DALLAS (AP) — Texas Congressman Joe Barton apologized on Wednesday after a nude photo of him circulated on social media.
Barton issued a statement saying that while separated from his second wife, prior to their divorce in 2015, he had sexual relationships "with other mature adult women." The 68-year-old Republican said each relationship was consensual and has since ended.
"I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down," Barton, the longest-serving member of Congress from Texas, said in a statement released to the media.
The photo appeared on an anonymous Twitter account. It was not immediately known who posted the photo or when it was taken. Barton didn't respond to phone message left Wednesday by The Associated Press at his offices in Texas seeking comment. The voicemail for his office in Washington was full.
His spokeswoman told The Dallas Morning News that Barton has no plans to step down.
Barton, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, announced his re-election bid this month. His district includes several counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Barton was a consultant in the oil and gas industry before he joined the U.S. House in 1985.
Barton is currently the vice chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce committee. He was the committee's chairman from 2004 until 2007.
The Texas congressman has also been the longtime manager of the GOP congressional baseball team. He was taking part in a team practice in June when a gunman opened fire, injuring a congressman and others.