Gov. Robert Bentley: “I Apologize to the State of Alabama”
Gov. Robert Bentley has apologized to the state of Alabama for what he said to a senior political adviser. But he says he and adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason never had a physical affair.
Bentley made the apology at a 15-minute news conference at the Alabama Capitol which Alabama News Network aired Live. The news conference was called after the former secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Spencer Collier held his own news conference to outline allegations against Bentley and to speak of his firing.
Bentley says he has already apologized to his family and Mason’s family for inappropriate conversations the two had. He says those conversations took place in 2014. He says he accepts full responsibility, but says he never did anything illegal and never asked anyone to lie.
“I made a mistake,” Bentley said. He called Mason one of his closest aides, who’s been a part of his leadership team since before he became governor.
When asked specifically what he said that he’s now apologizing for, Bentley said, “What has been reported.” He says he’s not heard any recordings of his conversations with Mason. But he admits he said inappropriate things and is asking the people to forgive him.
He says it’s been a difficult year for him, his ex-wife Dianne Bentley, whom he separated from and later divorced in 2015, in addition to his family and Mason’s family.
Bentley says it is time to move forward. But he maintained there was never sexual activity between Mason and himself. He says, “The God who loves me loves me through the mistakes.”
Read Mason’s statement on the allegations of the affair.