Moving to pre-empt a tabloid newspaper report, the Rev. Jesse Jackson this morning released a statement admitting he had an extramarital affair that resulted in a daughter who is now 20 months old.
“This is no time for evasions, denials or alibis,” said the Baptist minister and former aide to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “I fully accept responsibility and I am truly sorry for my actions.”
The age of the daughter indicates Jackson, 59, was likely having the affair with Karin Stanford, a 39-year-old worker at his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition office in Washington, even as he counseled President Clinton after public revelations of an affair with Monica Lewinsky, an intern at the White House.
“He was really one of President Clinton’s closest spiritual advisers and really friends through this whole ordeal,” says ABCNEWS political analyst George Stephanopoulos. “He went to the White House and prayed with President Clinton. They got down on their knees, we heard, in the residence. He counseled Chelsea and Mrs. Clinton — really became a close friend to the family and they really bonded through this whole ordeal.”