- Ashton was the lead prosecutor in the Casey Anthony murder trial
- He denies using government equipment to connect to the cheating website
- "While I indulged my curiosity about the site, it never went beyond that," Ashton says
Jeff Ashton is the state attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit in Florida. He was the lead prosecutor in the murder trial of Anthony
, who was accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter in 2008.
"Two years ago, I was curious about the Ashley Madison website, and I used my personal credit card to sign up for the site. I deeply regret my affiliation with the site, which has caused a great amount of stress and heartache to my wife and children. I want to publicly apologize to each of them for this embarrassment and for my blatant disregard for their feelings," he told reporters.
Ashton denied using government equipment to connect to the site. He also said he did not meet anyone and did not have an affair.
"While I indulged my curiosity about the site, it never went beyond that," he said.
"These were incredibly stupid choices. I ask for the public's forgiveness for my shortcomings, but those choices have had absolutely no impact on the performance of my official duties. I regret that I have given ammunition to those who seek to discredit the work our office does. I am proud of the work, and what we've accomplished thus far, but today I'm not very proud of myself."
Ashley Madison, which is owned by Avid Life Media, is designed to help married people cheat on their spouses. Hackers stole customers' information from the website and released it to the public.
Ashton is not the first person to be forced to apologize in the wake of the data dump. After being outed as one of the 32 million people who used the cheating website, reality TV star Josh Duggar said he had been "the biggest hypocrite ever"