Alabama’s Republican Governor, Robert Bentley, is being forced to deal with the uncomfortable accusation that he had an extramarital affair while in office.
For the last several days, Bentley has denied the relationship occurred while he was in office, and insisted that he never had sexual relations with the woman in question either.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is in a heap of trouble.
While acknowledging that he had made “inappropriate” advances and remarks to an aide, Bentley is maintaining that he did not have a physical sexual relationship with the woman, Rebekah Caldwell Mason.
“At times in the past, have I said things that I should not have said? Absolutely, that’s what I’m saying today,” the Republican governor said at a news conference Wednesday, nearly seven months after his wife of 50 years, Dianne Bentley, sought a divorce.
The statement also came after Spencer Collier, the leader of the state’s Law Enforcement Agency until recently, said that Bentley had essentially admitted to carrying on an affair with Mason in 2014, citing audio tapes in which he made a series of sexually suggestive and explicit comments. Bentley had fired Collier, officially after an internal review revealed a possible misuse of money. But Collier alleged that he was fired for refusing to do Bentley’s bidding in an unrelated corruption case.
“You know what, when I stand behind you and I put my arms around you, and I put my hands on your breasts, and I put my hands on you … and pull you real close … Hey, I love that too, putting my hands under you,” Bentley was recorded saying to a woman, allegedly Mason, on the phone. “I love you. I love to talk to you. I do. … But baby, lemme tell you what we’re gonna have to do tonight: Start locking the door. … If we’re gonna do what we did the other day, we’re gonna have to start locking the door.”
Bentley acknowledged in Wednesday’s news conference that the recordings were likely real — though he said he had never heard them, and denied they showed he was having a sexual affair with Mason, a married mother of three.
“It is not a physical relationship making those statements,” he said, adding later, “I love many members of my staff. In fact all the members of my staff. Do I love some more than others? Absolutely.”
Here’s a video report on the alleged sex scandal:
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