Erika Harold speaks out about controversial gay foster parenting comment

ABC7 Eyewitness News Exclusive

ByCraig Wall via WLS logo
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Erika Harold speaks out about controversial gay foster parenting comment
Erika Harold is a candidate for Illinois attorney general.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Republican attorney general candidate Erika Harold is speaking out for the first time since coming under fire for comments she's accused of making about same-sex couples 18 years ago during a beauty pageant interview.

"I don't remember the specific exchange that was alleged by the anonymous sources," Harold said in her first TV interview since the controversy broke last week. "What I do remember is that at the time I would not have supported same-sex adoption, but what I want to make very clear is my position today, which is I strongly support same-sex adoption and same-sex foster parenting."

Anonymous sources reported that during the 2000 Miss Illinois pageant, Harold said it would be better to place a foster child with a conventional family with an abusive past than to place the child in the home of a stable, same-sex couple.

"I think letting anonymous sources come out and make allegations like that, without putting their names to it so close to an election, doesn't serve the voters well," Harold said. "The other thing that's troubling about it is just two years after the time that this interview occurred, I went on to become Miss Illinois and Miss America, and so nobody has a problem at the time with me representing the organization and being a strong ambassador for it."

Last Friday Harold's primary opponent Gary Grasso called on Harold to apologize and drop out of the race.

"You never choose to put a child in harm's way to be subject to physical abuse, mental abuse, even potential sexual abuse," Grasso said.

"I think that voters will be able to look and realize that we are talking about anonymous allegations made from 20 years ago about something that I'm alleged to have said when I was a college student. And I think that most people realize if they were held to everything they may or may not have said when they were a college student we wouldn't have anybody running for office," Harold said.