Disgraced former Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA), who was the first woman in U.S. history to resign from Congress over a sex scandal, told ABC News on Thursday that she had to resign because of “biphobia.”
Hill made the remarks during an interview with “Good Morning America” that featured softball questions from host George Stephanopoulos, who used to work in the Clinton administration.
“Your story exploded,” Stephanopoulos said. “How much of it is tied to the fact that, in your mind, that you’re bisexual?”
“I think a lot of it is, and it’s also partly because I’m a woman, we haven’t seen as many of the sex scandals with women, but the bisexuality is a huge part of it, right?” Hill responded. “There is a fantasy element of it, there’s biphobia that is rampant still, and certainly misunderstanding of what bisexuality is, and it’s sensationalizing, right?”
Hill resigned after the House Ethics Committee announced that it was opening a formal investigation into the allegations that Hill had a prohibited sexual relationship with a congressional staffer. Hill’s decision to resign shielded her from being investigated over the allegation.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Was the biggest mistake having a relationship with a campaign staffer?
HILL: Absolutely. When I started to run for Congress, I was a nobody. I was a non-profit director that was 29-years-old when I jumped in. I did not have any political experience and so I was a complete long shot, but my team, which built over time, was, especially the people who were there in the beginning, it never felt like an employer-employee relationship in the way that I’d been an executive at a large organization before. The boundaries were completely different because you are truly in the trenches with this very small team, where I think I made the biggest mistake was not setting those boundaries from the very beginning.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The photos were released. You’re also accused, not only of having a relationship with a campaign staffer, but having a relationship with someone on your congressional staff, which obviously would cross all kinds of ethical lines.
HILL: That accusation came from my ex-husband and it launched a–
STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s not true?
HILL: No, especially, the person he was accusing me of, was somebody, who was my first hire, right? He was the first person who worked on my campaign and he came with me to Washington and we were friends and it shows you how easy it is to, when you’re talking about someone, especially a woman being a victim of something like the photos, or cyber exploitation, or revenge porn, or whatever you want to call it–
STEPHANOPOULOS: What do you want to call it?
HILL: Well, there’s a problem with the term “revenge porn” because it implies, A, that there is something to be taking revenge for, right? That the woman maybe did something wrong in the first place and pornography could imply that it was consensual, and it’s not.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And how much have you regretted the decision to actually resign? Any part of you that thinks you should have stayed and fought?
HILL: I strongly feel that I made the right call in stepping down, for several reasons. One of which is that I, I did not want to be a liability to my colleagues. We knew from the people who had the photos that had obtained the photos that there were hundreds more images and text messages that were out there that I had no idea what they could be or how they could be taken out of context.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Your story exploded. … How much of it is tied to the fact that in your mind that you’re bisexual?
HILL: I think a lot of it is, and it’s also partly because I’m a woman, we haven’t seen as many of the sex scandals with women, but the bisexuality is a huge part of it, right? There is a fantasy element of it, there’s biphobia that is rampant still and certainly misunderstanding of what bisexuality is and it’s sensationalizing, right?