His first interview did him more harm than good. On Nov. 14, Jerry Sandusky spoke via phone with NBC’s Bob Costas and effectively admitted to “horsing around” with a young boy in the Penn State showers. But now the former Penn State defensive coordinator has gone on the record again, this time in a sit-down interview with the New York Times, carefully patrolled by his lawyer, Joseph Amendola.
With a sigh of exasperation in his voice, Sandusky sounded off: “These allegations are false. I didn’t do those things!” Through the course of the lengthy four-hour interview, Sandusky said that former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno never confronted him about the allegations, though Paterno was reportedly alerted about two separate alleged incidents 1998 and 2002.
In recent months Sandusky has been dogged by the allegations that he abused a number of young boys over a period of 15 years. He’s been officially charged on 40 counts of molesting eight boys, though more accusers have emerged since the scandal broke. In the interview with the Times, Sandusky continued to deny the charges against him – but he still managed to cloud the waters about his relationship with the young people he encountered through his Second Mile charity organization.
Sandusky sounded off about his disastrous interview with Costas, in which he hemmed and hawed when asked point blank if he was sexually attracted to young boys. He explained his hesitation was out of disbelief. “I was sitting there saying, ‘What in the world is this question?’” he said. He didn’t want to deny his attraction to young people, he noted, because it would be simply untrue. “I’m attracted to young people – boys, girls,” he explained, before Amendola, his lawyer, cut him off to point out the term in question was “sexual attraction.” Amendola interjected: “Yeah, but not sexually – you’re attracted because you enjoy spending time…”
Sandusky explained that he often gave money to the disadvantaged kids that his organization helped. He gave them gifts and invited them to football games. Sandusky defended his decades of working with children, explaining that the most difficult part of the allegations against him is the alienation. “I miss coaching. I miss Second Mile. I miss Second Mile kids. I miss interrelationships with all kinds of people. I miss my own grandkids… good grief.”