Former Rep. Katie Hill says it's 'gross' to think that Matt Gaetz defended her to possibly cover up for 'his own indiscretions'

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Kelsey Vlamis
·2 min read
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katie hill matt gaetz
Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida (L) and former Rep. Katie Hill of California (R). Drew Angerer/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • Former Rep. Katie Hill had nude photos of her leaked without consent and Rep. Matt Gaetz defended her.

  • Gaetz is now implicated in a sex trafficking probe and other allegations of sexual misconduct.

  • Hill says now his defense of her feels "gross" and that she questions his motives.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

When Democratic Rep. Katie Hill had sexually explicit photos of her published in a British tabloid alongside reports of a relationship with one of her staffers, she found an unlikely ally in GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz.

Gaetz defended Hill after the House Ethics Committee opened a probe into the lawmaker over the alleged relationship.

"Who among us would look perfect if every ex leaked every photo/text?" Gaetz said in a tweet. "Katie isn't being investigated by Ethics or maligned because she hurt anyone - it is because she is different."

In light of recent reports that Gaetz shared nude photos of women on the House floor and is the subject of a sex-trafficking investigation, Hill views his defense of her differently.

Read more: Republicans are unloading on Rep. Matt Gaetz in gossipy texts and snide asides amid reports of a DOJ sex investigation: 'He's the meanest person in politics'

"I have to wonder about what his motives were when he defended me back then," Hill said in an interview with CNN on Friday.

She said Gaetz's defense of her had an impact because he spoke out while her Democratic colleagues did not, and that she had felt alone at the time.

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"Knowing now that that could've been just because he was trying to kind of cover up for whatever his own indiscretions were or be able to use my name and invoke that defense later on," Hill said. "It's just gross."

Gaetz has denied the allegations against him.

Hill resigned in 2019 amid the ethics probe and vowed to campaign against revenge porn, a term used for when nude photos of someone are shared without their consent.

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In 2020, she came to Gaetz's defense when people online were mocking him after he said he had raised a young man from Cuba as his son.

Hill blamed her ex-husband for the leaked photos of her, which she seemed to allude to in the CNN interview.

"Clearly I have a history of trusting men that I shouldn't, and any criticism of my character assessment is probably warranted," Hill said.

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