Filner apologizes for treatment of women: ‘I need help’

Former congressman and recently minted San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D) admitted in a video late Thursday that he is seeking professional help for his treatment of women.

Former Filner supporters said earlier Thursday that Filner had harassed women in the workplace and called on him to resign.

Filner acknowledged his problems and apologized.

"I have diminished the office to which you elected me," Filner said in the video. "I have reached into my heart and soul and realized I must and will change my behavior. As someone who has spent a lifetime fighting for equality for all people, I am embarrassed to admit that I have failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me, and that at times I have intimidated them."

Former City Councilwoman Donna Frye and two attorneys, all former Filner supporters, held a press conference Thursday at which they called on Filner to resign over his alleged harassment of women, though they declined to detail specifics.

Filner didn't resign, but instead asked for another chance.

"I am also humbled to admit that I need help," Filner said, saying he has begun to undergo professional treatment and he and his staff will undergo sexual harassment training. "If my behavior doesn't change, I cannot succeed in leading our city."

Filner said he has reached out to those he has offended to personally apologize.

Filner is no stranger to controversy. Reports have indicated recently that federal authorities are looking into a deal between him and a land developer. And in 2007, he reached a deal with prosecutors stemming from an altercation with an employee at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C.

Filner's fiancee has also informed the public this week that she has broken off her engagement with the mayor.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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