'Shirtless' photo politician quits


US congressman Chris Lee, picture with his wife Michelle has resigned his seat, saying he regrets his actions (AP)

A married US congressman has resigned after reports that he sent a shirtless photo of himself flexing his muscles to a woman he met on a classified ads website.

A woman described as a 34-year-old Maryland resident and government employee provided the Gawker gossip website with emails she said were an exchange between her and Christopher Lee.

She said they followed an advert she placed in the “Women Seeking Men” section of the Craigslist website.

Gawker reported that Lee identified himself as a divorced lobbyist and sent a photo of himself posing in front of a mirror.

It said the woman eventually broke off the contact with Lee after becoming suspicious that he had misrepresented himself.

“I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents,” Lee posted in a surprise announcement on his congressional website.

“I deeply and sincerely apologise to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness.”

Lee, a two-term Republican from New York state with a young son, said in an emailed statement that his resignation was effective immediately. The statement offered no confirmation or details of a Craigslist post.

Lee, who won his seat in 2008, cultivated a family-values voting record in the House.

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