Former Rep. Katie Hill Says Matt Gaetz Controversy Shows Women 'Remain Unvalued'

Former Democratic Congresswoman Katie Hill said Florida Republican Matt Gaetz, who defended her in 2019 amid "revenge porn" allegations, should not be using her name to defend himself amid accusations of sex trafficking.

Hill, who resigned from her congressional seat in October 2019 over a scandal involving a messy divorce and allegations of "cyber exploitation," appeared on several cable networks this week to rebuke any comparisons to the allegations currently being investigated against Gaetz.

The Florida congressman has denied the allegations.

The ex-California lawmaker told MSNBC Saturday that the mere fact House members were aware Gaetz was "sharing inappropriate images and videos on the House floor" is evidence enough that women have still deeply "unvalued" across U.S. society.

"This shows you, to me, that women remain unvalued. Our bodies remain not ours. They're seen as either something that we can be shamed for or something that can be used as boasting rights or bragging rights by men in sexual conquests," Hill said of the current allegations against Gaetz.

In 2019, Rep. Matt Gaetz was one of the only members of Congress to speak out on behalf of @KatieHIll4CA. Now, Rep. Gaetz is accused of the same practice he once defended Hill against. pic.twitter.com/BOvn0nmmcK

— The Week with Joshua Johnson (@TheWeekMSNBC) April 11, 2021

"The fact that [Gaetz allegedly shared inappropriate images] on the House floor and that no one who saw it, no one who witnessed it, came forward and reported it at the time it happened is a testament that this needs to be seen as a crime across the entire country," she told MSNBC.

Hill earlier told CNN host Erin Burnett Friday that Gaetz should not be comparing her situation to his, labeling it "gross" while also acknowledging she was grateful for his defense of her back in 2019.

"I mean, I think it's gross, right?" Hill said. "Again, every motive for him defending me...at the time it meant a lot, it mattered, anybody defending me mattered. I felt very alone, I felt I didn't have the defense that I wanted from my own Democratic colleagues. So the fact that he spoke out for me, that did have an effect."

"I think it is gross," says fmr. Rep. Katie Hill, as she recalls Rep. Matt Gaetz defending her amid her personal scandal.

"Knowing now that that could have been just because he was trying to cover up for whatever his own indiscretions were... is just gross." pic.twitter.com/fkdEILs0GJ

— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) April 10, 2021

She continued: "But knowing now that could have been just because he was trying to cover up whatever his own indiscretions were and to be able to use my name to invoke that defense later on is...it's just gross, especially because we know now that the investigations were going on way back then."

Gaetz invoked Hill's scandal this week in several tweets and a Washington Examiner op-ed. He appeared to tweak his past support for Hill as a defense against his current allegations of sexual misconduct and sex trafficking which stretch back years, according to reports of the House investigation.

"I defended Rep. Katie Hill's 'throuple' when her own Democratic colleagues wouldn't. I just didn't think it was anyone's business," Gaetz wrote in the op-ed published by The Washington Examiner last week.

"This is just absurd. The only person who seems to have a gripe is @RepKatieHill's soon-to-be-ex. Who among us would look perfect if every ex leaked every photo/text?" Gaetz tweeted in October 2019, responding to the House Ethics Committee's announcement of the probe into Hill's alleged behavior.

Newsweek reached out to representatives for Hill and Gaetz for any additional remarks Sunday.

Updated 4:12 PM ET.

Katie Hill
Representative Katie Hill of California answers questions from reporters at the U.S. Capitol following her final speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on October 31 in Washington, D.C. Win McNamee/Getty