Tuesday 20 August 2019

US Congressman apologises after naked selfie emerges online

Joe Barton
Joe Barton

Alexandra Wilts

Republican congressman Joe Barton has apologised after an explicit photo of him ended up all over social media.

Mr Barton appears to have taken the photo of himself from between his legs. Though part of the photo is covered, he seems to be naked.

“While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women,” the 68-year-old said in a statement regarding the photo. 

“Each was consensual,” he added. “Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down.”

The statement did not explain the origins of the photo, which was posted to an anonymous Twitter account. “You’re as aware of what was posted as I am,” he told The Texas Tribune.

Mr Barton, first elected to Congress in 1984, formerly led the powerful Energy and Commerce committee in the House of Representatives. He currently serves as vice chairman on that committee.

His apology came amid a wave of sexual harassment allegations on Capitol Hill.

Mr Barton also told the Tribune he was deciding whether or not he would run for re-election.

“I am talking to a number of people, all of whom I have faith in and am deciding how to respond, quite frankly,” he said.

Earlier this month, the congressman said he would run for an 18th term.

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