Just in case you’ve had your head in a hole over the past few days, we’re updating you on some news that has shaken Los Angeles: mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — the first Latino mayor of L.A. in over 100 years and currently in divorce proceedings — revealed that he has maintained a relationship with a news reporter from the local Telemundo station, Mirthala Salinas(image above). The basics:
On July 3rd, Mayor Villaraigosa admitted, via press conference, that he had a relationship with Salinas:
“I have had a relationship with Ms. Salinas over time. It has evolved, and today I have acknowledged that relationship,” said the mayor, who announced his separation from his wife, Corina, last month.
“I don’t believe that the details of my personal life are relevant to my job as mayor,” he said, speaking to reporters after attending a downtown swearing-in ceremony for school board members.
This might have blown over, as did my city’s Mayor, Gavin Newsom‘s affair with his closest aide’s wife a couple of months back. But it gets juicier: Salinas actually reported on the story of the extramarital affair, leaving out one important detail: that the other woman was her. From The New York Times:
Here’s the dish. The 54-year-old married mayor has a 35-year-old girlfriend, who happens to be a local TV anchor, who happens to be smokin’ herself, who reported on the air last month that the mayor was splitting from his wife. Why? She didn’t say. Why? Because she is his mistress.
“The rumors were true,” read Mirthala Salinas, an anchor on NBC-Telemundo Channel 52, in Spanish on June 8. “Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa confirmed today that he is separating from his wife, Corina, after more than 20 years of marriage.”
That’s right. She reported the news of the mayor’s affair herself.
Because of that little breach of journalistic objectivity, Ms. Salinas has been relieved of her post at Telemundo pending an internal investigation.
The Mayor himself didn’t show the same sense of remorse that Gavin Newsom did, acting quite defensively when answering questions he considered inappropriate. The Washington Post reports:
Reporter: “Is Miss Salinas pregnant?”
Mayor: “I can tell you emphatically that that question is outrageous, and the answer is no, she is not pregnant.”
Then Villaraigosa continued, because he always continues, “And that’s why — the fact that you would ask a question like that — that’s precisely why I said that the details of this relationship are a personal matter. I’ve acknowledged the relationship. I’ve acknowledged the divorce. But more than that is frankly not a public matter.”
How this will affect Villaraigosa’s career in the long run is anyone’s guess, but it’s certainly not doing much for him right now. After 20 years of marriage to a woman to whom he owes part of his last name, I don’t think he’s making any fans among women. And ironically, he was recently charged with helping launch the campaign of the person who could be the first woman President of the United States. Villaraigosa says that won’t change:
“Look, divorce is not positive, but it is what it is. Sen. Clinton will want me to focus on my job and on launching her candidacy,” he said.