By Ryan Gaydos
Published February 22, 2019
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Friday was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution at a Florida spa -- and cops say there's video.
Kraft, 77, is accused of paying for sexual acts at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, located about 90 miles north of Miami. His name was among more than a dozen who were charged.
Police said they have Kraft, and others, on video receiving the sexual acts and that he participated in prostitution in Florida two separate times.
The spa had been shut down after a months-long investigation revealed women were participating in “sexual servitude,” TC Palm reported, citing arrest records. Nine other spas in Orlando, Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast had also been shut down as part of the investigation.
Police said the suspects paid between $59 and $79 for services.
Authorities said they handed the case over to the state’s attorney’s office and they were working on an active warrant for Kraft’s arrest.
"We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity," a Patriots spokesperson said in a statement. "Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further."
The NFL added: "The NFL is aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments."
President Trump also commented on the charges Friday, telling reporters at the White House he was “very surprised to see it.”
“It’s very sad,” he said. “He’s proclaimed his innocence totally, but I’m very surprised to see it.”
Kraft, who is reportedly worth $6 billion, founded International Forest Products in 1972 and helped it become one of the top importer/exporter company by the late 90s. He also invested in New England Television Corp. in 1982 and later unloaded his shares for around $25 million, the Boston Globe reported.
Kraft married Myra Nathalie Hiatt in 1963. She later died of ovarian cancer in July 2011.
About a year later, he had reportedly been dating 39-year-old actress Ricki Noel Lander. The woman gave birth to a child in 2017 and reports swirled over whether Kraft was the father. He had denied the accusation, according to People.
Kraft’s Patriots won their sixth Super Bowl championship. He owns a home in nearby Palm Beach.