Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert has issued a public apology for the behavior that led to her being escorted out of a performance of Beetlejuice at the DCPA last weekend.
"The past few days have been difficult and humbling, and I'm truly sorry for the unwanted attention my Sunday evening in Denver has brought to the community," Boebert wrote in a prepared statement Friday. She blamed ongoing upheaval in her personal life in part for the incident.
"There's no perfect blueprint for going through a public and difficult divorce, which over the past few months has made for a challenging personal time for me and my entire family. I've tried to handle it with strength and grace as best I can, but I simply fell short of my values on Sunday. That's unacceptable and I'm sorry."
Patrons complained that Boebert and her companion were vaping, singing, using phones and causing a disturbance during the show. Surveillance video shows the two being escorted from the theater. According to an incident report by a Denver Police officer who'd been called to the scene, one of them made comments to DCPA staff along the lines of “do you know who I am” and “I will be contacting the mayor” before agreeing to leave the theater.
When news of the incident broke, Boebert originally tried to play it off with humor.
"It's true, I did thoroughly enjoy the AMAZING Beetlejuice at the Buell Theatre and I plead guilty to laughing and singing too loud!" Boebert Tweeted Tuesday. "Everyone should go see it if you get the chance this week and please let me know how it ends!"
However, Boebert and her staff insisted for much of the week that she had not vaped during the performance, a claim that was disproven with further surveillance footage Friday.
When the lights were still on and as people were taking their seats around Boebert, she can be seen in the video talking with her companion. Boebert then reaches beneath her seat and puts an object up to her mouth for a moment before blowing out a cloud of vapor or smoke, the footage first reported by KUSA-TV shows.
In her statement, Boebert writes, "Whether it was the excitement of seeing a much-anticipated production or the natural anxiety of being in a new environment, I genuinely did not recall vaping that evening when I discussed the night's events with my campaign team while confirming my enthusiasm for the musical. Regardless of my belief, it's clear now that was not accurate; it was not my or my campaign's intention to mislead, but we do understand the nature of how this looks."
Boebert goes on to say she and her team will have to earn back the public's trust.
The second-term congresswoman was caught in another apparent deception earlier this year after she missed the vote on a debt ceiling deal. In a video she described it as "a no-show protest," despite video footage showing her rushing to the House chamber for the vote and a statement she submitted that claimed she was "unavoidably detained."
This is the second time Boebert has had to issue a public apology while in office. During her first term, she apologized to the Muslim community after a video surfaced of her joking about Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar being a terrorist.
Boebert squeaked through her first reelection with the narrowest margin of any House member last year, winning her race by just 546 votes. Her seat is a major target for Democrats next year, with the state party already declaring that it plans to devote significant resources toward unseating her. In addition to numerous declared Democratic opponents, Boebert also faces several Republican primary challengers.
Editor's Note: The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is a financial supporter of CPR News, but has no editorial influence.
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