After denying that she had vaped inside a Colorado theater before getting kicked out for disruptive behavior along with her date on Sunday, all caught on video, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert issued a public statement Friday evening addressing the incident.
While a more recently released video showed Boebert apparently fondling her date and her date groping her breasts during a Denver musical production of Beetlejuice, Boebert made no mention of it in her apology, only addressing her vaping during the performance and causing a general disruption, which a campaign spokesperson had previously claimed was smoke from a machine that was part of the special effects system for the show.
“Whether it was the excitement of seeing a much-anticipated production or the natural anxiety of being in a new environment, I genuinely did not recall vaping that evening when I discussed the night’s events with my campaign team while confirming my enthusiasm for the musical,” the Colorado Republican congresswoman claimed in the statement. “Regardless of my belief, it’s clear now that was not accurate; it was not my or my campaign’s intention to mislead, but we do understand the nature of how this looks.”
Boebert’s unbecoming behavior was influenced by her ongoing divorce proceeding, she said.
“The past few days have been difficult and humbling, and I’m truly sorry for the unwanted attention my Sunday evening in Denver has brought to the community,” Boebert wrote.
There’s no perfect blueprint for going through a public and difficult divorce, which over the past few months has made for a challenging personal time for me and my entire family. I’ve tried to handle it with strength and grace as best I can, but I simply fell short of my values on Sunday. That’s unacceptable and I’m sorry.”
Boebert, 36, has continually cast LGBTQ+ people, particularly transgender individuals and drag queens, as sexual deviants whose existence in public spaces inherently “sexualizes” the space to the point that they must be barred from it to protect children’s innocence.
In her statement, Boebert didn’t address the fact that the video showed her groping 46-year-old Quinn Gallagher’s crotch in the packed city-owned Buell Theatre, for the show which is recommended for audiences older than 10 years. Gallagher owns a bar that has previously held drag shows.
“The past few days have been difficult and humbling, and I’m truly sorry for the unwanted attention my Sunday evening in Denver has brought to the community,” Boebert wrote. “While none of my actions or words as a private citizen that night were intended to be malicious or meant to cause harm, the reality is they did, and I regret that.”
Boebert and her companion were confronted by theater officials at their seats inside the Buell Theater, as previously shown in video footage obtained by Denver NBC affiliate KUSA. After a brief conversation, they were escorted out of the theater.
The security camera footage also captures Boebert taking flash photographs, dancing, and using a vape pen inside the theater. Subsequently, she left the venue after theater staff threatened to call police. Initially, Boebert jokingly attributed the incident to “laughing and singing too loudly” and denied vaping, suggesting that the smoke came from the theater’s fog machine. However, a separate video contradicted this claim, showing Boebert using her vape pen and blowing smoke toward the audience.
The Advocate reached out to a spokesperson for Boebert to ask about her behavior in light of her continuing attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, including the false “groomer” smear, but did not receive a response.