FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft commented for the first time since he was officially charged with two misdemeanor counts of first-degree solicitation.
"I am truly sorry," Kraft said in a statement. "I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard."
Kraft said he had remained silent since the charges "in deference to the judicial process." He has pleaded not guilty.
"Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing. The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being. I have extraordinary respect for women; my morals and my soul were shaped by the most wonderful woman, the love of my life, who I was blessed to have as my partner for 50 years," Kraft said in the statement.
"As I move forward, I hope to continue to use the platform with which I have been blessed to help others and to try to make a difference. I expect to be judged not by my words, but by my actions. And through those actions, I hope to regain your confidence and respect."
Kraft's court date is set for March 28.
Before that, the NFL's annual owners meeting will be held in Arizona, starting Sunday and extending through Wednesday. Kraft is expected to be present.
In his statement, Kraft said his lawyer commented for the first time Friday night "to correct some of the misinformation surrounding this matter."
Kraft's lawyer, William Burck, told ESPN: "There was no human trafficking and law enforcement knows it. The video and the traffic stop were illegal and law enforcement just doesn't want to admit it. The state attorney needs to step up and do the right thing and investigate how the evidence in this case was obtained."