Foley Claims He Was Molested by Priest as a Teen

Mark Foley now claims he was molested by a priest.

Former Rep. Mark Foley was molested by a clergyman when he was between the ages of 13 and 15, his attorney said Tuesday amid allegations that the congressman exchanged inappropriate e-mails and instant messages with teen congressional pages.

Attorney David Roth said Foley had never had sexual contact with a minor and said any assertion that Foley is a pedophile is “categorically false.”

Roth would not release details of the alleged molestation, saying only that making it public “is part of Marks recovery” and that Foley would discuss it further when he is released from a center where he’s being treated for alcoholism and mental issues. It will be at least 30 days before he is discharged, Roth said.

Roth added that “Mark Foley wants you to know he is a gay man.”

Dude . . . we know.

Though the attorney would not provide the religious affiliation of the clergyman who allegedly molested Foley, Foley lists his religion as Catholic, according to a congressional directory. “He continues to offer no excuse whatsoever for his conduct,” said Roth, who spoke to Foley on Tuesday. “This was a life decision, not a tactical one made by others.”

Asked why Foley waited to divulge the alleged molestation, Roth replied, “Shame. Shame.”

Odd that his shame’s onset coincided with public discovery, no?

Roth’s announcement came shortly after ABC News published correspondences it said indicated Foley had Internet sex with a former page before going to a vote on the House floor in 2003. The network published a partial transcript on its Web site but did not quote the exchanges in which it said the congressman and the high school student apparently had orgasms.

How conveeeenient.


FILED UNDER: Congress, Gender Issues, LGBTQ Issues, Religion, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Steve Verdon says:

    Dang it, you beat me by 5 minutes.

  2. Cernig says:

    Is this meant to excuse his breach of his position of trust?

    If so, it doesn’t fly for me.

    There are huge numbers of people in the world who were abused as kids who then didn’t

  3. jpe says:

    The response betrays the distinct homophobia among certain elements of the right (obviously, lots [and almost certainly most….I hope] of the right is excepted): the hypothesis running through this is still blatantly homophobic. It relies on the notion that gays are not quite human, and therefore not capable of the same kinds of moral reasoning that you and I are capable of. It’s still a disease, and impairs the moral sensibility.

    This is all the more galling since it’s a creepy, misguided ploy for sympathy.

  4. The saddest part of this story is that South Park predicted it about two years ago in the episode when Cartman tells the others that if they claim to have been “molestered” then their parents will get all scared and let them do what ever they want.

    I’ll send a link if I can find it on You Tube …

  5. Richard Gardner says:

    Similar waffling worked for the country star Ty Herndon a decade ago. I had to go down to my CD collection to remember which country star it was. Damage Control! In 5 years Foley will be a talking head on CNN, a senior statesman.

    Foley was the most know closeted Republican gay in DC, The Blade covered him years ago. #2 is Ken Mehlman, shock suprise. And all this outing is I thing due to Mike Rogers of, who thinks Republicans are EVIL, and minorities and gays must be Democrats, or they must be brought down. This is all politics.

    The Republican Party has a serious split between the classic conservative portion (Goldwater) and the moral conservatives bigots – just as the Democratic Party isn’t the Progressive wing.

  6. Rodney Dill says:

    Foley still needs to be charged.

    Rehab, claiming victimization, declaring you’re gay, declaring alcoholism only get you a free pass if you’re a liberal.

  7. legion says:

    Or Rush Limbaugh 🙂

  8. Bithead says:

    Personally, my take is that it’s going to be interesting to watch the Democrats reaction to all of this. It will be interesting to see, if they accept this as a legitimate illness, or whether they charge that he was just trying to cover up his actions under a guise of alcoholism.

    And I wonder what the ghost of Mary Jo Kopekne would say, if they didn’t accept it as such.