Politics

Rep. Katie Hill's husband claimed his computer was 'hacked' before her private photos appeared online, report says

Key Points
  • Rep. Katie Hill will give a final House floor speech as a report raises new questions about the possible role the California Democrat's estranged husband played in her downfall.
  • Hill is resigning her seat in Congress following disclosure of actual and alleged romantic relationships with subordinates.
  • Hill's husband, Kenny Heslep, told his own father that his computer was "hacked" shortly before photos of Hill were published on a conservative website, according to BuzzFeed News.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., left, poses during a ceremonial swearing-in with Rep. Katie Hill, D-Calif., right, and Hill's husband, Kenny Heslep, center, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, during the opening session of the 116th Congress.
Cliff Owen | AP

Rep. Katie Hill, who is resigning her seat in Congress following disclosure of actual and alleged romantic relationships with subordinates, is set to give a final House floor speech Thursday — as two reports raise new questions about the possible role the California Democrat's estranged husband played in her downfall.

The father of Hill's husband, Kenny Heslep, told BuzzFeed News that Heslep claimed to him that his computer was "hacked" shortly before nude photos of Hill were published online by Redstate, a conservative news website, as well as by The Daily Mail.

Kenny Heslep's father, Fred Heslep, told BuzzFeed, "He was hacked is what he says."

"I think he started having computer issues, so that's what made him think it was a hacking," Fred Heslep told the site.

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I am leaving now because of a double standard: Rep. Katie Hill

When BuzzFeed asked Fred Heslep if his son played a role in disseminating the images of Hill that were published, Fred Heslep said, "He says no."

Fred Heslep also said that his son had not contacted authorities about the possible alleged hacking.

BuzzFeed noted that weeks before RedState ran the first report about Hill detailing text messages and photos suggesting she had a relationship with a female campaign staffer and a male congressional office staffer, Kenny Heslep had offered some information about his marriage to the host of a local podcast in California.

But the 32-year-old Hill has said she is the victim of a coordinated political attack "carried out by right-wing media and Republican operatives," along with Kenny Heslep.

She has repeatedly called her estranged husband "abusive" since the photos began appearing.

Hill's own father, Michael Hill, blasted Kenny Heslep in a statement to ABC News on Tuesday that explicitly accused the husband of sending "revenge porn" of Katie Hill.

"I have remained silent and watched as Katie and our entire family has had to endure the spectacle created when her estranged husband, sent 'revenge porn' to RedState and/or some other British tabloid," Michael Hill said in his statement.

"The fact that Kenny Heslep would do such a thing is unfathomable and appalling, especially considering that they were together since Katie was in high school and this is a woman that he purportedly loved and cared about."

"Let's not pretend that her resigning is anything other than the direct result of the actions of a wicked man whose sole purpose in life, after he was dumped, was to hurt my little girl," Michael Hill told ABC News.

"Evil has many faces and this is one of them."

Hill, as well as Kenny and Fred Heslep, did not return multiple requests for comment from CNBC.

Neither Hill's lawyers nor Heslep's lawyers returned multiple requests for comment.

Kenny Heslep, 36, sued Hill for divorce in July, less than a year after she was elected to Congress, representing California's 25th District.

On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of Hill and the photos of her that were leaked, "It's shameful that she's been subject to ... cyber exploitation."

Hill is set to give her final House speech between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday, according to a press release from her office.

She announced her resignation earlier this week after the House Ethics Committee announced it would investigate her for possibly having a sexual relationship with her male office staffer.

Hill denies having such a relationship with that man.

But she does admit she had such a relationship with a female campaign staffer during her race for Congress.

"Resigning from Congress was one of the most difficult decisions of my life," Hill said in a statement announcing her final floor speech.

"But I could not allow myself to be a distraction from the constitutional crisis we are faced with and the critical work to fulfill our promises of quality healthcare, housing we can afford and a government that works for the people."

Read More: Ex-Trump aide George Papadopoulos, who went to jail in Mueller probe, to run for Katie Hill's House seat

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Key Points
  • Rep. Katie Hill's husband got multiple jobs at a non-profit group where she held senior positions due to her 'influence,' he says in their divorce case.
  • Kenny Heslep, Hill's husband, says he was moved out of one of his non-profit jobs because Hill's employer "was concerned about nepotism and how it looked that she was my boss."
  • On Sunday, Hill announced her resignation from the House. In doing so, she singled out her husband and "hateful political operatives" for "driving a smear campaign built around cyber exploitation."