New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he was “truly sorry” in his first public statement since facing charges of soliciting prostitution in January in a Florida spa scandal.
“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 a written statement.
Kraft, 77, said he had wanted to speak out for weeks, but he did not in deference to the judicial process. Kraft and more than a dozen other men face charges in the Orchids of Asia Day Spa sex-for-pay case. Kraft faces two misdemeanor charges, and he and other first-time offenders have been offered a plea deal.
“Throughout my life I’ve tried to do the right thing,” Kraft said. “The last thing I would ever want to do was to 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.”
His statement comes one day before he is expected to attend the annual NFL owners’ meetings, where he could face disciplinary action.
Kraft said moving forward, he wants to “help others and make a difference,” and expects to be judged “not by my words, but my actions.”
Kraft’s Patriots won the Super Bowl earlier this month. He’s a regular figure on national football broadcasts, often seen watching his team from the owner’s box at the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium. He’s also CEO of The Kraft Group, which owns Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution and International Forest Products.
EARLIER: ‘There was no human trafficking’: Robert Kraft attorney
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s attorney is pushing back against the prostitution charges facing his client in Florida.
“There was no human trafficking and law enforcement knows it. The video and the traffic stop were illegal and law enforcement just doesn’t want to admit it,” William Burck told ESPN.
“The state attorney needs to step up and do the right thing and investigate how the evidence in this case was obtained.”
On Wednesday, attorneys for Kraft and more than a dozen other men facing charges in the Orchids of Asia Day Spa sex-for-pay case filed court paperwork asking that the evidence, including videos of sex acts, not be publicly released.
The 77-year-old Kraft, who was charged with two misdemeanors, was offered a plea deal as a first-time offender.