Rep. Foley's Lawyer Says Lawmaker 'Devastated'

The lawyer for former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., met with representatives of the media Friday evening to answer questions about Foley's state of mind.

David Roth, with the law firm of Roth and Duncan, said he had not been acting as a lawyer in the last few days but rather as a friend and counselor to the embattled congressman from Florida.

"Mark blames no one but himself," Roth said, adding that he hoped and prayed everyone can remember the dedicated public servant that Foley was. "Mark offers no excuses but I am confident when all the facts and events of his life are revealed that most if not all your questions will be answered," he said.

Roth refused to disclose the location where Foley is being treated, but did say Foley checked himself willingly into an in-patient substance abuse and mental health facility, which Roth described as "one of the most prestigious alcoholism and mental illness facilities in the U.S."

Foley had been battling a problem with alcohol, "probably his entire life, certainly all of his adult life," Roth said. Foley acknowledges he is an alcoholic, Roth said, and checked into the facility Sunday at midnight, Eastern time.

Roth described Foley as "emotionally devastated."

"He feels he let everyone down: his constituents, his family, his loved ones, his party, and the people that he hurt. He is extremely contrite for any harm he's caused anyone, and any harm that's been done to any pages at all," Roth said.

Roth added he has never seen anyone more genuinely apologetic and remorseful and accepting of responsibility in all his years practicing law. When asked if Foley was considering suicide, Roth said, "Mark is a fighter, not a runner and has never given up on life; he has expressed no thoughts of suicide to me."

When responding to questions relating to Foley's sexuality, Roth admitted he could not speak to the issue of whether Mark Foley is gay, but wanted to make explicitly clear that Foley does not consider being gay a mental or emotional illness. Roth said Foley has no problem with the response made to the events surrounding the revelation of his e-mails and instant messages to pages, but that Foley "takes issue with anything that links his alcoholism and mental illness or emotional problems with being gay or not being gay," saying those are not related at all.

Foley would remain at the treatment facility a minimum of 30 days according to Roth, perhaps longer depending on evaluation by mental health experts.

As for any impending legal action or any calls for testimonials from colleagues on the Hill and any examination by the FBI of whether Foley broke any laws and what Roth was doing to prepare for that, Roth answered, "The focus of our work in the last 80 hours has been exclusively dedicated to getting Mark the help and the knowledge he needed and could not get on his own."'s Megan Manni contributed to this report.