New York, Mar.18 : New York Governor David Paterson has shocked one and all by admitting that he too has slept with another woman while married to his wife, Michelle.
In a stunning revelation, both Paterson, 53, and his wife, Michelle, 46, acknowledged in a joint interview they each had intimate relationships with others during a rocky period in their marriage several years ago.
In the course of several interviews in the past few days, Paterson said he maintained a relationship for two or three years with "a woman other than my wife," beginning in 1999.
As part of that relationship, Paterson said, he and the other woman sometimes stayed at an upper West Side hotel - the Days Inn at Broadway and W. 94th St.
He said members of his Albany legislative staff often used the same hotel when they visit the city.
"This was a marriage that appeared to be going sour at one point," Paterson conceded in his first interview Saturday.
"But I went to counseling and we decided we wanted to make it work. Michelle is well aware of what went on," he added.
In a second interview with Paterson and his wife Monday, only hours after he was sworn in to replace scandal-scarred Eliot Spitzer, Michelle Paterson confirmed her husband's account.
"Like most marriages, you go through certain difficult periods. What's important is for your kids to see you worked them out," said Michelle.
The First Couple agreed to speak publicly about the difficulties in their marriage in response to a variety of rumours about Paterson's personal life that have been circulating in Albany and among the press corps in recent days.
They spoke in the governor's office even as scores of friends, family members and political supporters were celebrating in the corridors of the Capitol his ascension to the state's highest post.
Given the call-girl scandal that erupted last week and forced Spitzer's stunning resignation, Paterson conceded that top government officials are bound to come under closer scrutiny for their personal actions.
The governor flatly denied what he called a "sporadic rumor in Albany that I had a love child" by another woman. "That's just not true," he said.
"Don't you think he'd take care of a child if he'd had one?" Michelle Paterson said, in obvious disgust over that persistent rumor.
The romantic relationship, Paterson said, lasted until sometime in 2001. He did not identify the former girlfriend.
Asked if he had stayed with anyone else since 2001 at the same West Side hotel, Paterson said, "From time to time I used to take Michelle to that hotel."
Paterson denies using state or campaign money to pay for liaisons with another woman during a rocky patch in his marriage.