Republican admits fabricating ‘gay rent boy’ scandal to hide straight affair

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A Republican has admitted faking allegations that he hired a gay rent boy.

Last week, the Detroit News published secret recordings of Michigan state representative Todd Courser plotting to cover up allegations that he was having an affair with Republican colleague Cindy Gamrat – by planting a fake liaison with a male prostitute.

In the 11-minute recording, Courser instructed an aide to leak an “over-the-top story that’s obscene about me” – specifically so that he could deny it and claim he was being unfairly attacked.

He reads fake allegations he wrote about himself being “removed from a nightclub… due to a male-on-male paid for sex”, adding: “Anything that comes after this is part of that. It’s a burn. People will say ‘I’m not listening to that, that’s bulls**t, it’s awful, they’re attacking him!”

The Republican initially declined to comment on the story – but he has now admitted that he conspired to leak the fake allegations about himself, in a plot so convoluted and twisty, it makes House of Cards seem like Teletubbies.

In a 28-minute long audio statement, he claimed he was being “blackmailed” and invented the fake story to throw off the allegations.

He said: “I need to start out by apologising. You have my deepest and most sorrowful and most humble apology. I don’t know what part I can get past the guilt and shame I can feel, but first and foremost I need to get forgiveness from God.”

The Republican added: “I’ve let so many people down… The email that was sent to misdirect attention was my doing both in planning and execution. No-one else has the responsibility for those actions, they are mine and mine alone to carry.

The politician said he put the email in motion to disrupt a blackmailer sending him “anonymous texts” – aiming to force him to resign over an alleged affair with his colleague.

He said: “It was all done in a pressure cooker… it put me in a situation where a bad choice was the choice that I made. Listening to the tapes, I don’t recognise my own self.”

“I was attempting to… offer disinformation and agitate the situation, and also to disrupt the anonymous blackmailer.

“It was also to buy some time to figure out who was involved, and unfortunately it was to discredit any release of information, whatever information was going to be released.”

“It was over-the-top and it was wrong.”