Rep. Dan Burton admitted Friday that he had an extramarital relationship in the early 1980s and fathered a child, the Indianapolis Star reported.
The conservative Indiana Republican, in the wake of reports that he had had such an affair, told the newspaper he wanted to go public, take the full criticism and deflect attention from the woman, their teenage son and her family members."I have apologized to my wife and family, whom I love. I apologize to my constituents. We live in a society that rightfully depends upon people taking responsibility for their actions. I have done so in this matter," Burton said in a statement released Friday.
Burton has been leading a House investigation into President Clinton's campaign finances. Last April, he called Clinton a "scum-bag." Burton later admitted it was a poor choice of words but said he doesn't believe Clinton is "a man of integrity."
While Burton has been outspoken in his criticism of Clinton, he has focused on fund-raising and other matters, not the president's relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
Burton's spokesman, John Williams, said the congressman would have no comment and referred reporters to his statement. Burton represents suburban Indianapolis.
The newspaper report, appearing in Saturday's editions of the Star and Indianapolis News, did not disclose the names of the woman and child. When contacted by the paper, the central Indiana woman did not discuss her relationship with Burton, which occurred when he served in the Indiana Senate and the woman worked for a state agency. Burton also did not identify the woman.
In a telephone interview with the Star on Friday, Burton said the responsibility and blame are his alone.
"I have tried to be as straight as I could be with my family on all this. I tried to keep it between my family and this lady's family," Burton said.
Burton has been in Indiana for two days, meeting with the woman and child and discussing the situation with his family.
Burton said that his wife of 38 years, Barbara, has been aware of the relationship and that he has paid child support.
However, Burton has never officially acknowledged the child as his son.