November 12, 2008

Ex-Congressman Says He’s Not a Pedophile

Former Rep. Mark Foley, the Florida Republican who was driven from office in 2006 amid scandal, said Wednesday he is not a pedophile.

Foley left Congress after the revelation that he had exchanged sexually charged instant messages and e-mails with former male congressional pages, The Hill reported Wednesday.

"You know, people are juxtaposing e-mails to 17-year-olds to putting it in the common parlance of calling it pedophilia, which is absolutely wrong," Foley told West Palm Beach's NBC affiliate WPTV in an interview recorded Nov. 6 that was aired Wednesday.

"They were like drunk dialing, drunk text messaging," Foley said in the interview. "They were wrong, and I assume full responsibility. I'm not trying to excuse my behavior."

Foley said the years since the scandal broke have been difficult.

"There's times when you look back and say, 'That's a blur,' but at the same time you realize it was such a horrific part of my life, (I) wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, and yet there were positive moments when you had a chance to reflect on your life and adjust to the circumstances," Foley said.