Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Says He's Sorry After Being Charged With Soliciting Prostitution
"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," the owner of the New England Patriots said.
Billionaire New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft apologized on Saturday nearly four weeks after being charged with soliciting prostitution at a Florida spa.
"I am truly sorry," Kraft said in a statement issued Saturday in his first comments since the charges were filed. "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 doesn't admit to any wrongdoing in the statement, nor did he say how he would move forward in the criminal case. He did say that he has "extraordinary respect for women."
The 77-year-old is accused of paying a worker at the Orchids Asia Day Spa to perform a sex act on him on the day of the AFC Championship game between the Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 20.
A spokesperson for Kraft had issued a statement denying any "illegal activity."
But Kraft himself had remained silent since then, "in deference to the judicial process," he said in his statement, which was provided to BuzzFeed News.
Kraft has since pleaded not guilty to the charges.
"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."
Kraft was one of more than 300 people charged with solicitation charges during a monthslong sting into spas across Florida, an investigation that authorities have said is meant to cut at human trafficking operations.
William Burck, Kraft's attorney, had previously told ESPN: "There was no human trafficking and law enforcement knows it."
Kraft's statement also comes just two days after the New York Times reported that President Trump, a friend of Kraft's, is pushing to have him visit the White House along with the rest of his team, which won the Super Bowl.
“As I move forward, I hope to continue to use the platform with which I have been blessed to help others and to try to make a difference," Kraft's statement read. "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.”
Kraft received a summons in addition to being charged, but was not formally arrested. An earlier version of this post incorrectly said he had been arrested.