At long last, former Virginia delegate Joe Morrissey has acknowledged the extremely, extremely obvious: that he had a baby with his former secretary, 19-year-old Myrna Pride. This follows a bizarre incident last week where Morrissey handed a reporter a photo of himself, Pride and the baby, dressed in what looked like antebellum-style outfits.
NBC 12 reports that Morrissey made the remarks on the Jack Graveley Show on WLEE radio, confirming that he’s the father of nine-week-old son Chase. In the full clip, which you can listen to here, a caller to the program chastises him for “so much indiscretion.” Morrissey responds, in part, that while the child wasn’t planned, “Myrna and I had our baby, we love our baby.”
Here’s a longer clip from Morrissey’s slightly disjointed monologue:
First of all, let’s be clear. Do people have children and it’s not planned? Yes. Some people take one route when that occurs, Myrna and I took a completely different route. We had our baby. We love our baby. If that is concerning to [the caller], I think what he should focus on is that I am going to everything I can to — to engage Chase for the rest of my life. The fact that we had a baby together, you know —
Graveley pointed out that people don’t approve of the circumstances surrounding the child’s birth; Morrissey was sentenced to six months in jail for contributing to the delinquency of a minor after issuing an Alford plea. (Morrissey originally faced more serious charges: indecent liberties with a minor, electronic solicitation of a minor, possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography. He could have faced 30 years in prison. The single misdemeanor he issued the Alford plea on wasn’t a sexual offense and he didn’t have to register as a sex offender. An Alford plea means he did not admit guilt, but acknowledged there was enough evidence for a jury to find him guilty.)
Morrissey ultimately served three months, commuting from jail to his seat in the General Assembly, despite strong urgings from the governor and other Democrats to just resign. He did briefly resign, but ran as an independent during a special election and was reelected while he was jailed.
On the radio show, Morrissey also seemed to indicate — I think — that the child was conceived when Pride was 18: “Myrna is 19 and some odd months, the baby is nine weeks old. Sit down and do the math.”
Morrissey now has a press conference scheduled for Thursday at his attorney’s office, where he’ll presumably talk about the fact that he and Pride now face felony forgery charges, accused of forging a child support document to act as an alibi for him in the original trial. He’s also running for State Senate, and, honestly, none of this is really any indicator of whether he’ll get elected. All kinds of people get elected in state politics. It’s really something.