Mayor Gives First TV Interviews After Public Allegations

Filner explains he's a demonstrative person saying "I'm a hugger"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    KUSI
    Mayor Filner conducts one of two television interviews Monday at his office. NBC 7 News' request for an interview was refused.

    It’s not a good time for the city and not a good time for him personally, Mayor Bob Filner said Monday, but he won't give in to calls for his resignation because he has important work to do for the city of San Diego.

    Special Section: Mayor Under Fire

    In a 10-minute television interview conducted after allegations were made about inappropriate touching and comments toward female constituents and women on his staff, Filner said he was concerned about anonymous sources and the lack of due process.

    “I’m greatly concerned about any personal actions I’ve done. I would like to make it right to anybody I’ve offended,” Filner stated at the beginning of the interview.

    Several days ago Filner admitted he needed help and that he has disrespected women and at times intimidated them in the past. But the mayor vowed to change.

    In contrast Filner pointed to his personality and managerial style Monday as possible causes for misunderstandings that led to the allegations.

    There is a difference between someone who’s tough to work with and sexual harassment Filner said.

    “There is a difference there,” Filner said in the KUSI interview. “I am taking steps personally to have more self-awareness of how my actions might be taken.”

    When asked how so many women can be so wrong, Filner corrects the interviewer stating he is not aware of how many women were making the allegations because the claims have been anonymous to this point.

    “I’m a very demonstrative person. I express myself demonstrably. I’m a hugger. Of both men and women,” Filner explains. “As it turns out that those are taken in an offensive manner, I need to have a greater self-awareness of what I’m doing and we will correct that. I am taking those steps.”

    Filner said he hopes to end the “dueling press conferences” and move the discussion toward formal charges so he will have a chance to defend himself.
     

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