New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft made his first public statement on Saturday since being charged with soliciting prostitution at a Florida spa, saying he is "truly sorry."
"In deference to the judicial process, I have remained silent these past several weeks," Kraft's statement read. "To correct some of the misinformation surrounding this matter, my attorney made his first public comments on Friday night. I would like to use this opportunity to say something that I have wanted to say for four weeks. I am truly sorry. 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.
"Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing," Kraft continued. "The last thing I would ever want to do is 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. As I move forward, I hope to continue to use the platform with which I have been blessed to help others and to try to make a difference. I expect to be judged not by my words, but by my actions. And through those actions, I hope to regain your confidence and respect."
Kraft, 77, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting another to commit prostitution stemming from visits to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa & Massage in Jupiter, Fla. Authorities said they have Kraft on tape at the spa from the morning of and day before January's AFC Championship Game. A spokesperson for Kraft denied his participation in the alleged incident, and Kraft has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In a statement to ESPN, Kraft's attorney, William Burck, said that "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," Burke said. "The state attorney needs to step up and do the right thing and investigate how the evidence in this case was obtained."
On Wednesday, Kraft's attorneys filed court paperwork asking that the evidence, including videos of sex acts, not be publicly released. Kraft was offered a plea deal as a first-time offender. Because the deal requires an admission of guilt, Kraft is reportedly expected to reject it.
His court date is set for March 28.