Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R-AL), who has campaigned on old-fashioned Christian values, has now been publicly humiliated amid allegations of an affair — and the release of an audio recording in which he is clearly caught in a compromised position.
The Birmingham News obtained a copy of a recording made of Bentley, capturing what appears to be excerpts from one side of a racy conversation he had with a woman on the phone. The recording is said to have been made by members of Bentley's family, who were trying to find out whether he was having an affair.
Bentley's wife filed for divorce last August, and the divorce was finalized in September.
- "So I mean, it was fine…he couldn't tell who I was sending it to. And it didn't say, 'Hey baby, I love you so much and I'd like to spend the rest of my life with you.'"
- "You'd kiss me. I love that you know I do love that. You know what, when I stand behind you, and I put my arms around you, and I put my arms on your breasts, and I put my head… and pull you real close. "
- "Hey, I love that, too, putting my hands under you."
- "I love you. I love to talk to you."
- "But baby, let me tell you what we've gonna have to do tonight, start locking the door. If we're gonna do what we did the other day, we're gonna have to start locking the door."
The release comes after Bentley fired the state's law enforcement secretary, Spencer Collier, amid an investigation of wrongdoing in Collier's office — after which Collier turned around and accused Bentley of having an affair with his senior political adviser, Rebekah Mason, and misusing a state plane to facilitate the relationship.
In a press conference Wednesday, Bentley admitted to inappropriate behavior, saying it took place two years ago: "Since that time I have apologized to members of my family, to Mrs. Mason and her family and I apologized then for any conversations and behavior then that was inappropriate."
But, he said, there was no actual affair: "I want everyone to know though that I have never had a physical affair with Mrs. Mason. I can assure the people of Alabama I have never done anything illegal. I have never asked any member of my staff or any cabinet member to lie despite what the former ALEA secretary said today."
For her part, Rebekah Mason is also denying that any affair took place — and she is accusing Collier of committing a gender-based attack against her.
"Unfortunately there are still some people who are set on hindering the ability of women to work in the political arena," Mason said in a statement. "I am proud of what I have accomplished in my professional career. And I am grateful for the opportunities God has given me to serve our state."