This Alabama ‘conservative’ governor has been caught on audio talking about touching one of his aides’ breasts and butt, yet denied that they were having a romantic relationship in a press conference. Here is how it all unfolded and how things went downhill quickly when his wife filed for divorce:
Robert Bentley – Alabama’s Republican governor first elected in 2010 on a platform of conservative family values – has experienced a shocking fall from grace in recent weeks after admitting to making inappropriate comments to his chief political advisor.
While the events of the last two weeks – including Bentley’s admission and the resignation of advisor Rebekah Caldwell Mason – have dominated headlines, the controversies that led to both date back to August 2015 and beyond.
The divorce and the immediate fall out
Dianne Bentley, Gov. Bentley’s wife of 50 years, shocked the state when she filed for divorce in August 2015. Both she and the governor remained quiet on the reason but stories of problems in the marriage soon surfaced, including reports that Dianne Bentley almost didn’t attend her then-husband’s 2014 inauguration due to tensions between the two. In the wake of the divorce, some lawmakers in Montgomery questioned if Bentley misused any state property in connection to a rumored affair. Bentley maintains he did not misuse state property.
Just days after Dianne Bentley’s divorce filing, rumors surfaced that the 73-year-old governor was having an affair. The allegations divided many of those close to the governor, especially when the name of Rebekah Caldwell Mason, a married mother of three who was Bentley’s former communications director turned chief political advisor, became the center of the controversy.
Read more: AL
Here was the awkward press conference in which he denied having a physical romantic relationship with her, although the tapes seemed to confirm otherwise:
Here is the audio in which he made the comments to his aide:
According to the Daily Mail:
A lawmaker in Alabama moved to impeach the state’s governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday and accused him of moral turpitude and corruption.
The longshot impeachment effort comes two weeks after Bentley admitted to making flirtatious and sexually charged comments to a former staffer in a phone conversation that was recorded and released to the public.
In the recording, Bentley can be heard professing love to someone named Rebekah and telling her how much he enjoyed kissing and touching her breasts.
Many believed the governor referred to his senior political adviser, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, who has since resigned.
‘When I stand behind you, and I put my arms around you, and I put my hands on your breasts, and I put my hands (unintelligible) and just pull you real close. I love that, too,’ Bentley says in the recording.
Read more: Daily Mail