Stan Rosenberg’s Husband Bryon Hefner Will Seek Treatment after Assault Allegations

Rosenberg says he is "shocked and devastated" by the assault and harassment allegations against Hefner.

Photo via State House News Service

Amid allegations of sexual misconduct that have rocked Beacon Hill, Senate President Stan Rosenberg announced Friday that his husband Bryon Hefner will enter an alcohol treatment program.

Speaking with reporters at a brief news conference on Friday afternoon, Rosenberg said he “was shocked and devastated” by allegations that surfaced this week in the Boston Globe, which prompted a probe to be led by an independent investigator.

Four men accuse Hefner of groping, propositioning, or forcibly kissing them on several occasions. Rosenberg claims he didn’t know about this alleged behavior, and there isn’t any evidence to contradict that claim.

Rosenberg says Hefner will be admitted to an inpatient treatment center “very shortly.”

Hefner’s accusers have also alleged that he abused his spouse’s power on Beacon Hill to prey on people with business before the Senate, that he was interested in sexual favors in exchange for political boosts, and that he sometimes acted on behalf of Rosenberg’s office. Concerns about what many saw as Hefner’s inappropriate level of influence over his partner were first raised in 2014. At the time Rosenberg pledged to erect a “firewall” between Hefner and government.

“I have repeatedly made it clear that Bryon was to have no influence on what happens in the Senate,” Rosenberg said Friday. “He has no influence over policy, the internal operations of the Senate, or any Senate-related business. If Bryon claimed to have influence over my decisions or over the Senate, he should not have said that. It is simply not true.”

Rosenberg pledged to cooperate with the investigation, stressed the Senate has a “zero tolerance policy for sexual harrassment,” and urged anyone else with allegations to come forward. “Our heart goes out to anyone who may have been hurt and I’m committed to helping anyone who’s been harmed,” he said, adding, “This has been the most difficult time in my political life and in my personal life.”

He did not take questions from the press.