By late afternoon, the Channel 52 anchor had issued her own confirmation.“I first got to know the mayor at a professional level, where we went on to become friends,” she said.
“The current relationship grew out of our existing friendship.”Salinas said that although she and the mayor “are both public figures, I hope that everyone can understand and respect my desire to maintain my privacy when it comes to personal relationships.”Villaraigosa’s admission cast a fresh shadow over his own personal conduct: He has two adult daughters born out of wedlock and his wife filed for divorce in 1994 over a separate affair for which he later publicly apologized. It may also have damaged his carefully crafted image as a family man, something he has reinforced over the years by appearing with his family in campaign literature and -- until this week -- on the city’s website.
Rouda, a self-described news junkie, said she recalled the chance encounter because it was the night before the funeral of Rosa Parks in Detroit, which she saw reported on television and noticed that Villaraigosa had attended.And it is unclear how the political fallout will treat one of the region’s most recognizable figures.The revelation also raised ethical questions about Salinas’ decision to become involved with a politician she was covering as a journalist. This one sort of transcends the boundaries in any ethical newsroom.”Telemundo executives defended Salinas and noted that she had been moved in August 2006 from her political beat to cover general assignment stories and serve as a backup anchor.“Mirthala Salinas is one of our most respected reporters and a great professional,” said Manuel Abud, Telemundo’s general manager in Los Angeles.Aides said Villaraigosa, who had lost weight, stopped wearing the ring because it was slipping off. The last time Villaraigosa spoke publicly about his personal life was June 11, when he held a news conference to talk about the split with Corina Villaraigosa.At the time, he would say only that he felt a “personal sense of failure” about the breakup and hoped everyone would respect his family’s privacy. But speculation continued to build about Salinas, whose name and picture appeared on Internet blogs, along with allegations that she was pregnant.