Patriots owner Robert Kraft breaks silence: 'I am truly sorry'

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft, charged last month with two counts of soliciting prostitution at a day spa in Jupiter, Florida, broke his silence on the matter Saturday in a four-paragraph statement, in which he expresses remorse and says he has “extraordinary respect for women.”

Kraft, 77, was one of 25 men charged after an investigation by police into human trafficking. Kraft has pleaded not guilty.

Here is Kraft’s full statement (via ESPN):

“In deference to the judicial process, I have remained silent these past several weeks. To correct some of the misinformation surrounding this matter, my attorney made his first public comments on Friday night. I would like to use this opportunity to say something that I have wanted to say for four weeks.

“I am truly sorry. I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard.

“Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing. The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being. I have extraordinary respect for women; my morals and my soul were shaped by the most wonderful woman, the love of my life, who I was blessed to have as my partner for 50 years.

“As I move forward, I hope to continue to use the platform with which I have been blessed to help others and to try to make a difference. I expect to be judged not by my words, but by my actions. And through those actions, I hope to regain your confidence and respect.”

Kraft’s attorney has professed his client’s innocence and on Friday told ESPN the evidence against Kraft was gathered illegally.

Kraft reportedly rejected a plea deal that would have seen him serve 100 hours of community service, pay $10,000 in fines and attend a class on the negative effects of prostitution in exchange for admitting he would be found guilty of the charges in court.

Kraft faces an arraignment hearing in the case Thursday.