Teenager Katie Graham, 19, has identified herself as the college intern whose sexually explicit text messages with married Missouri House Speaker John Diehl led to his resignation.
The 49-year-old married father-of-three issued a humiliating apology for making a “serious error in judgment by sending the texts.”
The sexting scandal has rocked the Missouri legislature.
Here’s what you need to know about the politician’s sudden fall from grace :
1. The Texts Included Sexually Suggestive Phrases Like ‘We Need a Lot of Time And a Quiet Room’ & ‘[I’ll] Leave You Quivering’
The text messages between the middle-aged politician and the college-age intern included some sexually charged exchanges.
They also revealed what The Star described as a “flirty rapport.” Diehl appears to have saved the girl’s number under ‘Frank Underwood’ – the name of Kevin Spacey’s character in the Netflix series House of Cards.
One conversation read:
Diehl: “Once I start I cant stop”
Graham: “Oh good. Didn’t seem that way in your office”
Diehl: “We need no spies”
Graham: “Haha I agree”
Diehl: “God I want you right now”
Graham: “I wish you could have me right now”
Another conversation read:
Graham: “You better take care of me.”
Diehl: “Like how?”
Her: “I’ll bet you’ll figure it out.”
Diehl: “I dunno. You have always been disappointed;)”
Graham: “I just have high expectations, I guess. Thus far, you’ve done pretty well (an emoji blows a kiss)”
Diehl: “:). I kinda want to hear what you are expecting”
Shortly after, he types: “You will be in good hands :)”
Diehl: “God I want you right now.”
Graham: “I wish you could have me right now.”
In another exchange, she sends a picture of herself in a bikini and Diehl responds: “Damn girl …”
Another exchange centered on Diehl texting that he was “Laying in bed looking at your pic :)”
Graham: “Mmmmm why can’t I be there :)”
2. She Outed Herself in a Statement Released Through Her Attorney
The Kansas City Star, the newspaper that broke the story, did not name the intern, but in a statement, distributed by attorney Philip Willoughby on Thursday night, Graham said: “This is extremely difficult for both families, and I hope everyone can begin the healing process.
“I strongly support the Missouri Capitol internship program, and hope it remains a positive experience for other students in the future.”
3. Diehl Stepped Down to Save His Family From Further Scandal
“I take full responsibility for my actions and am truly sorry to those I let down,’ the lawmaker said in a statement. “I apologize for the poor judgment I displayed that put me and those closest to me in this situation.”
On Wednesday evening, Diehl was still insisting that he intended to remain as speaker.
But the following day, despite claiming none of the other 116 Republicans in the House had asked him to resign, he said he’d decided to quit.
“I think, too often, we see politicians and people in the public eye, when they do something wrong, say they’re sorry but not necessarily be willing to suffer the consequences of that,” he said.”You can talk the talk or walk the walk. I made a mistake, I don’t think it disqualifies me, but I think it certainly violates the high standards that I’ve set for myself and this body and this office, and I’m embarrassed by it. I’m sorry.
“I’m not going to put my friends in this caucus or my friends and loved ones back home through drama that was created by my mistake.”
4.The University Has Ended Its Internship Program
The sexting exchange emerged following a decision by Missouri Southern State University to end its Capitol internship program more than a month prematurely.
Richard Miller, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Missouri Southern, told The Star that the college pulled its four interns out of the state Capitol after an “unspecified incident.” He declined to be more specific about the reasons for the decision.
5.Diehl Has Already Been Replaced as House Speaker
Hours after Diehl announced he would resign, Republicans gathered to pick Todd Richardson of Poplar Bluff as the next House speaker. Richardson is the majority floor leader.