Former congresswoman Katie Hill, who resigned last year after she was accused of having an affair with her male legislative director and her three-way relationship with a female staffer was made public, has released a memoir claiming her husband bullied her into having a throuple, emotionally abused her and told her to kill herself.
Her estranged husband Kenny Heslep’s claim that she was having an affair with her campaign finance director Graham Kelly sparked a House Ethics Committee Investigation.
The congresswoman, who was at the time vice chair of the House Oversight Committee, vehemently denied the affair with Kelly but resigned three days later.
In the autobiography, the California politician, 32, opened up about bringing a then-22-year-old campaign staffer into her marriage, the political firestorm when the three-way relationship was discovered, and wrote that she contemplated committing suicide after quitting Congress.
In the book, titled She Will Rise: Becoming a Warrior in the Battle for True Equality, Hill wrote that she tried cutting her wrists in the aftermath of the scandal.
‘I got a paring knife–not quite as sharp as a box cutter, but I figured it would do–and got back into the cold bath,’ she wrote.
Hill wrote that she stopped and put down the knife when she thought of her family and her supporters.
The former congresswoman revealed that she had come close to killing herself a year earlier in an attempt to escape her allegedly abusive marriage.
The Santa Clarita politician claimed when she came home that night and told her husband, they argued and he shoved a gun at her and said ‘If you want to kill yourself, then why don’t you go f***ing do it.’
Hill described Heslep, who she is now divorcing, as ‘incredibly controlling’, ‘unpredictable’ and on ‘meds’, claiming he had previously struggled with substance abuse and had threatened her, her stepfather and her campaign manager that he would ‘ruin’ Hill if she ever left him.
‘My ex used intimidation as one of his primary abuse tactics,’ she wrote. ‘He would scream, give snarling glares, snap his fingers at me, destroy things in our home, back me into a corner with his arms on either side so I couldn’t move.
‘By the end, he had started walking around with a gun in his waistband, no matter how many times I told him that was dangerous and that I wanted him to put it away.’
Hill accused her ex of leaking explosive text messages and photos to a local ‘Republican operative’, though Heslep, 36, has denied it and claimed he was hacked.
In her memoir, Hill wrote that it was her husband’s idea to bring other women into their marriage.
‘He convinced me that since we had been in a committed relationship from the time I was 16 years old, the only way I would ever be able to be with a woman was to bring her into our relationship,’ she said.
She says her husband proposed the idea of threesomes and throuples, and that he went on dating and other websites trying to recruit other women.
‘He made me feel stupid and prudish if I told him I didn’t want to be on those websites. When I began to get more firm about it, he started doing it entirely without my knowledge.’
Hill claimed that in 2016 her husband secretly posted a naked picture of her in on a forum of social media site Reddit called ‘WouldYouF**kMyWife’ and set up a profile on cruise ship dating website Cruise Ship Mingle – which she claims she knew nothing about.
‘I knew about some of his online activity, but didn’t know that he was posting photos of me on different websites without my consent, including nude photos I never even knew he took, as a way to lure women into our relationship,’ Hill wrote.
‘He had me convinced that these arrangements were what was best for me because of my bisexuality, when of course in reality that wasn’t the case.’
The 32-year-old admitted that her relationship with her young campaign staffer, who she named only as ‘M’, was ‘inappropriate’ and apologized for getting too close to her team.
‘Far too often, I saw and treated my staff as friends and peers when, in retrospect, they deserved clear boundaries rooted in professionalism and a boss who took personal responsibility for their professional well-being at all times,’ Hill said.
‘Worst of all, I had a relationship with a campaign staffer. I understand power dynamics. I know that having a relationship with someone on my staff is inappropriate. I know that especially in the era of #MeToo, there is a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to relationships like this.
‘I had known for a long time that my relationship with my husband was bad. I knew that M, the woman who had worked on my campaign and with whom I had developed a relationship despite my better judgment, was sucked into it now and it was my fault for exposing her to it in the first place.’
Hill revealed in her book that weeks after her scandal and resignation, she discovered her brother, who had struggled with addiction, dead of a drug overdose.
‘In the middle of January, my mom was hospitalized and needed to have urgent brain surgery,’ Hill wrote. ‘Three days after her surgery, while she was still in the hospital, I woke up at her house and found my baby brother dead. He was twenty years old. He and I had always been exceptionally close.’
In the book, which Hill used as a rallying call for young women to get into politics, she described two other disturbing events in her life that led her to want to fight for a less male-dominated society: a sexual assault she suffered aged just eight, and at age 15 an attempted rape by a man in his mid 20s in France.
Hill said that on a summer school trip when she was 15, she got drunk with some French teenagers and young men while camping. She said one of the men climbed into her tent and tried to rape her, and she only escaped by jabbing him with a tent pole and running away.