Katie Hill pens op-ed about Congress resignation, toxic marriage, mental health and resilience

Katie Hill pens op-ed about Congress resignation, toxic marriage, mental health and resilience
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Former Rep. Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillCalifornia Democrat Christy Smith launches first TV ad in bid for Katie Hill's former House seat Cenk Uygur updates on Congressional campaign, how I will call out corporate politicians in Washington GOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts MORE (D-Calif.) penned an op-ed in The New York Times published Saturday, speaking out about the struggles she faced following her resignation from Congress and ending a toxic marriage.

The freshman congresswoman began facing scrutiny after the conservative website RedState published nude photos of her.

Hill, who identifies as bisexual, was seen in a picture with an individual the publication described as a female campaign staffer. Hill has since said the U.S. Capitol Police are investigating how the photos were obtained and published by RedState.

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The site also claimed that while in office, Hill had a sexual relationship with one of her congressional aides, Graham Kelly. 

In her op-ed, Hill described her response when she found out the images were made public. 

“After the images came out, as I lay curled up in my bed with my mind in the darkest places it’s ever been, countless texts and voice mails came from donors, friends, volunteers and voters sending love. But they couldn’t drown out the horrible messages and calls from people who found my phone number on the internet.”

“Many people have nightmares in which they’re naked in public, trapped and trying to escape. In the days leading up to my resignation, my life was just like everyone’s worst nightmare. Millions of people had seen pictures of me naked,” Hill wrote in The Times. 

Hill resigned from Congress in October over allegations of misconduct. She admitted to an “inappropriate” relationship with a campaign staffer, but denied claims she carried out a relationship with an aide in her congressional office.  

Hill has said that the allegations about a relationship between herself and a congressional aide were first fueled by her estranged husband, with whom she is in the process of divorcing.

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“The fear that my husband would ruin me hung over me every day. I knew the risk when I left, but I thought I didn’t have a choice, and despite the threat, I felt better than I had in years,” Hill said in The Times. 

Hill said the decision to resign was her own, stating that nobody pushed her out and that it was best for the people closest to her.

“I knew it was the best decision for me, my family, my staff, my colleagues, my community,” she wrote.

Two days after her resignation, Hill said that her emotions about what happened came to an apex. After finishing a bottle of wine in a cold bathtub, she revealed she almost attempted suicide. 

"The bath water had gone cold. The wine bottle was empty. Suddenly and with total clarity, I just wanted it all to be over." 

However, the former member of Congress was resilient, recounting her speech in front of the House announcing her resignation, saying she “wasn’t done.”

“I don’t know exactly what’s ahead for me, and I know there’s a lot more pain ahead. But I’m in the fight, and I’m glad it’s not all over after all,” she wrote.

People experiencing suicidal thoughts or urges can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.