BREAKING NEWS Chief meteorologist emeritus Dick Rice passes away at age 80 Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Robert Kraft offers apology after charges of soliciting prostitution

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft publicly broke his silence for the first time since charges of soliciting prostitution were brought against him in Florida.

Posted: Mar 24, 2019 5:10 PM
Updated: Mar 24, 2019 5:10 PM

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft publicly broke his silence for the first time since charges of soliciting prostitution were brought against him in Florida.

"I am truly sorry," Kraft said in a statement Saturday. "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 among the more than 100 people who were linked to several central Florida day spas and massage parlors suspected of being used for prostitution and targeted by law enforcement during a months-long investigation.

"Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing," he said.

"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, a widower, added in reference to his wife Myra, who died in 2011 at the age of 68 after a battle with cancer.

Kraft is currently dating actress, designer and model Ricki Noel Lander.

"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."

He also noted that he had decided to make a public statement on Saturday to express what he "wanted to say for four weeks."

Kraft pleaded not guilty to the charges and has denied that he committed a crime.

He is arguably the case's most high-profile defendant, generating speculation over the possible consequences the billionaire could face should the allegations prove true.

Kraft is fighting to keep video from going public

Authorities say Kraft was recorded on surveillance footage paying for and receiving sex acts at a day spa in Jupiter, Florida. The footage has not been released, and Kraft and other defendants want to keep it that way.

Earlier this week, Kraft and 14 of the other men charged filed a motion seeking to prevent the videos and other evidence from being released. The request for a protective order said the evidence is part of an ongoing investigation and should not be disclosed.

Kraft's lawyer, Jack Goldberger, did not return CNN's request for comment.

A group of unnamed defendants pursued similar action arguing it was illegally obtained in violation of their right to privacy.

Because the footage was obtained through a warrant, it's likely to be upheld as legal, said CNN legal analyst Mark O'Mara, an attorney based in Florida.

What's in the defendants' best interest, he said, is ensuring the footage doesn't become public record.

They can do that by keeping it out of the court file, he said, and the way to keep the footage out of the court file is to not request it from prosecutors as part of the pretrial exchange of evidence known as discovery.

In the motion filed Wednesday, lawyers for Kraft and the other plaintiffs echoed this notion, saying the evidence was confidential and exempt from disclosure because none of it had been produced in discovery.

As long as Kraft's lawyers don't have the footage, they can't give it to the NFL if the league asks for it, O'Mara said.

He's set to be arraigned next week

Kraft's apology comes ahead of what would likely be a busy few days for the billionaire owner.

On Sunday, Kraft and his fellow team owners are expected to attend the NFL's annual meeting in Phoenix. During the event, which runs through Wednesday, Kraft will meet with executives, general managers and head coaches to discuss changes in the league's rule book.

He is also set to be arraigned on Thursday.

Prosecutors have offered to drop misdemeanor charges against Kraft and 24 other men in exchange for fines, community service and an admission they would be found guilty should the case go to trial, according to Mike Edmonson, spokesman for the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office.

But a source familiar with the case told CNN this week that he will not accept a plea deal.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 248189

Reported Deaths: 5411
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16841171
Hinds15890312
Harrison13037191
Rankin10439205
Jackson10128177
Lee8721135
Madison8071160
Jones6166108
Forrest5870117
Lauderdale5724177
Lowndes5238109
Lafayette486192
Lamar475363
Washington4734122
Bolivar3941106
Oktibbeha388179
Panola360475
Pontotoc358752
Monroe3487103
Warren337895
Union337457
Marshall336065
Neshoba3325150
Pearl River319492
Leflore2980104
Lincoln293385
Sunflower277569
Tate266659
Alcorn260651
Itawamba258858
Pike258176
Hancock253557
Prentiss242450
Scott241043
Yazoo237754
Copiah237449
Tippah236246
Simpson232367
Leake227864
Coahoma223154
Grenada215770
Covington208871
Marion206171
Adams201666
Winston198061
George197438
Wayne196130
Attala191658
Newton186542
Chickasaw181243
Tishomingo179659
Holmes167867
Jasper165134
Clay156732
Stone140218
Tallahatchie138234
Clarke136460
Calhoun133321
Smith118823
Yalobusha113834
Walthall111136
Noxubee109622
Greene108929
Montgomery108134
Carroll103721
Lawrence101217
Perry99131
Amite96425
Webster90624
Claiborne85125
Tunica84521
Jefferson Davis83825
Humphreys81524
Benton80323
Kemper75720
Quitman6758
Franklin65315
Choctaw59613
Wilkinson58125
Jefferson53019
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1586
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 417528

Reported Deaths: 6030
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61313888
Mobile29768542
Madison26637185
Tuscaloosa20580268
Montgomery18696304
Shelby18310113
Baldwin16002179
Lee12261101
Morgan12093112
Etowah11604157
Calhoun10982200
Marshall10108107
Houston8474129
Cullman7960104
Limestone790174
Elmore7723101
DeKalb764697
St. Clair7460120
Lauderdale745183
Talladega6102108
Walker5852174
Jackson574441
Blount526483
Colbert525670
Autauga510355
Coffee434256
Dale391081
Franklin363445
Chilton333565
Covington326167
Russell323810
Escambia312442
Dallas300296
Clarke278233
Chambers277869
Tallapoosa2599107
Pike245829
Marion240549
Lawrence240447
Winston223835
Bibb213047
Geneva197431
Marengo197329
Pickens195231
Hale173742
Barbour171236
Butler167958
Fayette166026
Cherokee159630
Henry151119
Monroe144417
Randolph138535
Washington136526
Clay125246
Crenshaw118044
Lamar116619
Cleburne116023
Macon113335
Lowndes108735
Wilcox101221
Bullock98128
Perry95419
Conecuh92920
Sumter88726
Greene75323
Coosa60414
Choctaw51224
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 36°
Columbus
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 29°
Oxford
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 30°
Starkville
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 30°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather