Former Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg has separated from his husband, Bryon Hefner, following allegations that Hefner sexually assaulted or harassed several men who had business with the Legislature.
Rosenberg's office confirmed the separation on Thursday morning. The news was first reported by The Boston Globe in a story looking at how Rosenberg's allies see a path for him to return to his former role as president of the state Senate.
Rosenberg, 68, and Hefner, 30, have been a couple since 2008 and were married in 2016.
The Senate was rocked by allegations last month from four unnamed men who said Hefner had sexually assaulted or harassed them. Some of them had professional business with the Legislature and said they feared coming forward partly because they did want to alienate the powerful Senate leader.
Rosenberg is on a leave of absence from his responsibilities as Senate president. He has not been accused of any wrongdoing and has denied any prior knowledge of the allegations against his husband. He also has maintained that Hefner exerted no influence on his actions or decisions as Senate president.
"I think there is a silent majority who hopes Stan is exonerated and can return," Sen. Michael Barrett told the Globe this week. "We really like the change he has brought to the Senate."
But Rosenberg's supporters made it clear that his return to power would be contingent on his being cleared of any wrongdoing in the investigation into the allegations against Hefner.
Hefner is currently undergoing treatment for substance abuse. He has denied the allegations against him.
The Senate Ethics Committee has opened a formal inquiry into the matter. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley have said they are prepared to open a separate, criminal investigation of Hefner if any alleged victims come forward.
The FBI is also reportedly looking into the allegations against Hefner.