Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy admitted to an extramarital affair with a “personal friend” Thursday in a statement after a local paper won a court motion to unseal a divorce case.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette broke the story by petitioning the Allegheny County court to unseal a divorce case between between Dr. Jesse Sally, a sports physician, and his wife forensic psychologist Shannon Edwards.
“Last year I became involved in an affair with a personal friend,” Murphy said in a statement to the Post-Gazette hours after the newspaper prevailed in its motion to unseal the case.
“This is nobody’s fault but my own, and I offer no excuses. To the extent that there should be any blame in this matter, it falls solely upon me.”
“I ask the media to respect the privacy of my family. They have done nothing wrong and deserve to be left alone.”
The initial divorce filing from Sally alleged adultery, and a later filing claimed Edwards was having an affair with “a well-known political figure in the community.”
Sally’s attorneys allege that the affair began February 2016 and lasted until the fall of 2016, and that Edwards would visit Murphy in Pittsburgh, Pa., and meet up with him in Washington, D.C., and Miami, Fla. Edwards said that she took the trips to advocate for legislation Murphy was working on.
During the hearing on the motion to unseal the divorce proceedings, Murphy’s lawyers argued that the case had no bearing on the lawmaker’s political work, and would increase the protests the Republican has faced in recent months.
“Demonstrations will be increased,” Murphy’s attorney, Kenneth Horoho, argued. “Harassment is going to increase. Is there a legitimate issue? Is there a public interest?” Murphy’s Pittsburgh office has been the location of an “occupy” protest for his opposition to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which President Donald Trump rescinded with a six month grace period earlier this week.
“If at some point, we learn he’s abused his office, that’s a different story,” Horoho said.
“How does anyone know that it does not implicate his public duties?” Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Kathryn Hens-Greco said. The judge also ruled that Murphy must submit to the deposition by the end of September.
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