Larry Mendte admits to an 'improper' relationship with Alycia Lane

April Saul/Inquirer

Larry Mendte moments ago said he and Alycia Lane had a "flirtatious, unprofessional and improper relationship," which his wife Fox 29's Dawn Stensland discovered when he had left personal e-mails between the pair up on his computer screen at his work when she came to visit him at the office. Once that relationship ended is when Mendte and Lane began feuding, he said. Mendte went on to explain in great detail about how he accessed Lane's emails and admitted sharing information obtained in her e-mails to reporters. He apologized to Lane and asked that the "long mutually destructive feud come to an end. "  Earlier today Mendte plead guilty in U.S. District Court to one felony count of hacking into Lane's personal e-mail account. He'll be sentenced November 24 by U.S. District Judge Mary McLaughlin. Mendte faces up to five years in prison, but sources close to the case suggest it is unlikely he will go to jail. Here's a link to the full transcript of Mendte's statement this evening, but below is the new shocking admission of an inappropriate relationship between the former co-anchors.

This whole episode started five years ago when Alycia Lane came to Philadelphia. Almost immediately, Dawn heard rumors that Alycia and I were a little too close and she should watch out.The rumors were true. Alycia and I had a flirtatious, unprofessional, and improper relationship. Dawn found proof of that relationship when she waited in my office on New Years Day 2005 and read emails that I had left out on my desk, emails between Alycia and me that confirmed her suspicions. Dawn confronted me with the emails. I told her the truth. I told her I loved her, and I apologized. I then immediately stopped having long dinners with Alycia, staying out late with Alycia, and I stopped allowing her to come into my office to do her makeup everyday. The relationship that was once close quickly turned into a personal feud.

Lane's attorney Paul Rosen held his own press conference tonight in which he tore Mendte a new one, calling his behavior "sick and sadistic." Rosen said he refused to discuss any flirtation only Mendte accepting criminal reponsibility. Rosen described Mendte's statement as "an attempt to get good press once more by trying to hurt Alycia Lane." " He has not learned his lesson," Rosen told reporters tonight. Rosen took exception to reports that Mendte will likely not receive jail time and reminded the media that he faces up to five years in prison. Rosen said Mendte must be punished for his actions. When the People Paper's Stu Bykofsky questioned Rosen about Mendte's perceived admission of "adultery", Rosen grew angry, shouting "I didn't hear him say adultery, or sexual affair...He never said one word about an affair" Rosen threatened reporters that anyone who publishes allegations of an affair between Mendte and Lane would be exposed to a lawsuit. Rosen went on to say there were no words Mendte could offer that would possibly undo the harm that he and CBS 3 have caused Lane.

"Larry Mendte, like all CBS 3 employees, was treated professionally and fairly during his tenure here. His allegations are totally without merit," said CBS 3 spokeswoman Joanne Calabria tonight in reaction to Mendte's remarks about station management, which included an assertion that the station sided with Lane in the Mendte/Lane feud and also a claim that CBS 3 general manager Michael Colleran once told Mendte he wished he could have fired him.
This item has been updated.