Updated 6:24 p.m.
Married Rep. Chris Lee resigned Wednesday afternoon three hours after the publication of allegations in Gawker that he sent flirtatious photos -- including one where he was naked from the waist up -- to a Washington-area woman he contacted through the Craigslist personals section.
"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," Lee said in a statement.
"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."
He earlier declined to comment on the story, telling Fox News Wednesday afternoon, "I have to work this out with my wife."
Lee, a Republican who represented the Western New York district adjacent to that of disgraced former congressman Eric Massa, was in his second term in the House. He was known for his work as Vice Chairman of the House Dairy Farmers Caucus and earlier this year sponsored a bill to stop the mandatory printing of congressional documents. Roll Call reported last year he was one of the 50 richest members of Congress.
Lee initially told Gawker he was the victim of a computer hack.
The full story can be read at Gawker.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin (L) / Gawker (R)
Thumbnail image credit: Wikimedia Commons