Former Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), who resigned last month after nude photos of her were leaked and she faced accusations of having an affair with a staffer, called the harassment she faced “one of the darkest things that you can experience.”
“These kinds of attacks are meant to silence you, demean you and show that you do not have power,” Hill told CNN’s Brian Stelter in an interview Sunday.
The former congresswoman, who has been going through a contentious divorce, previously accused her husband of releasing the photos, which were published by the Daily Mail and the right-wing blog RedState. Days before she announced her decision to step down, the House Ethics Committee launched a probe into allegations that she had a sexual relationship with her legislative director, which she has denied. However, she admitted to and apologized for an “inappropriate” relationship with a staffer on her congressional campaign.
Hill, who has vowed to fight against “revenge porn,” drew a parallel on Sunday between her experience and bullying from the GOP.
“You’re not seen as a person anymore, and the dehumanization is something that I think people can’t really understand unless you’ve been there,” she said Sunday, adding, “that’s exactly what the right-wing media does.”
Hill pointed out the attacks from conservative media on individuals testifying in the impeachment inquiry, arguing that women like former top National Security Council official Fiona Hill and ousted U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch ― both of whom testified earlier this month ― have been maligned “because they’re easier targets.”
“It’s really disgusting. It’s horrific,” she said. “It’s not something that we should do on our own side. I think we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard and recognize that no matter even how despicable we think somebody is, they’re still a human.”