CHICAGO – A television reporter who lost her job after being videotaped wearing a swimsuit at the home of a man whose estranged wife is missing says she's "devastated," according to a published report.
Former WMAQ-TV reporter Amy Jacobson told the Chicago Sun-Times she knows she "made a lapse in judgment," but she thought the station would suspend her and then support her.
In a story in the Sun-Times' Wednesday editions, Larry Wert, the station's president and general manager, said the matter was "a complicated issue" and "a close, tough call." He praised Jacobson's work as "a valued member of the team for more than 10 years."
The video, posted on a rival TV station's Web site, showed Jacobson wearing a halter bikini top and towel near the pool at Craig Stebic's suburban Plainfield home. Jacobson's two young children and a bare-chested Stebic also are shown in the video shot Friday.
The video raised questions about the ethical conduct of the veteran reporter, who had been assigned to cover the disappearance of Craig's wife, Lisa Stebic.
Jacobson told the newspaper she was on her way to go swimming with her kids on her day off when Stebic's sister, Jill, invited her to the house to discuss the case.
"My kids were in the car with me," Jacobson said. "It was a way for me to do my work and have fun with my kids."
She said the video didn't show others who were at the home, including Craig's sister and other children.
"If a tape didn't exist, I know I would still have my job," she said. "The video they used was not indicative of the situation."
Jacobson admitted she did not handle the situation properly. "I know I made a lapse in judgment," she said. "I know it and I apologize for it. But I'm a competitive person and I did it to advance the story."