Media Darling Katie Hill Says She Planned to Lie to Media Until Scandal Passed


March 2, 2020

Former California congresswoman Katie Hill (D.) admitted in a new profile that she initially planned to lie about the "throuple" relationship with a campaign staffer that came to light in October.

"You know, honestly, it was one of those things where it was like, Well, I'll just deny it, [emphasis in original]" Hill told New York magazine writer Caitlin Moscatello. "Morgan [the staffer] is not accusing me of anything. She doesn't want it to come out any more than I do."

"Plenty of politicians lie, but it's rare for one to tell a reporter it was her game plan," Moscatello wrote.

Hill announced her resignation on Oct. 27, nine days after RedState first reported photos and text messages showing her and ex-husband Kenny Heslep in an intimate relationship with a female campaign staffer.

Hill admitted in a letter to constituents before resigning that she did have a relationship with the staffer, Morgan, whom she told New York she "fell in love" with. She also said she didn't see the relationship as a #MeToo violation, even though Morgan was her body woman on the campaign trail.

"We joked about this a lot. Morgan was way more my boss than I was hers," Hill said, "because she got me to places on time. So yes, I recognize that I had power, but also it just wasn't like that at the time … I was a fucking person that was a few years older than her, and we got wrapped up in this movement of trying to do something, and I happened to be the face of it. But to me, she was just as responsible for it, you know?"

Hill continued the three-person relationship when she took office before breaking things off with both Morgan and Heslep in May.

Upon her resignation, Hill blamed Heslep for leaking the photos to the media, portraying herself as a victim of revenge porn. She decried the "double standard" for female politicians and the "dirtiest gutter politics I've ever seen."

Hill, who is bisexual, denied having a separate affair with her male legislative director, Graham Kelly. The alleged affair became the subject of a House Ethics Committee investigation.

Since her scandal broke, Hill has been interviewed on Good Morning America, MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes, and CNN's Reliable Sources. She has also published an op-ed in the New York Times, and is writing a memoir. According to New York magazine, she dated Playboy writer Alex Thomas last summer and fall, but she now has a "new girlfriend."

Hill's election received national attention due to her sexuality and age—she was only 31 when elected—as well as her flipping of a Republican-held seat. Her win in the 2018 Democratic primary, however, is now also under scrutiny after a staffer's husband was arrested last month for hacking an opponent's campaign.

UPDATE: 1:17 P.M.: This article was corrected to show when Hill and Thomas dated.

Published under: Katie Hill , Media