Anchorage mayor admits to relationship with news anchor after bizarre allegations

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The mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, on Monday admitted to an “inappropriate messaging relationship” with a local TV news anchor who lodged bizarre and unsubstantiated allegations against him.

“I apologize to the people of Anchorage for a major lapse in judgement I made several years ago when I had a consensual, inappropriate messaging relationship with reporter Maria Athens,” Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said in a statement.

Athens, an anchor for the local Fox and ABC affiliated news stations, posted a video to her professional Facebook page last Friday alleging Berkowitz posted an illicit photo of himself to “an underage girls website.”

The anchor claimed the accusations were coming from “reliable sources” and said the story would be airing later that night.

An investigation by Anchorage police and the FBI into the allegations found no criminal conduct, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Berkowitz blasted the initial claims as “slanderous” and “categorically false,” in a Friday statement.

Later Friday, Athens posted to her Facebook page a nude image purporting to be Berkowitz, along with the mayor’s initial statement.

The anchor was also arrested at work later that day for punching the station manager boss, who she was also romantically involved with, the Anchorage Daily News reported, citing court documents.

Athens then acted out at her Saturday arraignment, the newspaper reported, interrupting the court with frequent outbursts.

“I have pancreatitis!” the news anchor said. She also said she needed to get back to work by Monday, the report said.

It’s unclear if Athens is still employed by the news stations.

She was charged with misdemeanor assault, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct for her alleged fight at the news station.

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