Ex-Fiancee Urges Filner To Submit Resignation
Says Sexually Explicit Messages To Other Women Led To Separation
The ex-fiancee of beleaguered San Diego Mayor Bob Filner says she ended her relationship with him because he became increasingly abusive toward her and began sending sexually explicit text messages to other women in her presence.
In a statement Sunday, Bronwyn Ingram told KPBS and inewsource she believes recent serious controversies, including the onslaught of sexual harassment allegations, have paralyzed the mayor's office and Filner should step down.
Ingram said she witnessed what she called a “severe deterioration in Bob’s ability to engage with anyone in a civil manner, myself included.” During a recent trip to Paris, she said, Filner screamed at her in public without provocation, among other “inappropriate and disrespectful acts.”
In the statement, Ingram went on to say that she made the "gut-wrenching decision" to break up with Filner after she said he recently started text messaging other women sexually explicit messages and set up dates in front of her.
She said, "given the circumstances, I obviously had no other choice."
Filner’s office did not respond Sunday to a request for comment.
Filner, 70, introduced Ingram, 48, as the “First Lady of San Diego” during his first news conference after his election as mayor last November. She made a name for herself by bringing together citizen volunteers called "Team First Lady" to address the needs of San Diego's 10,000 homeless people.
In a letter to her friends that became public July 8, Ingram said she was dissolving the team “given the devolvement of our personal relationship.”
In Sunday’s statement, Ingram said that without the mayor's pulpit, “my ability to help (the homeless) has become extremely limited.”
Ingram reiterated that she has no direct knowledge of the sexual harassment accusations against Filner that became public last week when concerned Filner supporters urged him to resign.
As to their personal relationship, Ingram said, “While I had heard rumors that he was engaging in sexual relationships with other women, I was never able to determine their validity. My focus has been on the work I was engaged in with the homeless population rather than tracking the sources of gossip.”
Bronwyn said she believes Filner should resign from office.
"The mayor’s office is now paralyzed, engaging only in defensive posturing," Ingram said. "The work of the people and for the people has ceased. I therefore urge Bob to put the best interest of the people of San Diego first and submit his resignation."
Ingram broke off her four-year relationship with Filner just days before sexual harassment allegations against Filner became public.
Filner issued a taped statement last week, saying he was sorry for diminishing the office and was seeking help in dealing with his behavior.
“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,” he said.
By late last week, the numbers of supporters urging Filner’s resignation were mounting and a key member of Filner's staff, Chief of Staff Vince Hall, had quit.
Late Friday, Filner’s office issued another statement, promising that any accusations of sexual harassment would be independently investigated and that he was confident he would be found innocent.
Here is the full text of Ingram’s statement to KPBS and inewsource:
The statement I made regarding Bob's abusiveness and disrespect is referring to his behavior in our personal relationship. While I had heard rumors that he was engaging in sexual relationships with other women, I was never able to determine their validity. My focus has been on the work I was engaged in with the homeless population rather than tracking the sources of gossip.
However, as Bob's behavior continued to become more aggressive, standard decorum seemed to disappear. Bob recently began texting other women sexually explicit messages and setting up dates while in my presence and within my line of vision.
Ending our relationship was a heart wrenching decision for me for many reasons, including the abandonment of my work on the homeless problem. It pains me more than I can describe to abandon the hundreds of people living on the streets or in shelters. But given the circumstances, I obviously had no other choice. And without the power of the bully pulpit, my ability to help has become extremely limited.
I have witnessed a severe deterioration in Bob's ability to engage with anyone in a civil manner, myself included. During our trip to Paris, he screamed at me in public without provocation, among other inappropriate and disrespectful acts.
I do not have any direct knowledge of details in the many controversies surrounding Bob, including the sexual harassment charges. But I do know that anyone embroiled in so many serious controversies is impaired in ability to run a city. As someone who believes with all my heart in our shared vision for the city, someone who campaigned day and night to help elect Bob, it gives me great pain to admit that he is no longer capable of carrying out that vision. The mayors office is now paralyzed, engaging only in defensive posturing and struggling to survive.
The work of the people and for the people has ceased. I therefore urge Bob to put the best interest of the people of San Diego first and submit his resignation.