An Unlikely Sex Scandal, Revealed By Alabama Governor’s Wife’s iPhone
Sex scandals are nothing new to politics, but GQ digs in to one more unusual than most that rocked Alabama politics earlier this year. It involves the state’s grandfatherly 73-year-old governor, Robert Bentley, and his relationship with Rebekeh Mason, an aide 30 years his junior. Bentley remains in office, though he had to publicly apologize after a recording surfaced of him saying things to Mason such as, “(When) I put my arms around you, and I put my hands on your breasts, and I put my hands on you and pull you in real close, hey, I love that, too.” Writer Jason Zengerle provides the back story of the affair, including its innocent origins: Bentley first hired Mason because they were members of the same church and the former news anchor and her husband were struggling financially. She would eventually become his press secretary and then a top adviser, as whispers grew.
And it all started with an emoji.
This month’s GQ profile of the scandal describes how Dianne observed Robert suddenly taking more interest in his appearance, becoming more sparing with his kisses, and leaving large blocks of time in his schedule marked only as “hold.” But the real red flag, was when Robert started sexting her:
Occasionally, Dianne’s phone would buzz with text messages from her husband containing a red-rose emoji—messages so unexpected and out of character for the governor that she wondered if they were intended for someone else.
It’s pretty sad that Bentley was apparently so unromantic with his wife that sending her a red-rose emoji made her suspicious. What would she have though if he sent an eggplant or “splashing sweat” emoji?
It was then that Dianne set up her iPhone to secretly record her husband when she knew he would be alone, and she caught him calling Mason “I love you… When I stand behind you and I put my arms around you, and I put my hands on your breasts, and I put my hands on you and pull you in real close, hey, I love that, too.”
Dianne confronted her husband, but he denied everything, as those who get caught in affairs do. She seemed willing to move on at first, until pulled the biggest boner move imaginable and texted his wife a red-rose emoji again. This time there could be no confusion about who it was meant for either: He addressed it to Rebekah.
Dianne subsequently filed for divorce. The governor kept on with the affair, firing Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Spencer Collier after he learned of the affair. The tape recording Dianne made was subsequently leaked to the press, and an ethics complaint was filed against the governor alleging he used state property and funds in the course of covering up the affair. Impeachment hearings are expected to begin this month.
Throughout it all, Bentley has maintained the affair was not sexual in nature.He recently stated he does not believe the majority of his constituents care about impeachment. Alabamans state-wide responded with the “unamused face” emoji.