Foley Speaks Out, Apologizes for Page Scandal
Former Rep. Mark Foley, the Florida Republican who resigned his seat two years ago after his sexually-explicit messages with underage male pages became public, has broken his silence, telling reporters that he's sorry and promising to "find my way back."
In an interview with The Associated Press' Brian Skoloff, Foley spoke of his "extraordinarily stupid" and "profoundly regrettable" behavior and acknowledged a drinking problem that caused his life to spiral out of control.
"There was never anywhere in those conversations where someone said, 'Stop,' or 'I'm not enjoying this,' or 'This is inappropriate' ... but again, I'm the adult here, I'm the congressman," Foley said. "The fact is I allowed it to happen. That's where my responsibility lies."
Foley, speaking to WPTV's Roxanne Stein, also said he kept his homosexuality a secret from most of his family and friends.
"I didn't tell anybody. I told my sister in 2003, so I dealt with this in private, on my own. Nobody knew. No one knew," he said. "I shared with very few people and very late in life, and I think that was one of my predicaments, and what I would say to anyone listening, or anyone who would care to listen to what I have to say is: If you've had any of this in your past life, you can't remedy it on your own. The scars are too deep."
Prosecutors decided this fall not to charge Foley, who now invests in real estate and lives in Florida with his partner, a dermatologist.
The congressman resigned a day after ABC News publicized his messages to the pages, who are high school students who run errands for lawmakers and learn about Congress while attending classes at a congressional school.
Foley admitted to sending the messages and denied any sexual contact with the pages. He checked himself into an alcohol-treatment facility, saying he was an alcoholic and the victim of childhood molestation by a clergyman. (A priest now living in Malta admitted to sexual encounters with Foley).
The story shook Capitol Hill and added to the GOP's troubles in the fall 2006 elections, when voters gave Democrats control of Congress.
The House Ethics Committee concluded that House Republican leaders probably knew for months, if not years, of Foley's inappropriate contact with former pages but did nothing to protect them.
An unidentified source told The Post's Mary Ann Akers and Paul Kane last year that Foley was hinting at a comeback in some form after the criminal investigation was completed.
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