she engaged in an “inappropriate” relationship with one of her campaign staffers and apologized for her actions.
“During the final tumultuous years of my abusive marriage, I became involved in a relationship with someone on my campaign,” the California congresswoman said in a statement. “I know that even a consensual relationship with a subordinate is inappropriate, but I still allowed it to happen despite my better judgment. For that I apologize. I wish nothing but the best for her and hope everyone respects her privacy in this difficult time.”
The alleged relationship with the unnamed female campaign staffer, which occurred while Hill was campaigning in last year’s midterm elections, was exposed by the blog RedState, which published a redacted topless photo of Hill and the woman, as a “throuple” with Hill’s husband.
“I am going through a divorce from an abusive husband who seems determined to try to humiliate me,” Hill said after the photo was published. “I am disgusted that my opponents would seek to exploit such a private matter for political gain. This coordinated effort to try to destroy me and the people close to me is despicable and will not succeed. I, like many women who have faced attacks like this before, am stronger than those who want me to be afraid.”
Meanwhile, Hill has denied a separate alleged relationship with her legislative director Graham Kelly but promised to cooperate with the House Committee on Ethics, which announced Wednesday that it will open an investigation into that matter, as the alleged relationships potentially violated House rules.
“Allegations that I have been involved in a relationship with Mr. Kelly are absolutely false,” Hill said in a Tuesday statement.
Hill said she has notified Capitol Hill police about the publication by “Republican operatives” of the compromising photos of her and the campaign staffer and said she will not comment further on the matter.
Hill is openly bisexual and is the vice chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee.