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WATCH: Nashville Mayor speaks after admitting to affair with her head of security detail

(Fox 17 News)

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry spoke publicly hours after admitting to her extramarital affair with the head of her security detail to apologize to her loved ones and the people of Nashville.

Watch Mayor Barry's full news conference below:

Barry admitted to the affair in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. She said the affair began a couple months after her administration took office.

"Today, I have acknowledged publicly that I have engaged in an extramarital affair with the former head of my security detail.

I accept full responsibility for the pain I have caused my family and his. I am so sorry to my husband Bruce, who has stood by me in my darkest moments and remains committed to our marriage, just as I am committed to repairing the damage I have done.

I also must apologize to the people of Nashville who elected me to serve as your mayor. I knew my actions could cause damage to my office and the ones I loved, but I did it anyway. I must hold myself to the highest standard of which the voters deserve to expect. Please know that I’m disappointed in myself but also understand that I’m a human and that I made a mistake.

In 2015, I was elected to serve as Mayor of Nashville on a platform that included building more affordable housing, improving public education, and promoting better transportation options. We have made progress on these fronts – but there is more to be done. While I regret any distractions that will be caused by my actions, I remain firmly committed to working hard to serve the people of Nashville now and into the future.

God will forgive me, but the people of Nashville don’t have to. In the weeks and months to come, I will work hard to earn your forgiveness and earn back your trust.”

Sgt. Rob Forrest is a Nashville native, who served as head of security for Nashville Mayors Bill Purcell, Phil Bredesen, Karl Dean, and Megan Barry.

In a statement released by his attorney, Forrest said he deeply regrets the affair and asks for privacy for his family as he seeks to rebuild trust.

"I deeply regret that my professional relationship with Mayor Barry turned into a personal one," Forrest wrote. "This has caused great pain for my wife, my family, friends and colleagues. At no time did I ever violate my oath and a police officer or engage in actions that would abuse the public trust."

Mayor Barry said she didn't stop being human when she became the mayor, and Nashvillians who have always expected her to do what's best for the city will continue to have that expectation.

"I made a mistake," Barry said. "This is not a tragedy, this is a mistake."

Travel records show Barry and Sgt. Forrest making several business-related trips just the two of them. Mayor Barry denied any illegal activity throughout the affair.

When questioned about Forrest's pay increase since her administration took over, Barry said she kept a heavy travel schedule, which required more hours of overtime her security as well. The Metro Nashville Police Department released Forrest's salary and overtime pay records from the last six years.

Forrest announced his retirement, effective Jan. 31, in a letter to the Metro Nashville Police Department sent on Jan. 17.


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