Virginia's Joe Morrissey, who served a short jail sentence for his sexual relationship with his teenage secretary, had previously denied that the charges were true but now has admitted that the two have a child together and will be getting married.
Morrissey was a Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates, but was forced to resign his seat after he accepted a plea deal that put him in jail for 3 months. Despite his jail sentence, he ran a campaign out of his cell and voters in Henrico County reelected him in a special election. He has since resigned again after no legislators would let him caucus with them.
Throughout his legal battle and fight to keep his seat in the house of delegates, both Morrissey and his former secretary, Myrna Pride, had called it a lie that they had any sort of relationship. Morrissey, who faced 41 years in jail, claimed that the sexually explicit photos he had on his phone of Pride were there because his phone was hacked.
Now, Morrissey and Pride are telling a story that is somewhat closer to the truth.
In a press conference held by the couple outside of his law office, Morrissey said that his relationship with Pride didn't start till she was of legal age, but that he is now in love and plans to marry her, according to the Daily Press.
After Wednesday's radio announcement, Morrissey invited reporters to his law firm for Thursday's family press conference. Shortly before it began–in a room with a glass case of signed boxing gloves and sporting a framed white T-shirt that said "To Err Is Human To Lose Is Unheard Of"–he asked the media not to take pictures of his son.
Minutes later he and Pride walked in, Pride carrying Chase. She held him up for the cameras as flashes exploded across the room and television cameras rolled. Morrissey stepped aside. After a few moments, he collected Chase, handed him away to lay down in another room, and began the press conference.
The couple said their age difference is a non-factor. Morrissey said they like the same things, including sports, and he described himself at one point as "an aggressive downhill skier."
A reporter asked Morrissey if he and Pride would marry. Pride looked at him, waiting.
"Well, Joe?" she said.
"Of course we're going to get married," he replied. "I love Myrna. She's smart. She's intelligent. She makes me laugh. I think she makes me a better person."
Morrissey reaffirmed during the press conference that his political career is not over and that he will be running for a Virginia senate seat as an independent.
Also cleared up by the couple was that the pictures that circulated of Morrissey and Pride with their child were Pride's idea, and were taken at an "old-timey photo place in Virginia Beach" that dresses its subjects up in antebellum clothing.
Though Morrissey is now out of jail, he is not out of legal trouble. Prosecutors are considering bringing perjury charges against him after it was discovered that he used forged documents during negotiations for his plea agreement.
Morrissey has now fathered four children with four different women.
Published under: Virginia