The tea party Michigan lawmaker who faked being involved in a gay sex scandal said on Monday he did so to expose people who were blackmailing him and that he had no plans to resign.
State Rep. Todd Courser (R) posted a 27-minute audio monologue to his website giving his side of the story following last week’s blockbuster report in the Detroit News that said he manufactured the phony scandal to hide a real affair with a female lawmaker, Rep. Cindy Gamrat (R).
The report said Courser had asked an aide to send an anonymous email to Republican activists claiming Courser was spotted having sex with a male prostitute behind a Lansing night club. The aide declined to send the email and was later fired, according to the Detroit News.
In his audio recording, Courser acknowledged he sent out “the emails” himself. He said he did so because he was being blackmailed.
“It was a fast decision on my part to do the emails and to send them out,” Courser said. “It was not my finest moment. It was the only option that I felt would be unpredicted by the blackmailer.”
Courser said he did not know everyone who was supposedly blackmailing him, but he made a vague reference to what he described as the “Lansing mafia” and cast some blame on one of his former staffers. He also said whoever was blackmailing him had access his computers, phone, text messages, and whereabouts — information he said was only privy to “a small number of people.”
“The email in question was really put in motion to try and disrupt the blackmailer to give me some clues as to what their ability was as far as surveillance over my life and the threats they were making,” Courser said.
Courser blamed three former staffers for the release of a separate audio reordering that the Detroit News based its reporting on last week. In the recording, Courser could be heard telling his aide to send the anonymous email so that “anything else that comes out after that” would seem mild by comparison.
In the recording posted to his website, Courser never admitted having an affair with Gamrat. He apologized to her family as well as his own, along with his constituents, and God.
He also said he would not resign.
“I could’ve resigned,” Courser said. “But that would’ve allowed my personal issues to rule the day and deny the truth — all of it — to the people who elected me.”