"I was in a state of emotional shock," said one of the women who accused prominent 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski of sexual misconduct earlier this month. Now, a perhaps less-than-shocking ending: Kozinski will retire effective immediately, he announced Monday. The Washington Post, which first reported on the accusations by some 15 women, says the 67-year-old apologized in a statement that characterized his sense of humor as "broad" and his way of speaking as "candid. ... In doing so, I may not have been mindful enough of the special challenges and pressures that women face in the workplace. It grieves me to learn that I caused any of my clerks to feel uncomfortable; this was never my intent," he said.
He explained that dealing with the review that had been launched into his conduct would be too big a distraction from his judicial duties. The Post reported that some of the women to accuse Kozinski were former clerks of his who said they were made to watch porn in his chambers. Heidi Bond, the former clerk quoted above, alleges she was three times asked by Kozinski to look at images of naked people, noting in one instance that the judge asked her if the images made her feel aroused. Kozinski in 2008 recused himself from an obscenity trial after it emerged that he had a personal website featuring explicit photos and videos, including a video of a semi-naked man cavorting with an aroused farm animal. (Read more Alex Kozinski stories.)