Bisexual congresswoman Katie Hill hit back on Tuesday at the ‘throuple’ controversy that is threatening her promising political career.
The freshman Democrat from California blamed her husband Kenny Heslep, 36, for the accusation, calling him ‘abusive.’ During her election campaign she posted picture after picture of him, saying how much she loved him.
Hill, 32, was the subject of a bombshell report on the right-wing site Red State on Friday alleging she was in a throuple with her husband and her 22-year-old female staffer.
The report linked to a picture of a completely naked Hill brushing the hair of the young woman.
The politician was also accused of having a separate affair with her male legislative affairs officer, Graham Kelly, 31.
According to text messages, Hill’s relationship with Kelly was the final straw for Heslep, saying he could accept his wife having a relationship with a woman, but not with another man.
Bisexual congresswoman Katie Hill lashed out at her husband Kenny Heslep on Tuesday after allegations she was in a throuple with him and her young female staffer
In a statement to Politico, Hill, 32, said: ‘The fact is I am going through a divorce from an abusive husband who seems determined to humiliate me. I am disgusted that my opponents would seek to exploit a private matter for political gain,’ she added, without saying who she considered were her opponents. Pictured: Hill with her staffers
In a statement to Politico, Hill said: ‘The fact is I am going through a divorce from an abusive husband who seems determined to humiliate me.
‘I am disgusted that my opponents would seek to exploit a private matter for political gain,’ she added, without saying who she considered were her opponents.
‘This coordinated effort to destroy me and people close to me is despicable and will not succeed,’ she pledged. ‘I, like many women who have faced attacks like this before, am stronger than those who want me to be afraid.’
Hill won a previously staunch Republican seat in north and west Los Angeles — that includes the Ronald Reagan library — in the blue wave that swept much of California.
She is vice chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, whose chairman Elijah Cummings died last week.
RedState reported that both Hill and her husband Heslep were involved with the female campaign worker.
It said the three went on several vacations together, including a trip to Alaska where the naked picture of Hill was taken. The report also included pictures of Hill kissing the young woman.
In all the pictures, the woman’s face was blurred out but from the report DailyMail.com has been able to ascertain the woman’s identity.
When approached at her home in California, the woman appeared agitated and declined to comment, saying: ‘No comment, please leave. Leave now.’
Hill was also accused of having a separate affair with her male legislative affairs officer, Graham Kelly (pictured together)
In text messages sent in June, Heslap seems to admit the throuple’s relationship dynamic was ‘toxic’.
He wrote: ‘I mean it, though, man. It has been weighing very, very heavily on me lately. Part of my mind keeps trying to justify it because of katies [sic] abuse.
‘That she created the ”s**t rolls downhill” situation. But that is no excuse whatsoever for what I did. So again, I’m sorry.’
The staffer replies: ‘It was a dark time and you treated me really poorly but I also stayed which I have to own.’
But she admits she was ‘ready to put together’ a future with both Hill and Heslep, telling him: ‘Think of how toxic our relationship was? And I was still ready to put together something real. To build a future on that absolutely abysmal foundation.’
In another text exchange between the young female staffer and Heslep on June 12, she references what she feared that in addition to losing the relationship, she would risk loosing her future in politics and friends.
She wrote: ‘Idk, I was getting ready and I was thinking about how much Katie liked to watch me [reference to a hobby]…It’s ok, she can’t take [this] from me. She can ruin politics, take all my friends, and isolate me, but she can’t have [this].’
When the relationship between Hill and the female staffer broke down, the young woman tried to keep things professional, but Hill would allegedly cross the line, asking her to apply sunscreen for her, according to text messages.
DailyMail.com’s attempts to contact Heslep were unsuccessful.
According to text messages seen by DailyMail.com, Hill’s relationship with Kelly (pictured together) was the final straw for Heslep, as he said he could accept his wife having a relationship with a woman, but not with another man
RedState said both the woman and Hill’s husband noticed a change in Hill’s demeanor after she took her seat in Congress in January.
By May, she broke off her relationships with both of them, saying she wanted to focus on her ‘important’ work in Washington.
Texts provided to the site showed Hill telling the woman: ‘I still care about you.’
The staffer replied: ‘Well I still care about you, but I think I need a little more time to ‘move on’ before we can be friends.’
She added: ‘It’s not that I hate you, it’s just that it hurts too much to think about you at this point in time.’
Heslep filed for divorce on July 10 in Los Angeles, stating the couple, who have no children, had separated on July 5. He cited ‘irreconcilable differences.’
Hill agreed the marriage had broken down, although she said they had split on June 7 — less than a week before they were due to celebrate their ninth anniversary.
Heslep, who described himself as a house husband who hasn’t had a paying job since 2014, asked for reasonable spousal support and $10,700 in attorney’s fees. Hill said both should pay their own way.
According to text messages, Heslep had been told that Hill was having an affair with Graham Kelly, her legislative director.
Heslep told the person he was texting that he could accept her having a relationship with a woman, but not with another man.
Hill had used her love for Heslep to win her election, when she beat incumbent Republican Steve Knight by nine points. The following June, she gushed: ‘Happy anniversary to the love of my life, my partner, and my best friend’
Hill had used her love for Heslep to win her election, when she beat incumbent Republican Steve Knight by nine points.
Her campaign’s Facebook page contained several pictures of him, but they have been pulled in recent days.
On June 12, 2017 — the couple’s seventh wedding anniversary — she showcased a picture of her kissing him on the cheek, writing to her supporters: ‘Today, I want to introduce you to the person who makes this campaign possible: my husband Kenny.
‘Running for office isn’t easy, particularly when you’re still working full time. Kenny has supported me every step of the way — from laundry and lunches to being my inspiration when things get hard. I could not do this without him.’
That September she called him ‘wonderful and supportive’ and thanked him for making fundraising calls for her.
The following June, she gushed: ‘Happy anniversary to the love of my life, my partner, and my best friend.’
She added: ‘It’s crazy to believe we’ve been in each other’s lives for fourteen years and married for eight. I don’t think either of us could have ever guessed where we would be now, but I know I wouldn’t be here without you.
‘Your love and support get me through the toughest challenges life throw at us.’
Heslep filed for divorce on July 10 in Los Angeles, stating the couple, who have no children, had separated on July 5. He cited ‘irreconcilable differences’
Two months before the election, she wrote: ‘I am able to throw my all into this race because my husband, Kenny, is the toughest backbone anyone could ask for. He is at my side on my best days and on my worst, or or off the trail.
‘Kenny, you are my best friend and the love of my life,’ she wrote about the man she now calls ‘abusive,’ before adding: ‘I am so proud of the life we’ve built together and I can’t wait to see what we do next.’
Hill has described herself as bisexual all her adult life. She told the LGBTQ magazine The Advocate: ‘I’ve been out as bi since I was a teenager, right after high school,’ saying it was part of being an ‘honest, transparent politician.’
Before running for Congress she was executive director of a group called People Assisting the Homeless. Her husband’s most recent job was regional manager for the same group.
When DailyMail.com contacted Hill’s office for comment we were directed to Lindsay Bubar, an independent political consultant in LA who did not immediately comment.
Hill is the second freshman woman Democrat to have her husband file for divorce for allegedly having an affair with a staffer in the first 10 months of this Congress.
Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s husband Ahmed Hirsi filed for divorce this summer after DailyMail.com exclusively reported that she was involved with her campaign aide Tim Mynett. Mynett’s wife has also filed for divorce.