Ohio Supreme Court Justice and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill O’Neill offered an apology Saturday to anyone who may have been offended by his candid disclosure of his personal sex history.
"If I offended anyone, particularly the wonderful women in my life, I apologize. But if I have helped elevate the discussion on the serious issues of Sexual Assault, as opposed to personal indiscretions, to a new level…I make no apologies," he said in a short Facebook post.
On Friday, O’Neill offered details about his approximately 50 intimate relationships with "very attractive women" in an effort to "save my opponents some research time." O'Neill added that he was “disappointed” by the Sexual Assault Allegations in the news cycle concerning Sen. Al Franken and Alabama Republican Roy More and expressed hope to push that Ohio could now focus on issues such as legalizing marijuana and the opioid epidemic.
The news cycle has been rife with stories addressing the fallout around Moore and Franken controversies.
Moore, the Republican nominee in the special election contest to fill the Alabama's vacant U.S. Senate seat, is facing numerous allegations by women who claim he pursued romantic or sexual relationships with them as teenage girls while he was in his 30's. The first accusations came out in a Washington Post report earlier this month, and that list has since grown. Moore denies any wrongdoing and has resisted calls by top Republican lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to drop out.
Meanwhile, Franken was accused by TV host and sports broadcaster Leeann Tweeden of groping and forcefully kissing her during a 2006 USO tour in the Middle East. The report included a photo taken of Franken placing his hands over her breasts while she was sleeping. Soon after Franken apologized and called for an ethics probe into the incident, which occurred while he worked as a comedian before he became a senator.
O’Neill indicated Saturday that he regrets potentially trivializing serious sexual assault allegations.
"Suggesting the admitted conduct of Senator Al Franken and the alleged conduct of Judge Roy Moore are on the same level trivializes the serious subject at hand," he wrote.
"There are Democrats out there who are saying neither one of them pass the purity test to sit in the United States Senate. And that is sad," he concluded.