Mayor apologizes for affair with manager’s wife

Gavin Newsom
Mayor Gavin Newsom leaves a news conference in San Francisco on Thursday after apologizing for an affair with his campaign manager's wife.Jeff Chiu / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Mayor Gavin Newsom apologized Thursday for having a sexual relationship with his former campaign manager’s wife.

“I’m deeply sorry,” Newsom said during a brief news conference at City Hall the day after the aide resigned. Newsom appeared poised but visibly emotional. He spoke for about a minute and left without taking questions.

Alex Tourk, 39, resigned Wednesday after confronting his boss about his relationship with his wife, Ruby Rippey-Tourk, 34, who once worked as the mayor’s appointment secretary.

Newsom acknowledged that he had the affair first reported Wednesday night on the San Francisco Chronicle’s Web site and apologized for what he called “a lapse of judgment.”

“I want to make it clear that everything you’ve read is true and I’m deeply sorry about that,” he said. “I hurt someone I care deeply about, Alex Tourk and his family and friends, and that is something I’m deeply sad about and sorry for.”

Tourk served as Newsom’s deputy chief of staff until September, when he became manager of the re-election campaign.

After his wife told him about the affair, Tourk approached the mayor about it, then resigned.

Tourk did not immediately return phone calls and e-mails seeking comment by The Associated Press.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Newsom campaigns and the city of San Francisco and its residents,” Tourk said in a news release from the mayor’s office Wednesday.

Newsom, 39, who is seeking a second four-year term in November, said in the statement that he accepted Tourk’s resignation “with great sadness,” adding that he was “an extraordinary leader of our campaigns and a tireless public servant.”