New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft released a lengthy, apologetic statement to the media on Saturday, breaking his silence for the first time since news broke last month that he allegedly paid for sex acts.
The billionaire was hit with two charges of sex solicitation during visits to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida.
“I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard," Kraft said in the statement, according to Fox News.
The NFL bigwig went on to highlight his respect for women, which he said derives from his late wife, Myra Hiatt Kraft, who passed away in the summer of 2011.
“Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing,” Kraft said. “The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being. I have extraordinary respect for women; my morals and my soul were shaped by the most wonderful woman, the love of my life, who I was blessed to have as my partner for 50 years.”
“As I move forward," he added, "I hope to continue to use the platform with which I have been blessed to help others and to try to make a difference. I expect to be judged not by my words, but by my actions. And through those actions, I hope to regain your confidence and respect."
There is apparently surveillance footage of Mr. Kraft engaging in the alleged sex solicitation. "Jupiter police reports indicate Kraft visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter on Jan. 19 and 20. On the 19th, the transaction lasted approximately forty minutes and on the 20th, about 14 minutes,” WPTV reported. “In both instances, video surveillance captured a woman performing a sex act on Kraft and shows him paying in cash.”
Prosecutors offered to have charges of prostitution solicitation dropped against the 77-year-old if he were to, in part, admit that he would be found guilty if such charges were to be brought to trial, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
"The proposed deferred prosecution agreement calls for completion of an education course about prostitution, completion of 100 hours of community service, screening for sexually transmitted diseases and payment of some court costs," sources told the Journal.
Kraft, along with some of the other men charged in the massive Florida prostitution bust, would have to “review the evidence in the case and agree that, if it were to go to trial, the state would be able to prove their guilt," a source relayed to the outlet.
According to CBS 4 Boston, Mr. Kraft will not be taking the deal.
In the immediate wake of the scandalous charges hitting the press, a spokesperson for Kraft released a statement denying any wrongdoing on the NFL owner’s behalf.
”We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further,” the statement said.
Kraft has pleaded not guilty to both counts of soliciting prostitution.