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Nashville Mayor Megan Barry Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Back in July of 2017, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry experienced a devastating tragedy in her family with the sudden death of her son Max. He was just 22 years old when he passed away from a drug overdose.

Now, just a few months later, Mayor Barry once again finds herself facing some trying circumstances. On Jan. 31 she faced the Nashville press corps and admitted that she had an extramarital affair with Sgt. Rob Forrest, who was assigned to her security detail during her tenure as mayor.

“This is not my worst day,” Mayor Barry said in a one-on-one interview with “The Tennessean” prior to a press conference about the affair. “I know the difference between a mistake, which is what I made, which I fully own, and a tragedy. This is not a tragedy. And I want to regain the trust of Nashvillians, and I will continue to serve.”

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The news rocked Music City as Mayor Barry has been quite popular among Nashville citizens, including some of the artists who make up the country music industry. In fact, Mayor Barry has close ties to the city’s music community, and has been a frequent participant in many artists’ biggest days. She was on hand when Faith Hill and Tim McGraw got their stars on the Music City Walk of Fame, and she cheered alongside Carrie Underwood as the Nashville Predators went on their championship run 2017. While artists largely refrained  from commenting publicly on her revelation, Mayor Barry sounded as if she has come to terms with how it may affect the relationship she has with so many Nashvillians.

“This is about the fact that we had an affair and it was wrong,” she said in the interview. “We shouldn’t have done it. He was head of my security detail, and as part of that responsibility, you know, I should have gone to the chief and I should have said what was going on … I didn’t, and that was a mistake … I know that God’s going to forgive me, but the citizens of Nashville don’t have to. My hope is that I can earn their forgiveness, and I can earn back their trust and we can do the great work for this city that Nashville deserves.”

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While speculation continues regarding Mayor Barry’s next steps professionally, she declined to comment on how news of her affair has affected her relationship with her husband, Bruce.

“There are some things that are personal,” Mayor Barry said, while confirming that she and Bruce have no plans right now to divorce or even to separate. “Clearly, Bruce and I would love to have privacy on this. These are things that we are working through, and would ask for that. I’m happy to answer all kinds of questions, but I think that there are some pieces of this that are between me and Bruce.”

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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