ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – Just hours after he received a standing ovation from lawmakers chanting his name, New York’s newly sworn governor was answering questions about straying from his own marriage.
David Paterson became the state’s first black chief executive and the nation’s second legally blind governor almost exactly a week after allegations first surfaced that now-former Gov. Eliot Spitzer was “Client 9” of a high-priced call girl service. Paterson told the Daily News of New York City that he maintained a relationship with another woman from 1999 until 2001 during a rough patch in his marriage. He and his wife eventually sought counseling and repaired their relationship.
The couple agreed to speak publicly about their marriage in response to rumors about Paterson’s personal life that have been swirling in Albany since Spitzer resigned, the Daily News reported Monday on its Web site.
Paterson and his wife, Michelle, acknowledged to the newspaper that they each had affairs but did not go into details.
“This was a marriage that appeared to be going sour at one point,” Paterson told the Daily News. “But I went to counseling and we decided we wanted to make it work. Michelle is well aware of what went on.”
A spokesman for the governor, Errol Cockfield, did not immediately reply late Monday to an e-mail or telephone calls seeking comment about Paterson’s interview with the News.
Hours before the interview, Paterson outlined a message of unity in a state eager to move past his predecessor’s sordid and speedy political collapse.