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House Democrat Says She Had 'Inappropriate Relationship'

Katie Hill blames 'abusive husband' for release of intimate photos
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2019 5:04 AM CDT
Updated Oct 24, 2019 6:39 AM CDT
In this April 3, 2019, file photo, Rep. Katie Hill talks on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
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(Newser) – A Democratic lawmaker admits that she had an inappropriate relationship with a campaign staffer—but she denies having a relationship with a congressional staffer. In a letter to her constituents in California, Rep. Katie Hill apologized for having the relationship with a female staffer during her 2018 campaign, CNN reports. She said it happened during the "final tumultuous years" of her "abusive marriage." "I know that even a consensual relationship with a subordinate is inappropriate, but I still allowed it to happen despite my better judgment," she wrote. Hill, an outspoken Trump critic who serves on the House Oversight Committee, added that intimate photos of her and "another individual" were published online by "GOP operatives" without her consent, and that Capitol Hill police are investigating.

Hill, who identifies as bisexual, appeared to blame estranged husband Kenny Heslep for the release of the photos, saying: "I am going through a divorce from an abusive husband who seems determined to try to humiliate me." The conservative website RedState.org published the photos along with allegations that Heslep also had a relationship with the campaign staffer. The site also claimed Hill had a relationship with her legislative director, Graham Kelly, which would have violated House rules, CBS reports. The House Ethics Committee said Wednesday that it is investigating the alleged relationship with Kelly, reports Politico. Hill says allegations she was involved with Kelly are "absolutely false." (Read more House Democrats stories.)

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