Rep. Katie Hill, D-Calif., spoke out Tuesday amid claims she was having an affair and was taking part in an arranged "throuple," or a three-person couple, with her estranged husband and a female staffer.
Last week, RedState reported that Hill, who is openly bisexual, had developed a "long-term sexual relationship" with the unnamed staffer from her congressional campaign, who ultimately entered into the "throuple" with Hill's husband, Kenny Heslep -- who later filed for divorce. The three of them, according to RedState's confidential sources, had taken multiple vacations together.
The conservative blog obtained screenshots of several text messages between Hill and the staffer detailing the reported end of their three-person relationship earlier this year as well as intimate pictures including a nude photo of Hill. According to the alleged texts, Hill wanted to focus on her work and suggested that "political risk" was a factor.
RedState also reported that Hill had an extramarital affair with Graham Kelly, her legislative director and former campaign-finance director, for at least a year. Heslep was said to have shared his own screenshot of a text exchange he had with a friend who had heard about the affair, which he later deleted from his Facebook account. According to RedState, the alleged affair was why Heslep filed for divorce.
Hill acknowledged to Fox News that she's going through a divorce and claimed her "abusive husband" has been "determined to try to humiliate me."
"Intimate photos of me and another individual were published by Republican operatives on the internet without my consent," Hill said in a statement to Fox News. "I have notified Capitol Hill police who are investigating the situation and potential legal violations of those who posted and distributed the photos, and therefore will have no further comment on the digital materials."
She continued, "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 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."
The freshman congresswoman also flatly denied having an affair with Kelly, adding that her estranged husband made the "vindictive claims."
"Allegations that I have been involved in a relationship with Mr. Kelly are absolutely false," Hill told Fox News. "I am saddened that the deeply personal matter of my divorce has been brought into public view and the vindictive claims of my ex have now involved the lives and reputations of unrelated parties."
"This smear campaign will not get in the way of the work I am doing every day to move our district and our country forward. I am truly grateful for the outpouring of support I have received from colleagues and constituents alike, and I know we will get through this together."
Her statement did not address the claim that Hill was romantically involved with her husband and the female staffer.
Neither Heslep nor Kelly could be reached for comment.