A Republican politician who sent sexual text messages to a teen boy said in a new interview that he is “not gay.”
Mike Yenni, the president of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, who is married to a woman, admitted last month to exchanging “improper texts” with a boy who was 17 at the time, calling it a “bad decision” and saying he regretted his actions. He was the mayor of Kenner, Louisiana, when the exchange took place.
“To simply say it, I’m not gay,” Yenni told Fox8 this week. He also repeatedly said he didn’t know why he texted with the teen in the first place.
The host questioned Yenni about a story written for The Tab in February headlined, “I was seduced by a politician.” The author, a Brown student, details exchanging sexual texts with a politician he calls “Kevin,” as well as a slew of other incidents, including “Kevin” giving him designer underwear and kissing him. The texts, as well as the kiss and gift, match an account given by an unidentified teen who spoke with local media outlets in recent months about his experience with Yenni.
Yenni did not deny that the story was ostensibly about him, but would not say whether much of the specific content was true.
“There are a lot of elements of that story I truly believe are certainly fictional,” he told Fox 8.
In the interview, Yenni refused to confirm or deny any content of the article besides admitting to the sexting, saying he didn’t want to rehash it “line by line.” He did say he “believed” a lot of the story was untrue. It’s unclear why knowing what he himself did or did not do is a matter of “belief.”
Louisiana’s age of consent is 17, though Yenni could be subject to a federal law prohibiting the use of a telecommunications device for “the transmission of any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication which is obscene or child pornography, knowing that the recipient of the communication is under 18 years of age,” WWLTV reported when the allegations first surfaced.
The outlet notes that Yenni’s text messages have fallen under investigation before, when, as the chief administrative officer in Kenner, he allegedly used his city-funded BlackBerry to sext multiple men and a woman.