"I was clerking in a law firm in Tulsa and I flew down to be by his side with his wife and his mother, Phariss told the TV station. "He was a very good friend then and I consider him a very good friend now."
The interview comes a few days after a federal judge ruled the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. Shortly after the ruling Abbott's office said it would begin taking steps to appeal the decision.
In a statement to KERA, Abbott acknowledged that he, his wife Cecilia, and Phariss were friends years ago.
"We remember Mark from our law school days and his early days as a lawyer in San Antonio," Abbott said in the statement. "We remain grateful that Mark visited the hospital during the trying time after my injury. As I said yesterday, there are good, well-meaning people on both sides of this issue. This shows that Americans can in fact debate substantial issues without being disagreeable."
(H/t: Dallas Morning News)