Katie Hill Goes Down Fighting, And We're Not Crying, YOU ARE CRYING
Katie Hill, who announced her resignation from Congress this week after her abusive estranged husband, Kenny Heslep, distributed revenge porn pictures of her to RedState and the Daily Mail, delivered her final speech on the floor today. Her last day will be Friday, and her last act in Congress, apart from this speech, was to vote with her colleagues in favor of the resolution on the next phase of the impeachment investigation into our future abusive ex-president.
If you have a box of Kleenex nearby, you may want to grab it:
WATCH: Rep. Katie Hill's full farewell speech on House floor youtu.be
Heartbreakingly, Hill started her speech by apologizing to everyone she felt she let down, and asking for their forgiveness for her mistakes (the only actual, proven mistake being that she hired a woman she was having a relationship with on her campaign, which, again, is not illegal and is a thing politicians do with some regularity). She described not having left her bed for a week following the Daily Mail publishing her ex-husband's revenge porn of her, not being able to talk to anyone and going to a dark place in her mind, and thanked those who had gotten her out of it.
And then she explained her reasons for deciding to resign:
"I am leaving now because of a double standard. I am leaving because I no longer want to be used as a bargaining chip. I am leaving because I didn't want to be peddled by papers and blogs and websites used by shameless operatives for the dirtiest gutter politics that I've ever seen, and the right wing media to drive clicks and expand their audience by distributing intimate photos of me, taken without my knowledge, let alone my consent, for the sexual entertainment of millions.
I'm leaving because of a misogynistic culture that gleefully consumed my naked pictures, capitalized on my sexuality and enabled my abusive ex to continue that abuse, this time with the entire country watching. I am leaving because of the thousands of vile, threatening emails, calls and texts that made me fear for my life and the lives of those I care about.
Hill then said that after she tried to stay strong after the first article was published, "people were angry" that she did not step down immediately, and basically said that if she didn't step down that they had over 100 more pictures and text messages that they would continue releasing until they broke her down. I could be wrong, but I do believe that is called blackmail.
She ended her speech by noting that although she is stepping down over a sex scandal that is really in no way her own fault, there are men in the White House and on the Supreme Court who have been credibly accused of sexual assault by multiple women, and yet are still there. Though hopefully not for much longer.
While it's disappointing that she's stepping down, Hill explained that she just can't put all the people in her life in that position, and that she doesn't want an investigation into her to distract from the investigation into Trump.
It's hard to watch Hill apologizing so profusely when she really just does not deserve the shame here. The people who deserve the shame here are her dirtbag ex and Jennifer Van Laar, the reporter behind both the initial RedState article and the Daily Mail story that included all of the nude pictures of Hill. Van Laar, frankly, deserves the bulk of it. She aided and abetted this sex crime (and that is absolutely what it is) against another woman, simply because she did not like her politics. That is sick. That is treacherous. That is not journalism. Again, it is a sex crime.
Van Laar could have just written about Hill having hired a woman she was in a relationship with. She could have even just written about Heslep accusing her of having slept with her legislative director Graham Kelly. That's the thing that triggered an ethics investigation, anyway. But she didn't just write those things. She also had to humiliate and decimate her by posting her nude pictures on a website, without her consent, for the world to see.
Earlier this week, Caleb Ecarma of Mediaite reported that Van Laar, currently the managing editor of RedState, had previously worked for Steve Knight, the Republican Hill unseated in 2018, and has ties to several Republicans who were planning to run for her seat in 2020. Van Laar even briefly worked as the campaign manager for Suzette Valladares, a Republican who had been planning to challenge Hill in the next election. Clearly, Van Laar was desperate to get a Republican into that damn seat, so let's hope the people of California repay her for her efforts by absolutely not electing one.
That shouldn't be too hard, if convicted felon George Papadopoulos gets the nomination. (He won't.)
Let us now take a moment and gaze upon the smarmy-ass walrus face of Hill's slimebag soon-to-be-ex-husband, Kenny Heslep, shall we? I hate to nauseate you all, but I feel like his name and face need to be well known enough to insure that no woman on earth ever speaks to him again, for the rest of his entire life. It is a public service, in a way.
Hill has vowed to continue fighting against revenge porn, and it will be great to see her working to strengthen the laws against it in California and elsewhere, so that no one else needs to fear that their awful ex will ruin their lives by sending their nude pictures to some creep tabloid journalist with an axe to grind.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse