After denying an affair with a male
teenager during his candidacy for mayor, Portland's newly elected
mayor has admitted to the sexual relationship.
Openly gay Sam Adams said he made a
mistake in concealing the true nature of the relationship.
“I want to publicly acknowledge I
made a mistake and apologize for it,” Adams told the Willamette
Week in a telephone conversation from Washington where he was
preparing to attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama. “In
the past, I've characterized my relationship with Beau Breedlove as
purely non-sexual and that is not true.”
On Thursday, the newspaper confronted
Adams with evidence it had gathered over several months concerning
the affair, including statements from several of Breedlove's friends
who said the young man had confided in them that the two shared an
intimate relationship. During that meeting, the newspaper reported
that Adams again denied having a sexual affair with Breedlove.
Adams has repeatedly said he was merely
mentoring Breedlove, and both men have said their relationship was
Rumors of the affair surfaced in 2007
during the mayoral campaign. Adams dismissed those reports as a
“I lied at the time because I was
afraid that people would believe untrue rumors being circulated by an
undeclared mayoral opponent, that I had broken a law involving sexual
relations with a minor. But this is not a good excuse.”
Adams now says Breedlove was 18 at the
time they had sex, but the pair met in 2005 when the former
legislative intern was 17.
“I should have been honest at the
time about the true nature of my relationship with Beau Breedlove
when questions about my relationship with him first surfaced publicly
in October 2007. In fact, Beau encouraged me to be honest about the
facts of our relationship. I am deeply sorry that I asked him to lie
for me,” Adams said.
A spokesman for Adams said he would
promptly return to Portland to issue a public apology.
Adams became the first openly gay mayor
to run one of the 30 largest cities in the United States when he took
office on January 1.