Representative Katie Hill (D-Calif.) joined her colleagues at the House of Representatives this morning to cast her final vote as a member of the House of Representatives and deliver her last speech on the floor. This comes less than a week after Hill announced her resignation from Congress, following 10 months in office. Hill chose to step down from her position following the House Ethics Committee’s announcement that it would be looking into allegations that Hill had a sexual relationship with a member of her congressional staff.
While Hill denies having a relationship with a congressional staffer, she admitted that she’d had a relationship with a member of her campaign team. (House rules bar members of Congress from having sexual relationships with their aides, but not campaign staffers.)
But these allegations aren’t the reason Hill decided to resign. Within the past week, multiple nude photos of her were published online, without her consent. Hill has accused her estranged husband, Kenny Heslep, of running a smear campaign against her that included leaking the photographs. Hill’s supporters have called the images’ release revenge porn, which is illegal under California law. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) echoed them, telling BuzzFeed that she believes Hill is a victim of “cyber exploitation.”
“It was clearly meant to embarrass her,” Harris said in the interview, of the photos’ release. “There’s so much that people do about women and their sexuality that’s about shaming them.”
Hill addressed all this and more from the floor. She first apologized to her family, constituents, women, and the queer community, saying, “For every little girl that looked up to me, I hope one day you can forgive me.” She then went on to discuss her decision to resign. As Hill explained, ”I am leaving now because of a double standard. I’m leaving because of a misogynistic culture that gleefully consumed my naked pictures, capitalized on my sexuality, and enabled my abusive ex to continue that abuse.” She also called their release the ”dirtiest gutter politics I’ve ever seen.”
She told her fellow members that this was first time she’d left her apartment since the images were published. And that she was told there would be more photos leaked out “bit by bit.”
“I’m scared,” she said. “[I] went to the darkest places that a mind can go.”
But Hill ended her speech with resolve: “I’m leaving, but we have men who have been credibly accused of intentional acts of sexual violence, and remain in boardrooms, on the Supreme Court, in this very body, and worst of all, in the Oval Office.” Her parting words were simple and to the point: “Thank you, and I will yield the balance of my time for now…but not forever.”
Watch Katie Hill’s farewell address, in full, below.
Originally Appeared on Glamour