DETROIT – The female court bailiff who received a text message containing a shirtless photo from a well-known Detroit judge told MyFoxDetroit Sunday night she did not consider the message to be a form of sexual harassment.
In the interview the unidentified woman, who hid her face by turning her back to the camera and wore a baseball cap, said she enjoyed a professional relationship with 3rd Circuit Judge Wade McCree, who has become the subject of countless jokes since his topless photograph was made public by the woman's husband earlier this month.
The woman told the station that the photo was sent to her by McCree after the pair had a conversation about their bodies and workout regimes.
She said the photograph was "absolutely not" sexual harassment and that she believed she replied to the text message with "LOL," or laugh out loud, because she considered it a joke.
She added that she considered McCree to be "very respectable and honorable."
McCree issued a statement last week calling his actions a "very serious mistake."
"Clearly, I made an extremely serious error in judgment," said McCree in a statement obtained Friday by MyFoxDetroit. "I am embarrassed and truly sorry for my actions, which have hurt and caused great pain to my family."
"I ask for forgiveness from all those I have disappointed and hurt as a result of my very serious mistake," McCree went on. "I also ask for your prayers as my family and I work through this issue on a personal and professional level."
McCree, who specializes in sexual misconduct cases, was initially unrepentant when he was first approached by the station about the photo.
"Hot dog, yep that's me," McCree told the station. "I've got no shame in my game."
The husband of the unidentified woman filed a complaint with Michigan's Judicial Tenure Commission after finding the photo on his wife's phone.
The woman said she had been unable to convince her husband that nothing was going on between her and the judge.
She added that she would tell the Judicial Tenure Commission that she considered the photograph harmless when she was interviewed by them about the incident.