In Her Final Speech To Congress, Katie Hill Called Out A "Misogynist Culture" That Consumed Her Naked Photos
Hill gave her last speech to Congress shortly after voting in support of impeachment proceedings against the president.
Rep. Katie Hill said in her final speech to Congress Thursday that she is leaving her position "because of a double standard" and the "misogynist culture that gleefully consumed my naked pictures, capitalized on my sexuality and enabled my abusive ex to continue that abuse, this time with the entire country watching."
Speaking publicly for the first time since she announced her resignation, Hill said she had "barely left [her] bed" since the naked photos of her were leaked without her consent.
"I've ignored all the calls and the texts," said Hill. "I went to the darkest places that a mind can go. And I've shed more tears than I thought were possible. I've hidden from the world because I'm terrified of facing the people that I let down."
Hill went on to apologize to the people she feels she has disappointed.
"I wanted to show young people, queer people, working people, imperfect people that they belong here, because this is the people's house. I fell short of that. And I'm sorry," said Hill.
On Thursday morning, Hill joined her Democrat colleagues and voted in support of the impeachment inquiry against the president. Shortly after, she took to the floor of Congress for her final speech as the representative of California's 25th district.
Hill called the release of the photos “the forces of revenge by a bitter jealous man” and a society that hates women and forced herself, a powerful woman, out.
And she pointed out the double standard between the treatment of her and President Donald Trump, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault.
"Yet a man who brags about his sexual predation," said Hill, "who has had dozens of women come forward to accuse him of sexual assault, who pushes policies that are uniquely harmful to women, and who has filled the courts with judges who proudly rule to deprive women of the fundamental right to control their own bodies, sits in the highest office of the land."
She spoke about her vote for impeachment as a vote against "the deepest abuse of power, including the abuse of power over women."
“We have an entire culture that has to change and we see it in stark clarity today,” said Hill.
Hill resigned Sunday, three days after conservative website RedState published text messages and photos indicating that Hill had been in a consensual sexual relationship with a woman campaign staffer. Hill, who is openly bisexual, admitted and apologized for the relationship.
RedState also published allegations that Hill had a sexual relationship with a male staffer, which she denied. The House Ethics Committee was investigating that claim.
Both the Daily Mail and RedState published private, nude photos of Hill.
Hill alleged in her resignation letter that the photos came from her "abusive husband who seems determined to try to humiliate" her. She and Kenny Heslep, who had been together since high school, are currently in divorce proceedings.
On Wednesday, her former father-in-law told BuzzFeed News that Heslep claimed to his parents that he'd been hacked before intimate photos of Hill were published online. Heslep told his father he did not distribute the images.
Hill vowed to fight against cyber exploitation, or "revenge porn."
"This coordinated campaign carried out by the right-wing media and Republican opponents enabling and perpetuating my husband's abuse by providing him with a platform is disgusting and unforgivable, and they will be held accountable," said Hill in a video announcement Monday.
Hill, 32, quit her job at a homeless nonprofit to run against Republican incumbent Steve Knight. She flipped her district in November 2018.
On Tuesday, George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign adviser who went to prison for lying to the FBI during its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, filed paperwork signaling he will run for Hill's seat.