Speed Reads

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A state legislator tried to smear himself by falsely claiming he had sex with a male prostitute

Most politicians try to avoid having their names tarnished, but one Michigan state legislator apparently went out of his way to smear his own reputation.

State Rep. Todd Courser said he distributed an email in May claiming he had sex with a male prostitute behind a Lansing nightclub. Courser also called himself a "bisexual porn-addicted sex deviant," the Detroit Free Press reports. In audio released Monday, Courser said he made up the allegations and sent the email, purporting to be his own anonymous political enemy. He said he did so in order to subvert a blackmailer attempting to expose an affair he allegedly had with another lawmaker, fellow tea party state Rep. Cindy Gamrat.

Courser's thinking was if the news of his affair got out, it would then seem "mild by comparison," to the email's accusations, he said Monday. Courser and Gamrat reportedly also dismissed aides who were unwilling to help in the cover-up.

He apologized Monday to his family, Gamrat's family, and constituents for his decision to send the email. Courser also said he will not resign.