"We had an affair, and it was wrong, and we shouldn't have done it," Nashville Mayor Megan Barry told the Tennessean on Wednesday, admitting to an extramarital relationship with the police officer who served as head of her security detail. Both Barry and Sgt. Robert Forrest Jr. are married. "I am so sorry to my husband Bruce, who has stood by me in my darkest moments and remains committed to our marriage," Barry said at a news conference Wednesday evening. Wednesday was the final day at work for Forrest, a 31-year veteran of the force who submitted his retirement papers Jan. 17. Barry, 54, said the affair began in mid-2016. She told reporters she is no longer seeing him, but declined to say when the affair ended. "I know that God's going to forgive me, but the citizens of Nashville don't have to," she said.
Barry, a Democrat who was elected mayor in 2015, said she does not believe the relationship violated ethics laws and she will not be stepping down. Critics, however, are calling attention to the amount of overtime Forrest racked up on trips with the mayor, the Washington Post reports. He accompanied Barry on numerous trips to cities in the US and overseas. It was only Barry and Forrest on nine trips, including a visit to Greece last year. Barry's only son, 22-year-old Max, died of a drug overdose in July. "This is a bad day, and there's going to be more bad days, but this is not my worst day," Barry said Wednesday. The Tennessean notes that the last Nashville mayor to admit to an affair was Bill Boner, who proposed to a country singer in 1990 while still married to his third wife. (More Nashville stories.)