Villaraigosa confessed yesterday he has been romancing Spanish-language TV anchor Mirthala Salinas for at least a year, shedding new light on why his wife filed for divorce three weeks ago.
Villaraigosa, 54, announced his affair with the Telemundo anchor, who has reported on him for her station, at a news conference after a local paper spilled the secret.
"I have a relationship with Ms. Salinas and I take full responsibility for my
Salinas, 35, went on the air June 8 with news of the mayor's marital split. "The rumors are true," a poker-faced Salinas said in Spanish. "Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa confirmed today that he is separating from his wife, Corina, after more than 20 years of marriage."
What Salinas did not say was that she and Villaraigosa were having a torrid affair.
While admitting the affair yesterday, the mayor denied rumors that the popular newscaster is carrying his child. "I can tell you emphatically that that question is outrageous and the answer is no, she is not pregnant," he said.
Villaraigosa didn't give details about the romance but admitted it got serious sometime last year.
In 2005, Villaraigosa became the city's first Latino mayor since 1872, and it's no secret that he has his eye on the California governor's mansion. The Democrat has been raising his national profile with frequent lobbying trips to Capitol Hill.
Some political observers say the mayor's behavior is crass, but probably won't hurt his long-term ambitions.
It wasn't clear whether the burgeoning romance would change the politico's last name. The former Tony Villar blended his name with that of his wife, Corina Raigosa, 49.
Reporters noticed the mayor's wedding band was missing several months ago, but, at the time, he insisted things at Getty House, the mayor's official residence, were fine.
The father of four yesterday described his gal pal as "a consummate journalistic professional."
About a year ago, Salinas decided "our friendship had grown to a point where it was necessary to inform her management that she shouldn't cover me," he said.
His estranged wife, an educator, has been mum on her marital problems, citing "irreconcilable differences" in her divorce filing.
She has remained in the mayor's residence with the kids; he has moved out.
Complete Article: Straying L.A. mayor confesses to affair with TV news anchor by Michelle Caruso, NY Daily News.com