- Drew Angerer/Getty Images
- A nude photo of longtime Texas Rep. Joe Barton leaked by an anonymous Twitter account circulated online this week.
- Barton on Wednesday apologized and suggested the photo had been sent to a woman with whom he had a consensual relationship.
Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas has apologized after a nude photo of him circulated on the internet this week.
“While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women,” Barton told the Texas Tribune on Wednesday. “Each was consensual. 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.”
Barton also hinted that he might be reconsidering a reelection bid, which he announced earlier this month.
“You’re as aware of what was posted as I am,” he told the Tribune. “I am talking to a number of people, all of whom I have faith in and am deciding how to respond, quite frankly.”
An anonymous Twitter account posted the image along with a screenshot of a text message purportedly sent to the woman by Barton. The Twitter user claims that they’re being “harassed” by Barton and that they have additional, unreleased footage of him performing lewd acts, TMZ reported.
Texas has so-called revenge-porn laws designed to punish people who leak private photos. Those convicted of posting nude photos of others without their permission can face thousands of dollars in fines and up to a year in jail. A legal expert told the Tribune that it was unclear whether the image of Barton would constitute revenge porn under the law.