Craigslist Congressman Resigns After Appearing Topless on Gawker
Christopher Lee, a Republican representative from New York, is in hot (sexy) water today after Gawker posted the story of a woman who claims Lee sent her a bevy of flirty emails and a shirtless photo after she posted a dating ad on Craigslist. "Will someone prove to me not all CL men look like toads?" the woman asked. Rep. Lee countered with a pair of photographs, one featuring him half-naked and flexing, before telling her he was divorced. Now, Lee is telling Fox News, "I have to work this out with my wife." Politico is reporting that Lee has resigned.
UPDATE: Jack Tapper confirms the same info. "I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately," said Lee. "I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents." Considering how fast this all happened, Lee is probably waiting for the other shoe to drop. (We're guessing penis pic.) Full press release below.
Though Lee and the Craigslister looking for love never had any sexual contact, according to her story, he sure seemed to be gunning for it, telling her, "I promise not to disappoint." But his excuse is the worst part, demonstrated that he has no idea how computers work:
Lee's spokesman eventually announced that the Congressman believed he'd been hacked, and provided an email he claims Lee sent to his staff about the security breach on January 21.
That could, theoretically, be true. But the evidence suggests otherwise. The emails were sent more than a week before the alleged hack. The shirtless photo--which, according to metadata contained in the picture, was taken in Washington, D.C.--was taken with a Blackberry, the same mobile device that Lee uses, which means the hacker would have also accessed the photos on Lee's phone. (And he'd still be the kind of guy who takes cellphone pictures of himself topless.)
But as the day went on, the heat on Lee picked up, with the story receiving mentions from the New York Daily News, Daily Kos, Huffington Post and even Fox News, who Lee told he had not read the story as he left his office this afternoon.
Though it's not exactly a punishable offense to be proud of your body, a Craiglist romance is like a bathroom mirror self-portrait: better in private and not acceptable once you're married.
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 9, 2010
Statement from Congressman Chris Lee (NY-26):
"It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Western New York. I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents. I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness.
"The challenges we face in Western New York and across the country are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue, and so I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately."