MANHATTAN — Former Mets general manager and ESPN baseball analyst Steve Phillips spoke out Monday for the first time since checking himself into a sex addiction clinic.
Phillips, 46, told the NBC's TODAY Show he accepted blame for the workplace affair that cost him his job and possibly his marriage.
"People look at sex addiction as an excuse; it’s not an excuse. I’m fully responsible for everything that I did and accept responsibility for that,” Phillips said in an interview with Matt Lauer.
Phillips was let go by ESPN in October after an affair with a female production assistant became public last August. Phillips’ affair with 22-year-old Brooke Hundley came to light after she began stalking Phillips and his wife after the former Mets GM ended the relationship.
According to a police report filed in Wilton, Conn., Hundley began calling Phillips' wife on Aug. 5 after the Phillips broke off the affair, and sent her a letter graphically describing their relationship and Phillips' birthmarks.
Marni Phillips called police on Hundley on Aug. 15 and eventually filed for divorce from her husband in September.
Phillips spent several months in the Gentle Path sex addiction program at the same Mississippi treatment center that golfer Tiger Woods was reportedly treated at. He completed a 12-step program likened to an Alcholics Anonymous program.
Phillips’ claims he knew he had a problem with sex addiction before the affair was made public.
"I started calling facilities in August, well before everything blew up, and before there really was a problem where I ended up losing my job,” Phillips told Lauer. "I knew I had a problem; I needed to get help.”
The ESPN affair was not the first transgression in Phillips’ marriage.
In 1998, while he was the general manager of the New York Mets, a co-worker filed a sexual harassment suit against him that forced him to take a brief leave of absence from his job. The case was settled out of court and Phillips was able to repair his marriage with counseling.
His marriage may not survive this affair.
"I’ve broken my wife’s heart," Phillips told NBC. "I’ve damaged her and our relationship in a terrible way."