Mark FoleyMarkFoley

What was the accusation?

Republican Congressman Mark Foley was accused of sending soliciting emails and sexually suggestive instant messages to teenage boys who had previously served as congressional pages.  It was reported that in one email, Foley asked for pictures of a young boy and commented that he was “in great shape.”  A separate ABC News report accused Foley of inviting one boy to stay at the Congressman’s house in exchange for oral sex and asking for another boy to send pictures of his genitalia.   Although no charges were ever filed, the scandal led to Foley’s resignation on September 29, 2006.

Key Apologia Strategies:

Mortification, Denial, Corrective Action, Shifting Blame

Statement by Mark Foley’s attorney, David Roth
(October 3, 2006)

Mark explicitly reaffirms his acceptance of responsibility and remorse. He reiterates unequivocally that he has never had sexual contact with a minor. Mark voluntarily entered a substance abuse and mental health facility on Sunday at approximately midnight Sunday Eastern Time. I was there and he will be there for at least 30 days. This decision was Mark’s. As was his decision to resign from the United States House of Representatives. This was a life decision not a tactical one made by others. Mark does not blame the trauma he sustained as a young adolescent for his totally inappropriate emails and IMs. He continues to offer no excuse whatsoever for his conduct. As is so often the case with victims of abuse, Mark advises that he kept his shame to himself for almost 40 years. Specifically Mark has asked that you be told that between the ages of 13 and 15 he was molested by a clergyman. Mark will address this issue further upon his release from treatment. He very much wanted to release the name of the individual, the church affiliation and other details but was advised by civil counsel to delay that decision pending his completion of treatment after Mark has had an opportunity to consult with him. Mark has also asked me on his behalf to thank the literally thousands of ordinary citizens as well as friends and others who have conveyed their prayers, love and best wishes to him. Finally, Mark Foley wants you to know that he is a gay man.


Babington, C., & Weisman, J. (2006). Rep. Foley quits in page scandal. Washington Post. Retrieved from:

Bash, D. (2006, September 30). Congressman quits after messages to teens found. CNN. Retrieved from:

Stanton, Z. (2015, November 20). The page who took down the GOP: Why I leaked the scandalous Mark Foley messages–and what I regret about it. Politico. Retrieved from: