COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Oct. 17 (AP)--A top official and radio announcer for Focus on the Family said he has resigned from the conservative Christian group because he had an extramarital affair.
Mike Trout abruptly quit last week. In an interview Monday with The Gazette, he admitted to an "inappropriate relationship with a woman other than his wife and had no choice but to resign from a ministry that stresses the sanctity of marriage."
Trout, 53, is best known as the on-air partner of the founder and leader of the ministry, James Dobson. Dobson is a key figure in the conservative Christian movement and earlier this year criticized George W. Bush, claiming the Republican presidential candidate was sacrificing conservative values to appeal to a broader base.
The ministry has declined to discuss the factors behind Trout's resignation, citing legal and privacy concerns.
Trout, who has been married for 31 years, declined to discuss details of the extramarital relationship, but said that the woman was not a Focus on the Family employee and that the relationship was over.
The $116-million-a-year evangelical group relies almost entirely on donations from supporters who have come to trust figures such as Dobson and Trout.
Trout emphasized Monday that the blame lies with him.
"As people think about this situation, reflect on me, don't reflect on Focus on the Family," he said. "This is exactly what I described it as--a personal problem, not a corporate problem. This is a cancer in my own life, not in the ministry of Focus on the Family."