Statement from Representative Kevin Garn - Delivered from the floor of the House on March 11, 2010

Mar 12 2010 - 12:28am

"Twenty five years ago I made a mistake that has now come back to haunt me.  I was 28-yrs old and I foolishly went hot-tubbing with a young woman nearly half my age.  Although we did not have any sexual contact, it was still clearly inappropriate -- and it was my fault. 

One of the consequences of that decision was the negative impact it had on this young person's life.  Years later, when I was running for Congress, she decided to bring this incident to the attention of the media.  Shortly thereafter, my wife and I met with her, and at her demand, I paid her $150,000.  While this payment felt like extortion, I also felt like I should take her word that the money would help her heal.  She agreed to keep this 25-year-old incident confidential.  Now that this issue is coming up again, it is apparent to me that this payment was also a mistake.  

Today, she went to the press and reported all of these events.  There will be a story.  I expect to suffer public humiliation and embarrassment, but I also want you to know that I cannot allow one foolish mistake to continue to shadow my life.   At this point, I would rather be open and honest about this than continue to live in fear.  Some lessons are hard to learn.  This is something I should have done back in 2002.  But I was scared.  I did not want to be publicly judged by one of my life's worst decisions.

I told my wife about this incident years ago, as well as my children.  I may not deserve their forgiveness, but they have given it.  My primary concern at this point is that my wife and the rest of my family know how much I love them.  I am sorry for this incident.  And I am sorry I ever responded to the financial demands.

I also wish to publicly apologize to this young lady for this incident.  And I apologize to you, my colleagues, for any shame this brings to the Utah State Legislature.  I have tried my best to serve my constituents in a way that brings honor to them and makes this great State better than the way I found it.  I hope to continue to do that.

Thank you."  

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