MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Audio recordings reveal that Alabama Governor Robert Bentley carried on an illicit affair with a staffer that included sexual encounters inside the Governor’s Capitol office.
Yellowhammer was given exclusive access to the content of audio recordings captured by Dianne Bentley, Governor Bentley’s ex-wife, during which Governor Bentley makes sexual advances on and recalls sexual encounters with Rebekah Mason, his former communications director who has since become his most senior external advisor. Mrs. Mason’s husband, Jon, also serves in the Bentley administration as Director of Serve Alabama, the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Volunteer Service.
One of the recordings was captured while Governor and Mrs. Bentley were visiting their beach house.
Mrs. Bentley, who had suspected the affair, went for a walk on the beach, but left her cell phone behind recording the audio of what took place in her absence.
During that time period, Governor Bentley can be heard making a phone call to “Rebekah” that includes sexual references to their time together. The Governor also expressed a desire to “FaceTime” so they could see each other.
A second recording appears to have been made at the Governor’s residence.
In the recordings, the Governor calls Mrs. Mason “baby” and discusses how much he enjoys standing behind her and touching her breasts. He also references a past encounter and says if they are going to do “that” again, they will need to start locking the door and also consider moving “Wanda’s” desk further away, presumably referencing executive assistant Wanda Kelly, whose Capitol office is just outside of the Governor’s.
References were also made to encounters that took place at Blount House, a 12,336-square-foot, Georgian-style home in Montgomery that serves as a second Governor’s Mansion. The property was donated to the state in 2008 by the family of the late businessman Wynton “Red” Blount. It was valued at $28 million at the time.
Confirmation of the Mason affair comes after months of rumors and speculation in the wake of Dianne Bentley filing for divorce in 2015 after 50 years of marriage.
“The Plaintiff states there is such a complete incompatibility of temperament that the parties can no longer live together,” Mrs. Bentley’s divorce filings said. “There exists a conflict of personalities which destroys the legitimate aims of matrimony and all possibilities of reconciliation are futile. Plaintiff further avers that their marriage has suffered an irretrievable breakdown and that further attempts at reconciliation are impractical and not in the best interests of the parties.”
The Bentleys married July 24, 1965. They reportedly quietly separated in January 2015, before getting divorced seven months later.
Governor Bentley’s son, Matthew, has been a frequent critic of Mrs. Mason and his father on Twitter since rumors of their affair began to spread online. As the existence of the audio recordings began to surface on Tuesday, Matthew again tweeted at his father’s official government account and Mrs. Mason’s personal account.
— Matthew Bentley (@Bentley4Bama) March 23, 2016
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3. A portion of the audio can be heard below.