Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) apologized Wednesday for the “inappropriate” things he reportedly had said to his top aide, after an ousted state official accused the two of having an affair.
Still, Bentley maintained in a news conference that he engaged in “no sexual activity” with his chief adviser, Rebekah Mason.
“I’m apologizing for the things that I said,” Bentley said, adding that he said “whatever’s been reported.”
Spencer Collier, the former head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, alleged Tuesday that Bentley had an affair with Mason. Bentley fired Collier that same day, after an internal investigation found Collier may have misused state funds.
Collier said he knew of text messages of a “sexual nature” between Mason and Bentley and said that he had heard recordings of conversations between Bentley and Mason in which the governor spoke about his aide’s “breasts and behind.”
“At that time, I said some inappropriate things and I know that I did that,” Bentley said in the news conference, without going into detail about what he was apologizing for. “And so I’m just apologizing that to her and I’ve apologized to my family and to the state of Alabama.”
Though he admitted to making inappropriate comments, Bentley maintained that he did not have a physical relationship with Mason.
“What I’m saying is there was no sexual activity,” he said. “I stand before you and stand before the people of this state and say that I’ve made a mistake. I have made the mistake. And I’m just asking those who have been involved including the people of this state to forgive me.”
Bentley said that he has not considered stepping down, though.
“I have been told about the possibilities of tapes for two years,” he said. “I have never heard tapes, I have never seen tapes.”
Watch the news conference below:
Governor Bentley responds to affair allegations.
Posted by al.com on Wednesday, March 23, 2016