Republican Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is mired in a sex scandal egged on by a lusty audio recording, and he said Monday he has asked God to forgive him.
“I’ve asked God to forgive me because that’s the most important thing,” Bentley said Monday. “I want back in His fellowship. And so I asked God to forgive me.”
God may forgive Bentley, but he still has to deal with a scandalized conservative state and lawmakers out for justice.
John Archibald at AL.com reported in March that audio recordings and texts showed Bentley was having a sexual relationship with his top aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason. The recordings captured Bentley talking about his love for a woman named “Rebekah” and descriptions of sex.
Though the recording caught him talking in detail about sexual behavior with his top aide, he denies the relationship was ever physical. Now, he is defying calls for his resignation despite a state ethics inquiry, calls for impeachment and a possible recall election.
Bentley admitted to making inappropriate comments to his aide, but said they never had a sexual relationship. He has no intention of quitting and said he made his mistake more than two years ago. Bentley’s wife filed for divorce last year, and Mason has resigned since the scandal broke.
“I made a mistake,” Bentley said at the press conference. “I have apologized many times to my family. I have apologized to the family of Mrs. Mason. I would now like to apologize to the people of Alabama. I ask them to forgive me.”
So how was Bentley busted? Spencer Collier, the former head of the state’s Law Enforcement Agency, said he found out about the affair when a law enforcement official saw a sexual text message on Bentley’s phone when the governor dropped it. Collier was later fired by the governor for alleged misuse of funds within his agency, after which he promptly told AL.com about the affair, breaking open the scandal.
A recording made by a family member of Bentley’s was leaked to the media and put an exclamation point on the scandal. The recording was originally intended to be used in an intervention but went public.
“You’d kiss me?” Bentley says in the recording. “I love that. You know I do love that. 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 in real close. Hey, I love that, too.”
In the recording, Bentley uses the name “Rebekah.”
“You know I just I worry about sometimes I love so you much,” Bentley says. “I worry about loving you so much.”
The recording also suggests the pair did more than just talk about sex.
“Baby, let me know what I am going to do when I start locking the door. If we are going to do what we did the other day, we are going to have to start locking the door.”
[dcquiz] Questions over possible criminal charges have arisen as well. Reports indicate that Bentley used multiple burner phones, and may have rented a private plane to keep Mason off a passenger list. If Bentley used public funds to cover up his relationship with Mason, there could be criminal charges. He may have also funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds to Mason through a nonprofit that he originally said would help foster children.
What now for the governor? He is fighting a media firestorm and the ethics investigation. State lawmakers are considering impeachment and even a recall election. He has remained steadfast in his refusal to quit, and whether he’ll be forced out of his job remains to be seen.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact email@example.com.