Nashville Mayor Megan Barry Admits Affair With Head of Her Security: 'God Will Forgive Me'

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry addresses the crowd during Nashville Candelight Vigil for Las Vegas at the Ascend Amphitheater on October 2, 2017. Barry has admitted to having an affair with her bodyguard. Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has admitted to having an affair with her former bodyguard, saying God will forgive her even if the voters don't.

Barry, who has been mayor since 2015, said Wednesday she had been involved in an affair with now retired police Sergeant Robert Forrest of the Nashville Police Department, ABC news reported. Forrest, who had been with the force for 32 years, retired just hours before Barry made the statement.

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"God will forgive me, but the people of Nashville don't have to. In the weeks and months to come, I will work hard to earn your forgiveness and earn back your trust," the Nashville mayor told reporters in prepared remarks.

Barry also apologized to her husband, Bruce, and took full responsibility for the pain caused to her family and Forrest's family.

For his part, Forrest issued a statement through his lawyer expressing regret for the affair but denying any professional impropriety. "I deeply regret that my professional relationship with Mayor Barry turned into a personal one," Forrest said in the statement. "At no time did I ever violate my oath as a police office or engage in actions that would abuse the public trust."

Barry has attempted to deflect accusations that the pair used work trips to cover their affair. According to documents obtained by ABC affiliate WKRN, Barry's and Forrest's travel expenses amounted to $30,000 since January 2017. At the same time, Forrest's overtime pay doubled after Barry took office.

At the press conference, Barry said that every one of the trips had been business-related and that Forrest's overtime had changed to match her own "aggressive schedule."

The affair between the mayor and her bodyguard, which reportedly is over, appears to have come at particularly trying time for Barry. Her only child, Max Barry, 22, died in July of an apparent drug overdose.