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Foley Speaks Out, Apologizes for Page Scandal

POSTED: 02:17 PM ET, 11/12/2008 by Derek Kravitz

Mark Foley

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.

By Derek Kravitz |  November 12, 2008; 2:17 PM ET
Previous: John Edwards Tiptoes Back Into Public Eye | Next: Court Rules Against Bush on Missing E-Mails


Please email us to report offensive comments.

So we now have another victim on our hands? How do these people end up in government?

We need to get control of our bleeding hearts and prosecute these criminals to let everyone know that this kind of behavior is unacceptable.

Posted by: websmith1 | November 12, 2008 3:51 PM

If those who are gay and in the closet in Washington and around our country and around the world came out: There would be less of this kind of behavior. Sometimes when people aren't able to be themselves, they act out in inappropriate ways like this. They "act out."

I am not condoning Foley's conduct. Far from it. But it is hard enough for heterosexual men who aren't ... well, being fulfilled in (that) department. At least they can vicariously fulfill themselves with the constant barrage of images and actions (of sexuality) that movies and television throw at us. But to be alone and to turn to alcohol for relief is a sad remedy. But not unusual for our society. In fact it is encouraged by endless ads and peer pressure.

Hopefully as the older people pass away, and the new generation, who are more comfortable with people from all walks of life -- take power. Then it will be easier and more natural for gay people to be themselves. And not turn to vices to seek relief.

Maybe Mr. Foley can someday come to terms with his bad behavior and maybe marry a man, and then maybe serve as a role model.

We all make mistakes. Some worse than others. We are all human.

Posted by: kflet3 | November 12, 2008 4:52 PM

Apology not accepted. Foley is an embarrassment to the gay community, and his conduct is certainly not representative of same.

Posted by: DavidH2 | November 12, 2008 5:16 PM

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.
I seem to recall that the Republican Party markets themselves as the party of family values.
yet, to keep a vote, they willingly and knowingly put children at risk with a known predator.

and Ms. Palin is wondering why the GOP has been sent home.

she is no better.

Posted by: vigor | November 12, 2008 6:34 PM

Scummer Alert: Mark Foley wants his public job and his taxpayer-funded wheeler-dealing life back. As a Republican, of course: those people don't have any shame.

Anything so he doesn't have to work for a living. Too damn hard!

Thanks much. HLB

Posted by: HLBeckPE | November 12, 2008 7:01 PM

He blamed his behavior on alcoholism. I think he give alcoholism a bad name. I know alcoholics who would think it immoral and illegal to hit on young people, especially by those in positions of authority.

And since recommendations are a key element to getting a professional job, these ex-pages are still beholden to him. They had every reason to fear that turning his advances down would hurt their chances for a strong letter of recommendation.

The other side of the coin is, this guy looked for young men to hire as pages that he knew or suspected of being gay. I bet his "gaydar" is better than that of the parents of these young men. So as his actions are investigated, there is some number of young men who are being outed to their conservative, "family-values" Republican parents.

Foley actions were despicable and his anti-gay policy stances were even worse.

Posted by: cyberfool | November 12, 2008 11:26 PM

Somebody should correct Foley when he says "Nobody knew. No one knew," about his being gay. Uh, everyone knew. It was the biggest joke in DC, Mark Foley and his 'beards.' Just because the MSM refuses to out known gay politicians hiding behind sham relationships doesn't mean that it's a surprise to anyone when those elected officials are forced out of the closet. If Foley wants our sympathy, he should first try coming really clean. Next, maybe he should teach Charlie Crist what he learned from all this...

Posted by: bpgluckman | November 13, 2008 3:28 PM

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