Greensboro, N.C. - Mayor Robbie Perkins spoke out Friday morning, defending his personal life and financial troubles. Perkins said he was tired of people whispering behind his back and wanted to set the record straight. Earlier this week, Perkins came in second to Nancy Vaughn during the mayoral primary race.
Perkins recently went through a divorce, filed for bankruptcy and faced criticism for his unpaid debts. However, at his apartment Friday morning, Perkins said he had shelled out about $78,000 to his family since January.
"I want to stop people saying that Robbie Perkins is a deadbeat dad. I am not a deadbeat dad. I don't know anybody that has paid $78,000 over ten months of the year that can be considered a deadbeat dad. That's just not factual. It needs to stop," Perkins said. "I'm making payments. I'm making payments based on whatever I can pay. I don't have lines of credit out there that I can borrow the money from. So, when I get paid, my family gets paid."
Perkins also admitted the news stories about his personal finances may have alienated some people in Greensboro, especially women. "There are a lot of women that frankly have had difficult situations with people not paying them. I'm not one of them," Perkins said.
Perkins makes his living as a commercial realtor. He said the weak economy has contributed significantly to his financial situation. "With the impact of the divorce, and the business deterioration at the same time, I had no choice but to file for bankruptcy. I did that. I'm moving on. But, I have not shirked any responsibilities toward my minor child or my former spouse."
Perkins is the father of five children, but only one of those children is a minor.
WFMY News 2 reached out to Nancy Vaughn on Friday, but Vaughn declined to comment.
Perkin's ex-wife, Carole Perkins, emailed WFMY News 2 this statement:
"I appreciate you giving me a chance to tell my side of the story in regards to Robbie's press release about his personal finances and relationship with his family. The truth is in the public records at the Guilford County Courthouse in Judge Menethee's ruling in February, 2013 and most recently in Judge Foster's ruling in August, 2013."
High Point University Assistant Professor Dr. Linda Gretton said it's unclear how Robbie Perkins' news conference will affect his political future. "The idea of being visible, of opening up everything that's in front of you, this is what I have, is probably a good strategic move," Dr. Gretton said. "It could also be very dangerous, because the more you give, the more you put out, the more people want to know. If you aren't prepared to back that up with substance and go back to the issues, then people are probably going to question your motivation."