Stanley plans to focus on his family - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Stanley plans to focus on his family

Paul Stanley Paul Stanley
McKensie Morrison McKensie Morrison
Joel Watts Joel Watts

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - News of the resignation of an embattled Tennessee State Senator continued to spread across the Mid-South Wednesday.

State Senator Paul Stanley submitted his resignation from the Tennessee General Assembly late Tuesday afternoon, after his extramarital affair with a 22-year-old legislative intern was revealed by an alleged extortion plot

"Due to recent events, I have decided to focus my full attention on my family and resign my Senate seat effective August 10," Stanley wrote in his resignation letter.

In an exclusive television interview with Action News 5's Andy Wise, Stanley said he initially had every intention of completing his term.

"This is a very, very difficult decision to leave the Senate, because I am a firm believer that once you start something you should complete it to the end," he said.

Stanley said he still has leftover legislative matters that he hopes to complete with his staff before he resigns August 10th.

"God sets a certain standard at his level, and just because I fell below that standard does not negate the fact that standard is still there, and still high. It just means that I fell way below it," he said.

Stanley admitted an affair with legislative intern McKensie Morrison.  Her boyfriend, Joel Watts, is accused of trying to extort money from Stanley.

Stanley said he does not negotiate with criminals, and that Watts was after easy money.

"When the requests got to the point, I thought they were very serious and put my life in jeopardy," he said. "That's when I chose to contact the authorities."

Stanley said his wife Kristi has forgiven him, but he fully intends to pay consequences in his personal life.

"If someone or many people can learn from the mistakes I've made, then I will consider this unfortunate incident a success," he said.

Morrison sent an e-mail to the Commercial Appeal declining comment, but also admitting that she's, "been overwhelmed with everything that is going on."

You can watch more of our exclusive television interview with Paul Stanley by clicking the video link on this page.

Click here to read Stanley's resignation letter.

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