(JTA) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, in his first comments since he was charged with soliciting prostitution in Florida, publicly apologized.
“I am truly sorry,” Kraft said in a statement issued on Saturday and first reported by ESPN. “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.”
Kraft, 77, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution last month. He was one of some 100 men caught up in raids on massage parlors in Martin County. The charges concern visits by Kraft to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in the city of Jupiter, near where he keeps a home. There is video evidence of all the men who were charged, according to Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr. Kraft has been fighting to keep the video from going public.
“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,” Kraft said in the statement.
Kraft’s wife Myra died in 2011 at the age of 68 of cancer.
Kraft has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He has a court date scheduled for March 28. Kraft said he has not responded to the charges “in deference to the judicial process.”
Prosecutors have offered to drop the charges against Kraft and 24 of the other men in exchange for fines, community service and an admission they would have been found guilty if the case went to trial, Mike Edmonson, spokesman for the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office told CNN. Kraft is against accepting such a deal, according to reports.