Katie Hill: It’s Not Over After All

I overcame the desperation I felt after stepping down from Congress, and I’m still in the fight.

Comments: 229

  1. Thanks to Ms. Hill for stepping down from Congress. We have a lot more work to do continuing to move out those whose sole interest is not doing the work of the country. I do hope we get term limits on all members.

  2. @mark Unfortunately, when only those who have the ability to admit they're wrong quit, we're left with people who should not be representing us.

  3. @J Anders Agreed!

  4. @mark Wow, you read this article and came away with the conclusion that Ms. Hill's "sole interest is not doing the work of the country"(sic)? "Hardhearted, indeed, is the man who cannot laugh at the death of Little Nell."

  5. Resigning if one has done nothing wrong is a mistake. By doing so, one admits defeat and tentatively acknowledges that the accusations are true. If the accusations are false, one steps up and fights. Look at Trump: Almost everything he is being accused of is true, yet he fights and still prevails! Those who fight and refuse to give in earn the mantle of leader. Those who quit shall be forgotten.

  6. @Captain Nemo While I think your sentiments are likely coming from a good place, I also think telling someone else what is right for them is both disingenuous and harmful. No, not everyone has to step up and fight. That's what YOU would do, and that's great. But don't put that on someone else.

  7. @Sm I believe in always saying what I consider the best current advice/opinion. Someone who thinks they have to handle me with a velvet glove so as not to hurt my feelings and thus holds back what they consider their best advice is not doing me a favor. Whether I take the advice is up to me, but having all facts on the table can only help me make the best decision. Better than deluding myself. That’s a losing proposition.

  8. @Sm If you step up to lead, you're stepping up to fight. If you can't do that when you maintain you did nothing wrong, step back or step off. Dems need to learn this. Al Franken shouldn't have quit; Katie Hill was right to do so because she DID do wrong even if worse may have been done to her in her private life.

  9. Ms. Hill, Nolite te bastardes carborundum. You can now be an even greater inspiration to young women: you rose, you fell, and you are coming up stronger and even more determined to do what you believe is right.

  10. Obviously, these events were very very difficult to take. I couldn’t have done it. Congratulations for being true to yourself. You’re young. Life is long, and things will get better. You have a lot to offer, and you’ll go far.

  11. Dear Katie Hill, Thanks so much for writing this. I derived so much strength from it for my own life. You are so strong and a stellar example to all women and men, boys and girls. Do not back down. I support you in anything you chose to do. Our country needs people like you. I apologize for all those who have done hurtful things or said hurtful things. You have have wonderful family and friends and will make even more friends in the upcoming months and years. God Bless you and yours, Bob Elmendorf

  12. @Bob Elmendorf I just want you to know that I think your response is beautiful worded.

  13. Thank you for your honesty and bravery. I’m embarrassed to admit that until now I hadn’t given a second thought to your well-being following your very public resignation. I suspect we haven’t heard the last of you.

  14. I am card carrying Democrat but must honestly say that it is hard for me to be sympathetic to this young women. As a member of our government she did things that are more like a college freshman than a US congressperson. Things that are not only dangerous for her but for the country. She put herself in a position where could be easily blackmailed.

  15. @Charles alexander She *was* blackmailed - into resigning her position. From that we learn collectively that Red State and the NY Tribune do not have our country's interests in mind - just partisan profit. She admitted to having crossed some ethical lines (wrong actions) but at least they were not self-enriching graft and corruption. The boss to employee rule is there for good reason but the underlying themes to most all drama are relationships and their twisted consequences.

  16. Exactly. I’d like a grown-up to represent me in Congress.

  17. @Bill Hamilton Currently, there aren't many grown-ups in Congress.

  18. Dear Katie, In a nation that purports to both be pious and supportive of differences but in practice, is neither, in retrospect, it would have been better to run, among other things, on the de-stigmatization of anything other than the so-called "white Christian" lifestyle and image. The LGBTQ movement, as long as it has taken to take root and win, isn't the last stop in the struggle to win a dignified place of society for all those who don't fit the "one man, one woman" perceived norm. We still have a long way to go in deconstructing the social norms that are imposed under the guise of "Judeo-Christian values." We are a pluralistic society and we must accept a plurality of beliefs and constructs. When things about you that aren't perceived as being the norm are out, there is no blackmail or shaming that can take place. Now that all of it is out, run again and win! That is how you show the world that dirty underhanded politics using male chauvinists just won't work anymore.

  19. Amen. Winning a new election is the best response.

  20. @Rima Regas Absolutely she should run again. She should have taken time to reflect rather than quick withdrawal out of shame. She allowed the perpetrator to gloat with his "win." People in Congress who have committed crimes and should resign continue to persist, but she who has done nothing more than be sexual fades away.

  21. Dear Katie... That's the way I've addressed you for a year as my representative in Congress, and it matches the way you have emailed me over and over. It's the first time I've ever been on a first-name basis with a representative, and it has been a treat. You will be missed in Congress and in your district; perhaps some day you'll run again -- and once again get my vote. I wish you well, and thank you so much for your service.

  22. Katie, I am glad that you had the will within to step back from the abyss. I am glad that you have friends and family who can remind you of the love and joy around you. Nobody deserves to be hurt, abused, or terrorized by another. Thanks for sharing your path through the darkness. I hope that you can rise up and be inspired even by terrible things. That you find new passion to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. That you have the wisdom to grow from mistakes and the grace of forgiveness.

  23. Maybe I'm alone in this comment section, but I don't think anything Ms. Hill has done is wrong. It's too bad she felt pressure to leave her job. We are all human, and have made mistakes, so what? Ask for forgiveness and move on. I hope you rise from these ashes, into a more important role! Best Wishes.

  24. @DPK. Agree. Wish she had stayed. This too, shall pass, as the saying goes. And it would have. I feel like she let them win.

  25. @DPK I might be alone in this too: I'm not even sure why she should be asking anyone for forgiveness.

  26. @DPK I agree. She should not have resigned. But I can understand being so beat down by an abusive ex-spouse with revenge porn on top of making a minor error that she gave up. She made a mistake and got physically/emotionally involved with a person she works closely with, who admired her and was in turn admired. Because that other person was an employee, that relationship was forbidden. Discouraging such relationships is good public policy, but hardly rises to the level of offense justifying expulsion. She, Al Franken, Ralph Northam and Bill Clinton all did things I'd rather they hadn't, but didn't justify removal from office. I hope she runs again for the Representative's seat. If the people choose her-again-in a primary and general election, she can consider herself vindicated. People make mistakes. The wonderful thing is that we can learn from them and become better people for it. Regardless, she's a far better Representative than the odious Republican.

  27. I do find it ironic she would mention the proverbial nightmare of being naked in public, when the pictures submitted of her to the internet resulted in her literally being naked in public. She was treated unfairly, everyone makes mistakes, we are all works in progress!

  28. Please don't give up; stay in the fight. We need you. America needs you. You are so young.... with so much to learn and so much to give to your country. I wish you hadn't resigned; but you did what you felt in your heart you needed to do and I understand and do not blame you. There are battles to be fought and won and other venues to occupy! I look forward to seeing you and your unique brand of common sense and courage in the struggle for progressive rights for many years to come.

  29. Think this article seems a good opportunity to say why one ought not consider taking their life when healthy....I do think we continue on and without our human body it's likely to be more challenging to evolve and come to a more peaceful place. Of course anti-depressants etc, might be a good tool in rough days. So get whatever help is necessary to do the work and you will help everyone in the world indeed.....Prayer is good....don't cease praying.....

  30. I agree, Ms. Hill is not the one who did anything wrong. SOMEONE else did, but in this society, we have an unfortunate tendency to blame the victim. Meanwhile, we have leadership constantly feeding us despicable sentiments, and somehow that's ok? Our nation is being challenged to go in a better direction. Will we be wise, kind, and brave enough to do so?

  31. @James and Sarah As an atheist it pains me to say this but: from your mouth to God's ear.

  32. There is an error in this op-ed that has nothing to do with its substance but should be corrected nonetheless. The former Congresswoman says when giving a speech a member looks "at the clock so the C-Span cameras can see you." This is a fairly common mistake. The cameras that live video of the House floor ARE NOT "C-SPAN cameras". Cameras are owned by the government, controlled by the leadership of the House and a video/audio feed of the floor sessions are provided to news media, including C-SPAN. This has a larger importance because it should be understood that the cameras are not under the control of any news organization. The House of Representatives dictated that their cameras would only show what is known as "the well of the House", the place where members go to give speeches. There is a wide shot that is provided when votes begin but the cameras do not show the continual interaction and discussions that occur on the House floor. They are, in other words, censored cameras. How can it be in a free and open democracy people are not allowed to see the full functioning of their House and Senate? As a condition of providing coverage, Congress said there could be no cameras unless THEY controlled them. The House and Senate decided they would provide censored views of "democracy in action".

  33. From a television/visual perspective, the cameras also have an awkward view of those speaking because they are about 15 ft. above the floor of the House, looking down on the person speaking, who is also lower because the floor slopes downward. In trying to protect themselves, the leadership set up visually poor presentation of themselves and the members.

  34. @Doug Terry You have the same rights as always: sit in the visitors gallery. There’s no reason to televise side interactions

  35. People are saying she "did nothing wrong." In late October she admitted to breaking congressional rules against personal relationships with subordinates. Maybe you think that's a bad rule, but that's the rule. Kudos to all the legislators who honor it.

  36. @Zack She did not break the rules. What Katie did was unwise, but not against congressional guidelines.

  37. @Zack , my understanding is that her relationship was with a campaign staffer, not a congressional staffer (though her ex-husband has accused her of the latter, she denies it and there is no proof). While one might well question the ethics of a consensual relationship with one's campaign staff (and Ms. Hill herself has admitted as much), it does not violate any congressional rules.

  38. @Jennifer That's true, it was a campaign, not congressional, staffer. I stand corrected, and it's only an allegation by the husband about the staffer, which she denies.

  39. Katie, writing this text made millions of people more courageous, hopeful. Whatever you did wrong, you are a great person.

  40. Ms Hill, I cannot know what you've been through, but we need people like you - especially women - to help guide us through the near future. A future that I hope will be the last gasp of entrenched conservatism that is more and more desperately trying to cling to power against all demographic and social trends. Demography is against them, and thus by implication so is democracy - they will seek to destroy it rather than yield power. I hope your wounds will heal and someday you run for congress again. If you do, you may paradoxically find that this past year has been a blessing in disguise - if you can come back from this, you will know that you can withstand anything they throw at you in the future.

  41. This is really powerful. It's clear that what drove her to resign was not that she had violated House rules - which is a bit uncertain. It is that she felt the utter humiliation of somebody sending images of her body to the world without her permission. The violation of that intimacy cuts to the soul. This is not really a story about partisan skullduggery in the end. It's about how easily somebody can deploy our modern media to utterly ruin a person in a brief moment. Not through prying questions and repeated harassment, but through a momentary click and share. How quickly a photo, a stray remark, an odd pose captured and disseminated to blackmail can destroy each of us.

  42. @Elrod I'm glad that is clear to you. It's not so clear to me. She resigned a few days after an investigation was announced by the ethics committee. If she were innocent of those charges, she could have stayed and fought them. Even if she chose not to run again, the timing of her resignation is suspect.

  43. Ms. Hill, After hearing you on TV Friday night, I found you incredibly wise, composed, and overall impressive, considering how young you are. I know a lot of Ivy League graduates who would not be able to express themselves the way you do, nor care for our country the way you seem to, based on your public statements. As a much older person, I cannot fathom why anyone today would ever take or exchange nude photos of themselves, in light of the power of the digital world, but that’s besides the point. It’s too bad you resigned from Congress, and I hope you will find the strength to run for Congress again. We need people of your conviction to help get us to a better place. Don’t listen to your critics. There are plenty of people happy to judge others, without ever looking in the mirror. Listen to those who love and support you. You have shown you have the strength to make it, despite a destructive ex-partner. Best wishes.

  44. @DB. Please note the photos were taken without the knowledge or consent of Ms Hill, & distributed without her knowledge or consent.

  45. Ms. Hill, I’m someone who’s been around and involved in politics a bit longer than have you. I know how life in the fishbowl can be. I’m also someone who’s survived more than my fair share of terrible things, though not a humiliation in front of the entire world. I sincerely hope that one day you’ll be able to look back on your life and what you’ve accomplished in the same way as do I: I got hit, and I got hurt, but nobody ever knocked me down. Namaste.

  46. This made me cry. I am so sorry you have to go through this, and had to go through all you did. Please, PLEASE know that there are so many women who are deeply grateful for your candor, your tenacity, and your resilience. I agree with AOC. Your work is not yet done. But take this time to heal, and when you decide to speak up again you will have so many who stand with you.

  47. The future of Ms. Hill is brilliant. Personally, I would like to envision her in the (yet to be established) thirteenth seat of the US Supreme Court.

  48. Thirteenth seat? Only 9 presently. How do you figure thirteen?

  49. As you say, it will be difficult with pain & they will continue to try to hurt you but you show you are strong & I hope you are able to overcome all of the far right's disgusting attacks & fight back because we need those like yourself to be our representatives in DC. You will find your support to be strong & there are way more of us then them.

  50. This may sound corny, but the quote from the movie, Batman Begins comes to mind; " Why do we fall? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up". I have had issues in my past that I am dealing with and that line from that movie pops up in my mind from time to time. Funny how little things like that can help one persevere. Continue on your journey Katie Hill.

  51. My heart broke (again) like it did when you resigned. The injustice of a smear campaign and the cruelty of assumptions can break our spirit, and yet, you are not broken. You proved (again) that courage and integrity are guides. That your voice is a beacon of light. That your service continues to ask us to look inside and decide what matters most to us. I am thankful for you. I stand with you as you move though this. Thank you Congresswoman. You inspire me.

  52. Thank you Ms. Hill for this courageous statement. I admire you greatly.

  53. Keep doing what you are doing! Everyone has a public life, a private life and a secret life. Rarely does the secret life get thrust into the public life and when it does it is very painful. The best way to get through it is soldier ahead and not let it define you.

  54. Thank you for your honesty, integrity and courage. You’re a fabulous example for many others (those with humility in their hearts). Thank you thank you thank you and may your future be bright and abundant in what brings you joy!

  55. "A warrior must focus his attention on the link between himself and his death . . .. He must let each of his acts be his last battle on earth. Only under those conditions will his acts have their rightful power." Carlos Castaneda Easy to quote, easy to imagine, but extremely rare. Warrior on, Ms Hill.

  56. Very refreshing honesty about a horrid, personal, very public situation. Most impressive writing. She is probably correct about her ex being the source. The old school men's dominance, possession, ownership hangup of women is still widespread, unfortunately, and the dangerous results are all over the charts - from this to outright murder. I see a bright future for Katie Hill. She has the brains, talent and attitude to succeed again. I wish her the best.

  57. I think the greatest mistake made by Rep.Hill was to resign her office. She did nothing wrong. Coming into office from a reliably red district in California, Hill was an excellent candidate in the Blue Wave election of 2018. It brought hope to those of us believing that an honest candidate can win and do the people’s business in the proper way. Hill was an excellent Congresswoman but I wanted to see her fight this one out, even if it meant losing an election next year. At least that would have been a good fight against a political party that takes no prisoners. We can only hope that Democrats learn this lesson when something like this occurs again.

  58. I agree. If a better candidate in that district came forward and defeated Ms. Hill, that's politics. But at least give the voters a chance to decide.⅕

  59. @Robert Broughton The Democrats knew she would have been beaten and hard. So the upper echelons of the party got rid of her. She broke the oath of her office and corporate America. You cannot compromise yourself with a colleague or subordinate. Period. Lets learn from this story.

  60. @JT FLORIDA, Don't agree. At some point electoral politics is not about having the good fight and losing.

  61. The recognition that sexual relations with subordinates constitutes an abuse of power has taken some time to achieve general acceptance. By depicting herself as the victim and not a victimizer, Hill creates self-serving confusion. More than ever, as a nation we need clarity about power and the responsibilities that accompany high positions.

  62. @A My parents met at work and were married for about 60 years till death did them part. My mother, at the time of their meeting, was in the payroll department, and my father a machine operator who received his pay envelope from her, in a shoe factory, giving my father a somewhat subordinate status. Your preachy rules about the exercise of "power" without taking into account the nature and degree of the "subordination," plus the sincerity of consent, are ridiculous. The relationship with the congressional staff member appears to be the fabrication of deranged individual, and there is no indication that the earlier, genuine relationship with a campaign staffer, was anything other than mutual, consensual, rewarding. Your reasoning based on theoretical absolutes is oh, so very woke and egalitarian, but it is also superficial horsefeathers.

  63. @A. She took responsibility for breaking the house rules, and resigned from Congress. Would love to see all the others who have done the same thing in the past also own accountability as Ms. Hill did. She is also a victim. Revenge porn is such a deeply wounding betrayal, and you’ll notice in her writing, that the photo exposure was where her words become most telling. I hope she focuses her considerable talent and strength in advocating for a federal revenge bill with significant criminal penalties. Hang in there Ms. Hill. I hope you run again in the future!

  64. @DeAnnG Anywhere in corporate America and worldwide that compromises themselves with a colleague or a subordinate will be fired. Just last week this was front page news in respect to a executive of a large company. Whether Ms Hill's husband was hacked or he revealed the pictures make no difference. Dont put yourself in a compromising position ever ! Lets all learn from this story ! Ms Hill is playing victim but lets all learn something from her downfall

  65. Dear Ms. Hill, As a teenager back in the 1950's, my deepest secret and fear was that a boy my age and I ''fooled around". At that age and at a time when sexuality was not discussed openly, there was no safe place for me to confess my sense of guilt. It is a discussion I have never had with my daughters and at age 83, it really doesn't matter. You have been betrayed by a trusted partner who deserves no forgiveness. You must find the courage to accept that those images of you that were reserved for a most intimate moment, have no lasting effect. They are devoid of the passion of sharing that you may have felt then. Only someone with a prurient purpose could seek them out. Katie Hill, please don't let those individuals define who you are. You have much more to give to those who love you and respect your efforts as a person of great value to your community. Go forward without looking backward. I really am struggling to find the right words because you alone will find the correct way to go forward. In peace, respect and love, Marv

  66. @Guitarman I think you found the right words. Well said.

  67. Your comment brought tears to my eyes.

  68. @jo Thanks Jo, I meant my comments to help uplift those who struggle with unnecessary burdens. We all have a closet that hold the unmentionables.

  69. Great Read and thank you for sharing. When we are young we tend to think that so many things in life are or should be linear. And as we grow older and a little wiser, we appreciate and experience all of life's ups and downs and become better people. Soldier on. You have many success ahead of you.

  70. Thank you for this. As the old English folk song (about Andrew Barton) says: I am hurt, but I am not slaine; I'le lay mee downe and bleed a-while, And then I'le rise and fight againe.

  71. It’s somewhat a travesty that Katie Hill is sitting on the sidelines, barred from representing her constituents, for some personal matters that made some people clutch their pearls. Meanwhile, we have it on good word that several men in Congress and the White House are actively aiding a hostile, foreign government in upsetting our very understanding of democracy, and they’re being rewarded for it. We’re starting to lose our Republic.

  72. Starting?

  73. @Matt - Well said!

  74. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has provided the path to redemption! Quid Pro Quo then Carpe Diem!

  75. If this had been a man, who had abused a position of power to exploit a campaign staffer (indisputably) and congressional employee (allegedly), I wonder whether such a piece would or could be published at all, let alone well received.

  76. @zigmund are you aware that the relationship with the campaign staffer existed prior to her being hired to the campaign? They were already in the relationship when she was hired to help on the campaign.

  77. @zigmund It took until TODAY for Duncan Hunter to even say he was planning to step down despite doing something very similar. He had to be forced. He's absolutely free to write something if he wants to.

  78. @zigmund the difference is men do this kind of thing ALL the time (across every profession). There would so very many pieces, you could never run them all!

  79. A very impressive young woman, and a gigantic loss for the US Congress, I'm very sorry you resigned. Having been in an abusive situation myself, I could feel the empathy so viscerally it was painful. After 15+ years in a relationship like that you dont even realize at this point how much healing you have to do. Be well, the world needs you.

  80. Hill had two allegations against her: 1) An "inappropriate relationship" with a campaign staffer before becoming a representative, and 2) She was going to be the focus of a Congressional ethics investigation regarding allegations of wrongdoing as a member of Congress--a 22-year-old subordinate recently out of college. At that point, she resigned. I'd like to sat that this merits only some sort of censure and an apology. But I can't get around the fact that if these allegations had been directed at a man, all of the sympathetic voices I see in these comments would be leading the outrage.

  81. @MA And yet, Duncan Hunter-who pled guilty to misuse of campaign funds, and is accused of various other charges (in criminal court), is still in office. He's been accused not only of having inappropriate relationships (which isn't a federal crime), but also of using campaign funds to pay for them, as well as family trips, etc (which is a federal crime). Before he pled guilty, he claimed the investigation was driven by partisan politics and the deep state. Stripped of his committee assignments, he's still in the House--even tried to cast votes. He's promised to resign after the holidays, but I believe he's still collecting a paycheck. So, yes, that's outrageous.

  82. @MA Exactly. She took advantage of a campaign subordinate. MeToo should be all over this.

  83. Thank you for sharing your vivid feelings. I respect and applaud your decision to fight on. You are important, just like we're all an important part of our world. This may be a little tough right now, but one thing I looked for but couldn't find in your piece were the "mistakes" that you felt that you had made in your life. You'll surely acknowledge, analyze and overcome them to become a better person one day. Many of us can learn from your experience if you're willing to share.

  84. We’re living in a ‘reality’ tv and National Enquirer world. The naked allegations, unfounded conspiracy theories and caricatures of the real world that assault the general population in the form of cheap, tawdry ‘infotainment’ and game show titillation have so suffused public discourse — and our governance — that we may never see genuine reality and hear rational, substantive policy discussion again. Listen to five minutes of nonsensical, Alice in Wonderland Trumpian word salad and that cannot help but be abundantly clear to any sentient, literate adult. Democracy cannot survive under these circumstances. The United States is living proof of that.

  85. I'm curious and hope someone can answer this question. Do Freshman members of congress receive any Ethics training when they assume their seats? If they don't, it's time they did. If Ms. Hill was well aware of the code of ethics for a Congresswoman, and knowingly violated them, then it should not be a surprise to her that there are consequences. Everyone deserves another chance, but a good place to start the long road back, is to take responsibility for one's actions.

  86. @ach Every member and staffer has mandatory ethics and workplace responsibility training. None of the leaked pictures or private texts suggests that she violated any of the ethics rules of the House.

  87. @ach "If Ms. Hill was well aware of the code of ethics for a Congresswoman, and knowingly violated them," exactly which "code of ethics" did Ms Hill violate?

  88. @ach She. Did. Not. Do. Anything. Wrong. While. She. Was. In. Congress. She had an affair with a campaign staffer who was not on her Congressional staff.

  89. Thank you for writing this and for your strength. I was very disappointed you resigned, and still am, but I'm looking forward to seeing your next act.

  90. Thank you for this, Katie, you are already missed. As a clinical counselor, I have heard a lot of similar stories. Standing up for women in similar circumstances and getting laws written and amended, getting the courts to understand what happens to women in society is great work. Also, making it clear that your resignation wasn't forced, because that's what I had thought, that you'd been thrown under the bus. And, mostly, for how quickly things changed, that the suicidal thoughts passed swiftly, as they generally will. There is a connection of suicide, and other forms of harm, and alcohol. It can be so dangerously dis-inhibiting. People should be aware of that, too. Bless you. I will be watching you, with love.

  91. A candid, beautiful , and brave essay. Thank you

  92. Please keep up your good work Katie. We are all so proud of your accomplishments and you will have many good years of productive and meaningful work on behalf of the citizens of the United States.

  93. Katie Hill might have approached the situation differently. She could have sought professional counseling to get her head straight and help deal with the suicidal thoughts. Understandably, she just wanted to run and hide. Getting help may have given her strength before making any rash decisions. I believe Al Franken shouldn't have resigned his Senate seat. It would have been tough, but Katie shouldn't have resigned either. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam resisted tremendous pressure to resign. He toughed it out and today he's doing just fine.

  94. @Mark McIntyre I agree that Katie Hill should not have resigned. I don’t understand why she did. The nasty taunts would have continued yes and so would have other horrible and embarrassing details but she had no children or loving husband to protect. She should have endured it and carried on. In Washington incidences like these blow up fabulously but then eventually subside and with Trump around there is always something crazier to focus on. And the thing that stumps me is that Nancy Pelosi told her not to resign. She was given advice by the wisest, strongest leader in Washington and ignored it. It’s not everyday that one gets the benefit of sage advice by a experienced women who has gone through it all. If Nancy said to stick it out then she should have. Hanging on would have toughened her and she would have been able to carry on with more conviction and fire in her belly than ever before.

  95. I hope Ms. Hill learned that being in public office, local, state or federal requires attention to details regarding ones private life, not only public life. Her bisexuality is her business. Responsible behavior and accountability towards her partners, family, friends and constituency is also her business. She badly stumbled on considering possible consequences of her behavior, while leaving a marriage under the threat of repercussions. She is young, but still old enough to know standards of behavior are not equal for men and women, or black, brown and whites in public service. Just look at the scrutiny the Obamas were subjected to in the White House, or the humiliation Elizabeth Warren endured in the Senate, or the insults thrown at Speaker Pelosi. Personally, I believe Ms Hill will heal and recover from her ordeal, wiser and more cautious with more strenght and courage to fulfill her potential.

  96. @Jay Tan, I'm confused as to what Ms. Hill could have done to avoid these attacks. Should she have remained in a toxic marriage? Eventually, the man who shared these photos would have extorted more from her. Her only choice was to leave that marriage. This isn't a question of her having an inappropriate relationship with a staff member, which she denies. When you have a vengeful ex, there's nothing you can do if the law doesn't protect you. I commend Ms. Hill for having the courage to leave.

  97. @Jay Tan Saying nothing was an option. This is about how a fellow human being suffered, infinitely out of proportion to any choice she made for herself. About a heartbreak the likes of which most of us couldn't imagine in a million years and most likely, God willing, will never have to. If you are not moved to shock and anger by what Rep. Hill has written (anger directed not at her but at those who committed this sickening public sexual assault on her), or to the compassion and empathy that it's hard to imagine anyone reading her story not feeling, you can always say nothing. But alas. A young woman did something you don't approve of. So in response to the public and private anguish she describes here, all of which she deserves if I am understanding you right, you pronounce on the appropriateness of her punishment (that her career be destroyed and her life violated and broken into pieces in front of everyone). It was possible to say nothing. But instead you chose to remind us of the extent to which sexual shaming and humiliating punishment of women will be tolerated in our culture. In doing so you help to make sure such punishments remain viable. And you remind us of all the people in our own lives, too many in all for this world to be a safe place for women, who are apparently totally fine with it. A lot of em even take pleasure in it. It was possible to say nothing. But I guess we need these reminders. That y'all are everywhere. Enjoy your evening.

  98. @lisaco So very well-said and eloquent. Thank you for the excellent rebuttal.

  99. Dear Rep. Hill - I didn’t really follow your story at the time, but from one human to another, what you just did here was incredibly brave. It is incredibly hard in such moments to remember that we live for ourselves but also for others and in others, and it speaks well of you that in that moment you remembered that. Your example here will resonate. The Speaker was right to admire you.

  100. 2018 inspired so many young women because of all the other young women stepping up and winning-- virtual unknowns up to that point, without the Ivy League degrees, or connected parents, or independent wealth or whiteness or maleness that so often undergirds the success of our elected representatives in Washington. After the toxicity of 2016, after the deeply depressing events of 2017, it felt like a glimmer of hope- that power could be female, that it could be justly won, that in this America, there was still a place for people like me- young women of color, immigrants, LGBT folks, the dreamers and strivers who so often haven't been represented in American history as they should. But 2019 has been so deeply dispiriting as we see what's become of the young women who entered politics carrying all our hopes and dreams on their back. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib received death threats, AOC was photoshopped into rape imagery, Katie Hill now forced to resign when she becomes the victim of revenge porn, and so many others disrespected and demeaned in big ways and small. And through this, their colleagues, their party, and indeed, America, stay silent and condone this violence. After this, why would any young woman enter politics? Why would any young woman risk the vitriol, the rape and death threats, or the fear that their past will always be weaponized against them? What are we teaching to the young girls of today about what might happen if they wish to be the Congress of tomorrow?

  101. I keep seeing more evidence that it will be women who rescue this country from the political and moral morass we are in. From Nancy Pelosi to a Katie Hill to Fiona Hill. Thank heavens women have taken up the call to fight the assault on civil rights and human rights, from the Me Too Movement to mothers who know that the president's words and behaviors are X-rated, utterly unfit for a child's ears.

  102. Thank you for your courage and your honesty. If only we had more people like you in the Congress and White House our country and our world would be a better place.

  103. Clearly Ms Hill has been poorly treated by her husband, as well as those on social media who displayed private images of her, ino order to bring her down. Unfortunately in our country, the private lives of individuals whom we elect to represent us matters so much more, and salaciously so, than the job they are actually doing/ That is tragic, considering how serious the problems we face are. Unfortunately, we remain preoccupied with gossipy hatred and schadenfreude on social medial, rather than work together to solve our nation's problems. That said, I truly am sickened by the kind of article this former congresswoman has written. The title says it all "Its not over after all" but really? -- it should be over. Ms Hill is prolonging our agony over government that is increasingly divided and incapable of governing. Instead of rising above this situation, she follows script with a tell all that only feeds the media frenzy regarding her story. I am sorry for what happened to her, I wish that our country was mature enough not to care. At the same time, I wish we had leaders who can be responsible in terms of personal decision they make and not write an article of "I was victimized, I almost suicided, but now I am redeemed" Please, Ms Hill, do what you need to do to be a serious person to help our country and its people, but please, I beg of you, cut out the self-obsession. And as you are still young, remember that in life, it always takes two to tango.

  104. @robert In the words of our next President: "C'mon man, thats' malarkey."

  105. @robert, do you think that personal photos like these should be published on the internet or anywhere without the subject's permission? To my mind Katie Hill has moved on to a very important issue--addressing the problem of revenge porn. I don't see this fight as self-absorbed; on the contrary, it needs a champion with Katie Hill's gifts. Old sayings like "it takes two to tango" or "what goes around comes around" have never made sense to me. Sometimes people are not at fault for what happens to them.

  106. @SandraH when you put yourself in a situation where you are nude and there is an iPhone camera around you automatically give up your right to privacy. It is sad but it is poor judgement for any member of Congress whatever gender. And I do NOT agree that it’s an important issue. Not when Compared to the serious problems our country’s ordinary people face. As for those sayings, I agree, the fact that you see them as analogous really does reveal a lack of comprehension on your part regarding “old sayings”. Maybe live a little more and then you can revisit them

  107. Ms. Hill, you don’t deserve any of the vitriol that was sent your way. I wish you peace. With your obvious talent and network of supporters, maybe your time in the arena can be spent trying to lobby the Congress to pass REAL legislation around internet privacy and real penalties for those who use cyberspace to destroy others. God speed.

  108. 1. Living for others, including one’s political supporters is to live the life of a fool; 2. This lady was naive. I am not running for Congress. Yet, I fully expect everything I do to come back to me. She should have been better prepared. She knew nudes had been taken. She should have assumed they would get around; and 3. That said, I think that privacy laws are all well and good, but civil laws require an aggrieved litigant to institute an expensive lawsuit or effort to preserve his/her privacy. This should never have happened to this woman or anyone else. The penal law should be changed: Suggest: “Trafficking in Pornographic Images” -the distribution or publication of a nude or sexually explicit image of another person when the subject of the image does not consent is a crime. For the purposes of this statute, it shall not be a defense that the subject of the images willingly posed or collaborated in the creation of the images. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that distribution of nude or sexually explicit images of another is without consent, in the absence of a writing to the contrary.

  109. I'd like to reference another NYTimes article from today here: "Video Games and Online Chats Are ‘Hunting Grounds’ for Sexual Predators" https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/12/07/us/video-games-child-sex-abuse.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage and point out that the the online posting of nude photos of Ms. Hill is similar to what is being done to many children as well. One would not blame the children, and so we should not be blaming Ms. Hill. Her example of rising above all that is one that all these children are going to have to be helped with today and in the future.

  110. Somehow this does not make me feel sorry for her - with all this drama why did she think it wouldn't come out when she runs for office? This article feels like someone who doesn't understand that political office is about helping others. I wonder what "fight" she's talking about?

  111. @Jb What "drama"? The pictures were taken without her knowledge and permission and published without them. The fight that she is talking about is, among other things, is to change laws so that this kind of thing cannot happen again. Obviously, your comment suggests, it will be far harder to change hearts and closed minds.

  112. @Tuc As others have pointed out, it was clear from some of the photos that she was aware at the time that they were being taken.

  113. Very moving, painful and honest account Ms. Hill! The supportive comments are more-than encouraging however, that most of us see beyond 'your worst nightmare' to who you are and what you have to offer the world. Your destiny is yet to be determined. As they say: "There are no mistakes, just lessons" "As one door closes, another opens" "Living well IS the best revenge" And most importantly for those who are stuck in the darkness: "Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem" "Don't give up 5 minutes before the miracle!"

  114. I so wish Katie Hill had not resigned. She ended her relationship with the woman working on her campaign as soon as she knew she had won the election. She was aware of the rules of the house on relationships with staffers and respected and abided by them. When she ended her relationship with the other woman. she wasn't even yet a congressperson and not yet subject to the House rules, but still ended the relationship before her swearing-in. So what if people saw her nude. Having a personal life and a sex lifestyle that millions of other couples enjoy is not a crime and really no ones' business if it did not affect her work. How many male politicians have affairs and aren't intimidated into resigning. How many male politicians are homo or bi-sexual? It doesn't matter. If it did matter, then Trump should resign for having an affair while his wife was home pregnant with his son. I hope Katie Hill will run for Congress again because I think she'd win again by an even great margin.

  115. That photos of her were spread around is deplorable. That should not happen to anyone. That’s one relevant issue. There’s another, completely separate issue. She has admitted having an affair with a campaign staffer. Seems like just the sort of power-position taking-advantage situation that has been rightly and increasingly decried lately, costing lots of powerful people their jobs and reputations. People—men and women—who do this must be help accountable. Including Hill.

  116. @Franco51 It appears (and she admits) that she had the affair prior to her taking office - therefore not a violation of the congressional rules. So what? It's none of my business, or yours. That is the only relevant issue here. Perhaps those who judge and misjudge her here based on their on biased morals are the ones who must be held accountable. Not her.

  117. @Franco51: She had an affair (maybe). This tidy and very incomplete little group of champs, some stellar some execrable, slept around all the time and the living amongst them are probably probably still quite active: Jefferson, Gingrich, Giuliani, Trump, William O. Douglas, Kennedy, Johnson, Clarence Thomas, Clinton, Strom Thurmond, and Brett Kavanaugh. Who amongst them has paid a price? These men were and are our leaders. Katie Hill should still be in Congress.

  118. @Mark Shyres I of course never suggested that it was while in office it that it violated Congressional rules. Read what I actually wrote. It clearly is exactly the kind of abuse of a superior over a subordinate worker that has rightly drawn the ire of all of us thanks to the MeToo movement. That’s not only my morals, but those who want to protect people from having their bosses take sexual advantage of them. Do you disagree with MeToo calling these abuses to our attention? I don’t.

  119. Katie, I am so very proud to have been, & still am, a huge supporter. I knew early on in this race that you were the one there, was no denying it. In fact, I had to eat a bit of crow with Emily's List for opposing your candidacy before I had an opportunity to sit with you & discuss your plans. Boy, am I happy that I did sit with you that day, & so many days since then! I've come to admire, respect, & love you and your family. To this day, my daughter continues to look up to you. She believes in you, & the woman you inspire her to be. I'm standing by what I wrote in May 2018... As a local leader, & party official it is pretty easy for me to pledge my support for a person that stands true to our values, & stands up for the constituents of the whole district. Good leaders rise up. Great leaders launch. Great leaders are never self-serving. Great leaders see their role as being of service to others. Great leaders draw strength from diversity. Great leaders lead by example with an overriding guiding vision or purpose. Great leaders know how to be themselves and are proud of who they are. Great leaders have the ability to inspire confidence in others. Great Leaders learn to lead by following. Great Leaders know when to take advice. Great leaders SERVE ALL members of their community. Great Leaders NEVER GIVE UP. Katie is a great leader & I am proud to stand behind her. I'm looking forward to seeing what's next.

  120. There is a need for those who are "all in." Please do not fade into oblivion, but do something great for those who have been bullied and made victims for just being human.

  121. ms. hill, hang in there. none of us are perfect. the values that you have and your family and friends will get you through this dark time.

  122. Like most here I completely support Ms. Hill's politics, find her husband's alleged behavior despicable and understand her decision to resign rather than be dragged through an ethics investigation that many would have used to crucify rather than censure her. I am also heartened to hear she is healing and moving forward. I think she will have a great 2nd act. At the same time I would ask many of those commenting here to examine what their attitudes and reactions to this piece would have been if the sex of the people involved had been reversed. I can't help thinking that the support for a man in her position would be much less sympathetic.

  123. @Chas. I would never support anyone in power having an affair with a subordinate. It's that simple. The husband, the photos - terrible and not something for which she should have resigned. There has to be more to this.

  124. @Chas. Bill Clinton finished his presidency. Obviously, support for him was MORE sympathetic

  125. Katie Hill: "People have speculated that Speaker Pelosi or the party leadership asked me to resign because of the photos and the allegations about me. That could not be further from the truth." Nancy Pelosi (official statement): “Congresswoman Katie Hill came to Congress with a powerful commitment to her community and a bright vision for the future, and has made a great contribution as a leader of the Freshman Class. She has acknowledged errors in judgment that made her continued service as a Member untenable. We must ensure a climate of integrity and dignity in the Congress, and in all workplaces.” It sure SOUNDS like Mrs. Pelosi and the party leadership asked her to resign for those very reasons.

  126. @Peter Blau No, it sounds like there was something else. Most likely there was something to the affair rumor.

  127. It took a lot of courage and fortitude to write this article. Those are two virtues conspicuously lacking in Congress. This person's departure from Congress has been our loss. I hope that she can find other, much better ways to lead a meaningful, happy life or re-enter public life in some capacity if that is what she decides to do. It sometimes happens that the storms and tempests in life steer our ships to happier ports than they otherwise would have known. May that be true for Ms. Hill.

  128. Personally, I wish she felt more free to defend her sexuality. This was an unequaled moment to say (even if resigning the office) that her sexuality is none of the public's business and furthermore that she is not ashamed of her sexual exploration.

  129. This young woman must have some hustle and brains to maneuver herself in to Congress at such a young age. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, she also seems to have some alarming blind spots concerning her judgement. Frankly, I don’t care if she wants to get a little freaky at home on her own time, but doing it with junior members of her staff -and photos? That’s a time bomb waiting to go off. (I don’t believe she didn’t know about pictures being taken, either.) With that being said, I do think she’s been punished amply and publicly. She made some mistakes, but she also certainly took her lumps for it. She needs to let it go and move on. And so do we.

  130. @JT, I disagree that she needs to let it go and move on. She's addressing an important issue that we've ignored too long. She's exactly the articulate, intelligent woman to do this important job.

  131. @JT Breaking news: it is entirely ok to consent to have nude pics taken of you. What is NOT ok is for anyone in possession of them to post them without your permission. So let’s all haters drop the bogus “gotcha” moment of “You knew they were being taken.”

  132. Revenge porn is a growing problem in our interconnected world, and it affects primarily women across the political spectrum. Years ago Laura Ingraham was the victim of an ex-boyfriend who shared an intimate photo of a much younger Ingraham on the internet. These images can never be fully erased. Some years ago there was a young gay man who committed suicide after his roommate secretly filmed his encounter with a lover in their dorm room. I'm grateful that Katie Hill had the strength to avoid that kind of despair. These images are used to humiliate their victims; no media platform has the right to publish them, anymore than a media platform would have the right to show video of a rape in progress. Even public figures have the right to expect a degree of privacy.

  133. Stop making the videos.

  134. Revenge porn is a growing problem in our interconnected world, and it affects primarily women across the political spectrum. Years ago Laura Ingraham was the victim of an ex-boyfriend who shared an intimate photo of a much younger Ingraham on the internet. These images can never be fully erased. Some years ago there was a young gay man who committed suicide after his roommate secretly filmed his encounter with a lover in their dorm room. I'm grateful that Katie Hill had the strength to avoid that kind of despair. These images are used to humiliate their victims; no media platform has the right to publish them, anymore than a media platform would have the right to show video of a rape in progress. Even public figures have the right to expect a degree of privacy.

  135. Speaking as a person who lost a sibling to suicide. I am glad you did not take your life. Suicide inflicts a pain on the survivors that I would not wish on anyone. Life is hard, and sometimes unfair. But suicide is not the answer. I wish you well in your future endeavors.

  136. I hate it for her that she had to go through this, and I don't wish anyone this kind of pain and humiliation. She seems like a very bright and capable young woman, so it's a waste. But it can nevertheless serve as a warning to other young women (and men) to protect themselves in vulnerable moments. In the age of cellphone cameras and social media, it pays to be cautious.

  137. This shows quite clearly we need to put laws around the internet. Every ISP and VPN provider should be required to, with a police order, provide the name of the person who posts something. Posting naked images of a person without their consent is a kind of assault and needs to be seen as such by the law. And my thoughts go out to you: a brave lady.

  138. @psi The name of a person who posts “something”? Sorry, that is way too broad. Opinions and substantiated facts should be permitted. Libel and photos taken without consent should not.

  139. Peace and courage, Ms. Hill.

  140. Maybe I missed it in some prior article. Why did you resign? The photos themselves did not seem to big problem. Probably a billion images of naked bodies are looked at by Americans (yes, 99% of the lookers are male) each day to such a point that it is no big deal anymore. Your images did not seem particularly outrageous and did not seem shameful. I am not sure that you made a mistake of any kind. If you run again and I am in your district, I would certainly give you consideration for my vote as if this incident never happened.

  141. @David Binko After a little research, the sexual relations with someone on her campaign staff was one of the reasons Ms. Hill stated she felt it was correct to resign. Probably the added pressure of an alleged sexual affair with someone on her congressional staff which is forbidden under Congressional rules also led her to believe it was best to resign. I don't know when it is the right time to stop apologizing for one's mistakes and repeating the details of why they have resigned. I think it would have helped with this story if Ms. Hill or the NYT's would have added the context of why she resigned, because it seems to me it was mainly the sexual relations with the campaign staffer and alleged affair with a congressional staffer that was the reason, not the alleged crime perpetrated on Ms. Hill of her husband releasing the explicit photos.

  142. Thank you for taking the high road. Your baring of soul made me cry for its honesty and insightfulness. I have 4 teen granddaughters and I already worry about the choices they are making that may come back to hurt them in the near future. I hope they will learn from your experience.

  143. You need a big ego to find the exhausting travails of modern political life tolerable. Only an insatiable delight in soaking up attention and flattery suffices to overcome the exhausting absurdities of existence in the public fish bowl. It is surely not a job for a sensitive or introspective soul. On that level, Ms. Hill was obviously a highly qualified candidate. Is there a Guinness record for the most intensive use of first-person pronouns -- I, my, me -- in a confessional essay? If so, Ms. Hill would be a serious contender. But even the sincerely and innocently self-absorbed need to exercise some degree of caution once the pinnacle of political celebrity is attained. You're swimming with the sharks, make no mistake about it. The belief that your aura of celebrity will protect you from harm is hopelessly naive. No doubt Ms. Hill's fall was attended by shabby and reprehensible treatment. And hearing her describe it makes for an interesting story. But this reader came away with the impression that her penchant for reckless foolishness made her demise inevitable -- not a question of whether it would happen but simply when and how.

  144. @woofer If she were a he, her actions would not be considered reckless...but would be applauded by many men, and easily dismissed by many women. That she trusted people was probably her greatest failing. We are all human and make errors in judgement. It's interesting that we have a president that is far more immoral, vicious and without any basic human decency than Ms Hill, but gets a pass from 30+% of this country...including alleged christians.

  145. @woofer When people are married, they tend to trust each other. Most married couples have taken intimate photos of one another. No one ever thinks ahead to the possibility of their own divorce when they take out loans together, become parents, buy a home, or share intimate photos and our deepest secrets. In those times, no one is thinking, "What if our marriage disintegrates, what if I have an affair and he finds out, what if this person I love so completely becomes my worst enemy, committed to my destruction?" Is it "reckless foolishness" to trust someone that completely? If so, we should abolish marriage as an institution.

  146. @woofer. one mistake--which she's acknowledged and apologized for--is not a penchant. She's telling a very personal story about her own painful experience with revenge porn. I don't know how you tall that story without the first-person pronoun. I know a few self-absorbed politicians, most notably the one in the White House, but Katie Hill isn't one of them.

  147. I voted for you, Katie Hill, and I would do so again. I kept your bumper sticker on my car far after you had already won, to make sure everyone in Santa Clarita and Los Angeles knew exactly who I supported.

  148. I still do not understand why she resigned. So she had an affair. We have a guy in the WH who is accused of rape and myriad other laws with an entire political party providing cover for his crime spree and their argument against impeachment is “let the voters decide.” Then why couldn’t we let the voters in Ms. Hill’s district decide?

  149. @JMM I don’t think you truly understand how much more heavily this sort of thing falls on women compared to men. Personally, I mean. She’ll have gotten the political equivalent of Gamergate in terms of online, phone and in-person attacks. Men do not come in for the same sheer volume of personal malice that women do. Yes, she could have stayed in her role. But it clearly was impacting her life in a way that she couldn’t see continuing. It’s not always the brave ones who keep going - sometimes the ones who endure are just plain psychopaths, while the ones who correctly assess the limits of their endurance and change their course are the brave ones.

  150. @JMM Do you think she would have defended her seat against a Republican in 2020 given what voters now know about her combined with all the innuendo and lies that would be spread about her? That is why she resigned, no matter how many nice things her party leadership may have to say about her.

  151. @Felicia very good and interesting take on this. I’m an almost 60 guy, and I’ve always disagreed with and chose to not abide by the double standards in our society. I am offended and completely discouraged by the attacks on young women, for being young women.

  152. Thank you for this honest and searing summary. I'm sad for what Ms Hill and her family and others impacted--went through. I hope some kind of justice and remediation for the cyber threats and criminal breach of privacy -- will yet occur. These heinous acts need to receive prosecution and laws made.

  153. You have so much more to give and are an inspiration. Don’t stop now. All women should support each other so that we can fix our country.

  154. Katie- thank you for your thoughtful piece and service. Please run again and continue to fight for what’s right. I’m sorry you resigned, but I understand your unselfish decision. I’d vote for you in a nanosecond!

  155. I was an avid and enthusiastic supporter and campaign volunteer for Katie Hill. I can’t claim to know her, but she probably would recognize my face. We spoke a few times at campaign events and I developed tremendous respect for her intelligence and gravitas, especially for someone so young. I’m not sure that I had a right to do so, but I was very proud of her and felt honored to work on the campaign. From the very beginning she told people that she was bisexual and was very open about it. Like most people I was horrified when the pictures were published, but they only depicted behavior by someone who she had always made clear she was. Her involvement with a campaign staffer is questionable, but men running for office get away with this and other behavior far worse. The candidate and staff build a camaraderie and close knit bond, so these things happen, it is understandable. It happened before she was in office. She broke no congressional rules. Her husband betrayed her in the worst possible way, but he was also exploited by Republican operatives. I am deeply disappointed in her that she didn’t have the strength to stay in office and fight this out. Obviously after reading this piece she was in tremendous pain, but she had extraordinary support in her district. She would have gained much respect if she had. Unfortunately her district and the country lost a potentially great leader.

  156. I thought her decision was very brave at the time. I think this article is even more amazing. I do not think that we have seen the last of this woman. She may well be the embodiment of the phoenix, that is to say obtaining new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. Good Luck

  157. @Ken So that's what phoenix means!

  158. Thank you for your honesty. You still have much to give and I know you will find your next path. Your strength will give hope to others. Know that others wish you only the best.

  159. Thank you. Be strong. Your strength will carry you on to great things. There are many of us behind you. Good luck.

  160. Short version: A lot of us are glad you're in the fight and grateful for your voice. Thank you.

  161. I’ve seen some of the photos of Ms. Hill. They don’t look like they were taken without her knowledge or consent to me. I’m sure many others were taken surreptitiously, but at least some weren’t. And when she says in her essay that her husband threatened to ruin her, and she knew he could— I interpret that as she knew about at least some of the photos. I mean, she was looking clearly at the camera. No, that excuses none of her husband’s behavior or society’s, for that matter. What happened wasn’t fair. But it couldn’t have been a surprise.

  162. @Matt Does she say that ALL the photos were taken without her consent? Come on, you’re nitpicking.

  163. @Matt Why did this need to be said at all? There is absolutely nothing immoral or suspect about having nude photos taken. The only important points are that those photos were leaked without her consent, that there WERE photos taken without her consent, and that she was threatened.

  164. @Matt. in her interview with Chris Hayes, she says that she had posed for intimate photos for her husband during happier times (which of us hasn't?) and that she knew he could publish those. How did you happen to see the photos?

  165. We will repeat past mistakes to the extent we fail to tell the truth to ourselves and admit our mistakes.

  166. @Rick Taylor, I'll bite. What was the mistake? Filing for divorce? What was the falsehood? She apologized for her affair with a campaign staffer, which she's taken full responsibility for. However, that's not a House ethical violation since it happened before she took office. She denies that she had an affair with a House staffer, and I believe her.

  167. @SandraH. But as another commenter pointed out, her somewhat surprising resignation ended the investigation into whether that 2nd affair occurred. Which is why some reasonably don’t believe her.

  168. Don't read any of the negative comments here. I read them all; they say nothing necessary. Thank you for writing, for trying, and I hope you can come back.

  169. @kschwrtz But how will she see this one? The NYT comments don't have a positive/negative button...

  170. I am an attorney so I admit I am obsessed with words. And sometimes with this obsession I make a mountain out of a molehill. However, does anyone thing it’s interesting Ms. Hill says she has completely denied the affair with the confessional( not campaign which she has had to admit) staffer? She doesn’t say it didn’t happen. That is a big difference, especially since she resigned when an investigation was trying to uncover the truth about the alleged relationship.

  171. @Mark. The point you make in your last paragraph is an excellent one. Resigning effectively ended the investigation that—based upon texts between her husband and another person Concerning the affair with the male staffer, may well have supported the allegation against her.

  172. @Mark Ms. Hill denied the affair with the Congressional staffer; so did he. That affair, had it happened, and she said it did not, would have been in violation of House rules. To clarify, using your words, she DID deny the affair with the Congressional staffer, and she DID say that it didn't happen (i.e., consistent stories), so not sure what a-ha moment you've uncovered. She did not deny the affair with the campaign staffer - which took place before she took office and was not against House rules. She also had hundreds of intimate photos of herself published online. That, too, led to her resignation.

  173. @Charlemagne I think I said as much in my comment. And certainly the photos played a tremendous role in precipitating her resignation. My point was in this article, she references her previous denials. She doesn’t just say this is made up. This is a lie. I never did this. She also notes she thinks she husband was behind the leak of the photos( I tend to agree) but doesn’t say he made up that she was having an affair. All of this is telling.

  174. We need better laws (actually any laws that don't protect the perps and platforms) so that women (usually, women) have real recourse when these attacks occur.

  175. We were big supporters of Ms. Hill. Still are. Neither she nor Al Franken should have had to resign. Bright, well-intentioned, passionate members of the House such as Mr. Hill are our only hope against the stodgy "same old same old" attitude of the majority of the House.

  176. @William Fordes Al Franken and Katie Hill mentioned in the same breath? I feel Ms. Hill's pain, too, but, as any #me-tooer will tell you, sex between a House member and a staffer is, by definition, non-consensual. Not even in the same ballpark as Franken's stupid joke. And the loss of his future accomplishments is much the greater, too.

  177. @William Fordes Must be Karma in action. Both Katie Hill and Al Franken are collateral damage from #MeToo. I'm sorry folks, but a movement must be careful not to be so excessive that it eats its own young

  178. This is a tough one. On one hand, releasing private photos should be illegal. On the other hand, people in power should not have affairs with staff members.

  179. @Jane : Shoulda, woulda, coulda... People will always have affairs whether they should or not. Does the punishment fit the crime? And who is being punished for releasing the photos, something that indeed should be illegal?

  180. @Jane retired attorney F/71 hmmm? What choices did you make at Katie Hill's age? Possibly, like me, before the evil whacks of the Internet were everywhere? My rule for a lifetime with private and public persons is simple: I observe. I do not judge. That keeps the nasties at bay--at least when I share my observations and thoughts. Build? Instead of tear down, especially where there is a pained sentient being involved? From our pets to people?

  181. And meanwhile male politicians have affairs left and right and go unpunished, with a hearty slap on the back for being so foxy.

  182. Ms. Hill, your voice is much needed. Thank you for continuing to be in the fight. You've already made it through the worst of times, don't let the haters win this one. Thank you for your courage and for sharing your story.

  183. retired attorney F/71 "Too soon old. Too late smart." PA Dutch. Here is how I see this beautiful smart desperately trying to be honest woman, especially knowing how my life and relationships unfolded at her age: She's getting to smart fast. Spkr Pelosi knew that too. We learn from our failures and mistakes, not from our successes. She has amazing company. Start with the man that the Coca Cola Board fired because he created and unsuccessfully marketed New Coke. He failed. Anyone know how many years later and at what wage, this company's Board hired back this man for an immensely important and successful Coke turnaround? Last name begins with G so you can land on the right CEO when you read his story. I see that future for Katie Hill. And there is no reason that she cannot choose Congress if that is her passion. That said, she may choose to not become a public figure again. Nothing limiting her contributions from whatever platform she chooses. I turned down a top HHS policy Deputy's position during the second Reagan term. Just filling out the first round of vetting forms gave me the chills so I honored that reaction. Nominated another woman who was approachable and brilliant in that position and for a lifetime of contributions after. Be well my friend! And do listen to your gut on what may seem like casual life decisions, but come snarling back to whack us and those we love.

  184. You should not have surrendered. If the fight was as unfair as you say (and I agree) then it should have been fought.

  185. @Mark Thomason Your support is appreciated, Mr. Thomason, but a little less mansplaining would be in order. We'll have the right to give Ms. Hill our opinions about her decision when we've walked a mile, bare naked, with the cameras rolling.

  186. @Mark Thomason Fight an unfair fight?

  187. @sthomas1957 -- Yes. It is harder.

  188. Thank you for the honesty and the vision. Every day, make it yours, and new. We’re told the best warriors win without fighting; they induce others to fail. Have at it!

  189. semi-retired physician, M/66 Speaker Pelosi gave you good advice. You have survived the maelstrom, Ms. Hill. Think of all the remarkable women who are working to transform our world right now. As the father of women about your age, I must insist that you a.) do what you love; b.) do it with all heart, your soul, your might. The Creator has given you many gifts - Creation commands you to use them for the good of Creation, to heal the world. Please do! I look forward to hearing of your exploits soon!

  190. Ms. Hill, Thank you for this powerful column. You are a strong, talented, intelligent woman and I look forward to your return to public service.

  191. Ms. Hill, you shall return. I know it.

  192. The first thing Ms. Hill, is to learn from the experience, then forgive yourself. Then get back in the game and figure out how you can best serve those in need. The haters can only hurt you if you allow them to. I believe Monica Lewinsky gave a wonderful TED talk on how she took back her personhood, and the struggles she went through. Also wrote a wonderful article. Check them out for inspiration.

  193. Well said, and all best wishes for your future.

  194. "...since my relationship with a campaign staffer was exposed, since naked photos of me — taken without my knowledge and distributed without my consent..." I was taught at an early age to never put myself in a position to be made an example of. And that sage bit of advice has served me well throughout my half century plus of life. I'd imagine it's decidedly difficult to learn that life isn't at all about having fun. In fact, it's the 'fun' that without fail gets one into trouble. Oh well, live and learn. For some at least.

  195. @Raven Feel better now that you’ve had your judgemental,say? Glad you’ve got it out. I’m sure when she was working in those non-profits before becoming a Congresswoman, indeed when serving as a Congresswoman, she realized that life was really all giggles and frippery, which led her to try to do more for others.... sarcasm intended in case you were unsure. I can’t speak to the legal implications of her relationship with her staffer (I can’t remember, tbh) but people exploring and enjoying their sexuality is part of humanities birthright. Sex should be pleasurable and fun, and it is often complicated. Safely exploring desires and proclivities should not be used against someone as a mark of their character or as a means to shame, embarrass or exploit them. And you certainly do not see the type of public uproar her story received when the sexual escapades of her male counterparts come to light.

  196. @Lulu I'm sure your soothing words are of great comfort to someone whose lack of judgment cost them all that they worked hard for. Although, how hard members of Congress work is debatable. After all, Mark Twain did accurately point out that a flea could be easily taught anything that a congressperson does. And as far as being judgemental. Well, that's easy. Because when your own judgment has kept you out of trouble criticizing those whose lack of judgment got them into trouble is de rigueur.

  197. We lost a good representative. Score one for those who lack a moral compass. She did nothing wrong, it’s her prerogative to choose her battles, and you’d have to have pretty thick skin to stay on after this.

  198. @Dee. Your conclusion that she did nothing wrong suggests that you did not read the stories concerning the nature of her relationships, including the texts between her and the young female staffer, texts between her husband and that staffer, and some telling texts concerning her alleged relationship with the male staffer.

  199. @ehillesum All of which, needless to say, is none of our business.

  200. I’m a pretty cynical person and hard to move. This piece moved me a lot. You are absolutely right Katie Hill. Quitting is not an option. We fight to the end.

  201. If quitting isn't an option, as you say, then why did she quit?

  202. Ms. Hill you have a lot of talent. I hope you can learn from this very painful experience, forgive yourself, and eventually return to public service.

  203. I’m a democrat. I liked Katie and beloved she had a huge future in Congress. I do not wish what happened to her on anyone. But her version of the reasons she resigned do not square with the Speaker’s official statement.

  204. @JRSmith No such conflict or contradiction exists - the Speaker assured Ms. Hill of her support and urged her not to resign. Ms. Hill opted to resign. The Speaker issued a statement of support for her decision, saying she made the right decision. To do otherwise, to criticize her for resigning, would be inexplicable, inappropriate, untoward and unsupportive

  205. I see folks having affairs in workplace left and right and I don’t think it’s wrong. We are all human beings and have feelings for the people around us. But it’s important that such affairs should be appropriately declared so that there is no conflict of interest and there is no power play. I don’t do want to know the specifics of other people affairs as these are private matters. It’s unfortunate that we are still a backward society and I am sorry that you have to resign. Also, anyone violating privacy of others should be prosecuted. I wish you all the best for your future!

  206. @Kapil "But it’s important that such affairs should be appropriately declared...." Affairs in my experience aren't declared-- that's why they are called "affairs". "Declared affair"-- a new one! I hereby copyright it! Now I need to figure out what it applies to....

  207. Brave words. I wish you all the best moving forward, Ms. Hill - I hate what happened to you but I have every expectation that you will continue to grow as a national leader and that many good deeds and good years lie ahead for you.

  208. I followed the coverage at the time of Ms. Hill's resignation, and have read this now, yet I still don't understand what happened. I am missing something, and perhaps someone here can assist, but what would have happened if she had remained in Congress as many of us wish she had?

  209. @Paul I think it was just too painful. The controversy, the humiliation, the unrelenting misdirected hatred, the fear, the inescapable mortification that attached to her and everyone she held dear. You live in Brazil, Paul. You may not realize how far Americans are from accepting the fact that everyone is sometimes naked. If I'm ever spread naked across the internet, I could only hope and pray I'd have one tenth the courage that Ms. Hill has.

  210. @Paul. The investigation into whether she had an affair with the Congressional staffer would have continued.

  211. @Paul , Nothing. She could have stayed. I think, she was traumatized. What she will learn in life short term trauma is just that. Standing on a stage naked ...... One can move forward and just put clothes on. It's a learning experience. She's still young. And it seems she's recovered from being naked. She'll do good things or try more than most.

  212. Not only inspiring, but beautifully written. The best for you girl.

  213. Carpe Diem Ms. Hill, a powerful article, and your will and vision is what the country needs, in any capacity, to fight the evil that has taken over our country.

  214. So sad to see the negative comments. Didn’t we have a president who had an affair with a very young staffer, taking advantage of his position of power, who lied before the grand jury, yet he escaped conviction and kept his job? Ignore the trolls and kudos to you Katie for keeping your head up and for moving onward and upward.

  215. @BronxJon Yes we did have a president who did the same thing. Unfortunately that doesn't make what she did was right and she also admitted that it wasn't right in her resignation letter. Quoting her letter, "I know that even a consensual relationship with a subordinate is inappropriate, but I still allowed it to happen despite my better judgment,” Michelle Obama said the right words here,"No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.” If the Democrats are going to be the ethical and moral gatekeepers, we're going to have to take the higher ground. I think Ms.Hill did the right thing and I applaud her for it and I hope we see more Democratics take the higher ground.

  216. @L. Colorado I understand and I am not questioning her decision. My point was that it is unfair to pile on her the way many people have been doing.

  217. @Bronx Jon I agree with you. It's hard to read some of these negative comments. Ms. Hill is taking control of the situation and sharing her story which in my view is courage that many people (like the negative commentors) do not have.

  218. We are all glad that you were here, telling your side of the story, taking control of a situation that was designed to run you down, and looking ahead to the rest of your life. Everyone, famous or not, has been touched by moments of hopelessness, feelings of powerlessness, and fears that our efforts will have been in vain. That’s universal. That’s why we know the adage that ‘this too shall pass.’ And when those dark moments do pass, we may or may not find ourselves where we had hoped. But so long as we are still here, there is potential in every day, and hope for a rainbow after the rain.

  219. Rep. Hill, you are saving lives with this essay. On the brink and back from the edge, you are providing a lifeline to those who are about to end it all. Thanks for writing this. I hope you run for office again.

  220. This piece shows amazing courage. There are many paths to success. Use your energy, anger, intelligence and experience to find another way to create positive change for people. “Never, never, never give up.”

  221. Thank you for sharing this. I’m a psychotherapist and I think that making this a conversation is one of the most important steps toward personal and collective healing. My sense is also that you are indeed helping women and continuing to lead us all in deep way. So again thank you and I’m sending you wishes for a good next chapter.

  222. Thank you so very much for sharing this. I am so sorry about all that you have gone through, but am so happy that you are committed to staying in the fight. You are such an inspiration to me and to so many. I'm hoping for healing and light for you. Sending so much light your way.

  223. @Katie_Hill, I was among the many called your office with support and hope that you would not resign. You have been treated unfairly and fallen hard, and shown courage and resilience in publishing your story. You have survived to mightiest blow that anyone could strike, and you are now free. Though the circumstances were embarrassing and the perpetrator was appalling, they have provided you the support of a national constituency and a even larger voice. Please continue to speak out and to carry on your work on behalf of our country and our people. We need your leadership and strength more than ever.

  224. My mother had wise words when I was growing up. "Mind your own business." I remember reading about what happened, and I did what I had learned to do from a young age, I thought to myself it was none of my business and just moved on. To me, it wasn't a big deal, maybe because I am a child of the 70s. I understand you felt the need to resign, but had you stayed, it would have blown over.

  225. From this article, it sounds like the only thing she did wrong is let her ex-husband have power over her based on basically nothing, or maybe having a body? The Speaker was right. I think adults who heard the story did the adult thing and didn't open the photos. If quitting isn't an option, run again!

  226. Katie, thanks for sharing. Your story moved me. I wish you hadn't resigned, but moving forward, the world is your oyster. You have the love and support of millions.

  227. Ms. Hill makes it clear that the Speaker not only didn't force her hand, but promised to support her if she decided not to resign. But she did anyway. I can understand her angst, but it was her choice to make, and she made it.

  228. @HKGuy This was an overwhelmingly overdetermined "choice" - that is to say, no choice at all. Whoever holds the pictures threatened to release more of them. What would you do? Now, for the men reading this: What would you do if you were a woman and subjected to global shame and humiliation? A woman naked is a woman reduced to her sex and sexuality, whereas a man in a similar position (*cough cough Anthony Weiner*) could survive politically until it was shown he'd interacted sexually with a young teenager. Don't @ me with the Al Franken story; I agree he resigned too soon. I'm just asking you to consider how sexualized shame is borne by women in ways that will never be visited upon men.