After weeks of being accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner said he will undergo "intensive therapy" at a behavior counseling clinic starting Aug. 5.
At a press conference Friday, Filner called his actions wrong and inexcusable. He apologized to his staff, supporters, constituents, and the "women that I have offended" for "my failure to respect women and the intimidating contact I engage in at times."
"I must become a better person," he said. "When I return on Aug. 19, my focus will be on making sure that I am doing right by this city in terms of being the best mayor I can be and the best person I must be."
During his two weeks of full-time counseling, Filner will be briefed on city issues every morning and evening, he said. He will continue therapy when the program ends.
In mid-July, Donna Frye, a former member of Filner's administration, asked for his resignation, claiming she "received credible evidence of more than one woman being sexually harassed by you." The first lawsuit alleging sexual harassment was filed by the mayor's former communications director, Irene McCormack, on July 22.
Since then, several more women have come forward with stories of sexual harassment.
Calls for Filner's resignation intensified this week. On Friday, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz joined those asking for him to step down, saying she was "personally offended by his actions."
Watch Filner's full statement here:
More details on Filner's announcement:
Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Jessica Testa at email@example.com.
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