Ahead of the NFL’s owners meetings this upcoming week in Arizona, Robert Kraft has broken his silence.
Kraft, the 77-year-old owner of the New England Patriots, is facing prostitution charges in a wide-ranging case allegedly involving human trafficking. In a statement released Saturday, Kraft hoped to “correct some misinformation” while offering an apology.
“In deference to the judicial process, I have remained silent these past several weeks. 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,” Kraft said.
“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. 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.”
Attorney: ‘There was no human trafficking’
On Friday, Kraft’s attorney, William Burck, said the way evidence was obtained in the case needs to be scrutinized.
“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,” 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.”
The 77-year-old Kraft was charged with two misdemeanor soliciting prostitution charges linked to his alleged January visits to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. The spa was under surveillance as part of a prostitution sting.
Earlier this week, Kraft and other defendants charged in the case filed a motion to have the surveillance footage blocked from public release, but that may not happen. Martin County Sheriff William Snyder, who led the investigation, said he believes the videos “are probably going to get released.”
“Once a case is over, it’s not an ongoing investigation. There has to be a specific reason not to release a public record. And the fact that there is sexual activity is not an exemption,” Snyder told CNBC.
Prosecutors have reportedly offered Kraft a plea deal in the case.
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