Missouri Politician Who Allegedly Sexted with Intern Saved as "Frank Underwood" on Her Phone (Report)
Diehl announced his resignation on Thursday.
The Missouri Speaker of the House, who allegedly had a sexting relationship with a female college freshman interning at the state Capitol, was saved as "Frank Underwood" on the intern's cell phone, the Kansas City Star reports.
The Star published the flirtatious text messages John Diehl allegedly exchanged with the young woman, who remained unnamed in the report.
The text messages include photos of Diehl on a trip with Governor Jay Nixon, and screenshots of the messages showing that for part of their relationship, the intern had Diehl saved on her phone as "Frank Underwood" alongside a smirk face emoji, referring to the scheming House of Cards politician, played by Kevin Spacey, who had an affair with a much younger woman in the first season.
"God I want you right now," reads one text, allegedly from Diehl.
"I wish you could have me right now," the intern allegedly replied.
In another conversation Diehl allegedly wrote "laying in bed looking at your pic."
At first, the intern told the Star that the text messages were fake and Diehl declined to comment. Diehl, 49, is married with three children. However, after the report went live on Wednesday, Diehl confessed and apologized in a statement.
“I take full responsibility for my actions and am truly sorry to those I let down,” he said. “I apologize for the poor judgment I displayed that put me and those closest to me in this situation. I also regret that the woman has been dragged into this situation. The buck stops here. I ask for forgiveness. I will begin immediately working to restore the trust of those closest to me and getting back to the important work that is required in the final days of session.”
On Thursday Diehl announced he would be resigning from office. He acknowledged "making a serious error in judgment by sending the text messages." He told the Associated Press, "I made a mistake. It's one that calls into question my ability to lead."
Before the text messages were discovered by the newspaper, Missouri Southern State University abruptly ended its internship program more than a month early. The intern's attorney released a statement on her behalf on Wednesday, saying, she “requests the media respect her privacy. She has provided all the information she intends to give on the matter, and will be issuing no further comment. (She) is not interested in being at the center of any political debate concerning her internship or the workings of the state Capitol.”
Updated May 14 1:00PM to include news of Diehl's resignation.