Model Kate Upton, who appears on the cover of the swimsuit issue of "Sports Illustrated" this month, said Thursday her uncle, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), is proud of her for earning the cover shot.

“I have a very close and supportive family and they’re all very proud of me,” she told Fox News. Asked if she’s heard from Upton — whom she called “Uncle Fred” — since her cover shot came out, she said, “of course.”

Upton’s office said he does not comment on family members when asked by The Hill earlier this week. But he told Fox News later on Thursday that "she's a great gal" and "we're all proud of her."

"I've got a lot of my colleagues asking if I was adopted," Upton added.

“My family’s always been into sports and so Sports Illustrated was always in our house. So now to be on the cover of the swimsuit issue is such a great accomplishment,” Kate Upton told Fox News.

—This post was updated at 10:35 a.m.