Earlier this month, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry confessed that she engaged in an extramarital affair with Sgt. Robert Forrest, the man she paid at the time to serve as her personal bodyguard.
In making this admission, Barry said she intended to remain in office.
But a new piece of this burgeoning scandal may make it difficult for her to do so.
“I know that God will forgive me, but that Nashville doesn’t have to,” Barry said during a news conference three weeks ago, adding:
“And I hope that I can earn their trust and I can earn your trust back, and that you will forgive me.”
Barry, who is in the middle of her first term, said the affair began a few months after she started her job.
Both Barry and Forrest were married at the time of their relationship, which both now insist is over.
However, the controversy surrounding their dalliance may only be beginning… and this is why:
On Thursday, state investigators discovered one naked photo and one partially nude photo of a woman on Forrest’s cell phone.
According to court documents, these photos were snapped while Forrest’s timesheet stated he was working… and also during the time in which he and Barry were knocking proverbial boots.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has NOT identified the woman in the photos…
… But an agent says (via a sworn affidavit) that the black purse in one snapshot matches the black purse Barry is seen holding in a different photo found on Forrest’s phone.
These two pictures were shot last May and October, on days that Barry’s travel schedule shows she was on separate Washington trips.
In response to this latest aspect of her scandal, Barry said she’s unaware any such photos of her exist and that the allegations surrounding them are “very troubling and infuriating if true.”
We’re not really sure what she means.
We think she’s saying that she never posed for said photos or have anyone permission to include them in emails.
(Authorities discovered the snapshots while coming through Forrest’s email, which included 260 deleted chats between Forrest’s phone and Barry’s phone number, as well as 35 deleted call logs.)
“While I have not seen the photos in question, if they were of me, they were taken without my knowledge or permission and a complete invasion of my privacy,” Barry said in a statement this week.
Forrest was paid overtime on each of the days the photos were taken, according to the court documents.
And this is where the scandal moves from something for celebrity gossip websites to laugh over to something for that may cause authorities to file charges.
Was Barry using tax payer money to finance her affair?
Did she give preferential monetary treatment to her lover?
(Forrest’s overtime pay increased by 83% since Barry took office, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says. The agency compared that with a colleague whose overtime increased 49%.)
“Nothing in the affidavits released today … indicates that I have committed any actions that violate the law,” Barry said in her statement Thursday.
She added: “If any violations of the law occurred, they were in violating my personal rights.”
Yeah, that’s it, Megan Barry.
You’re the victim here.