Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is apologizing after an old audio interview from her time as a student at Auburn University surfaced with her former fiancé describing her as having “black paint all over her face.”
For Ivey’s part, she was open and resolute about her apology, stating that while she did not remember the incident she “will not deny the obvious,” NBC News reports.
Ivey went so far in her apology as to send out copies of the controversial recording to the media.
“I fully acknowledge — with genuine remorse — my participation in a skit like that back when I was a senior in college,” she said in a statement. “While some may attempt to excuse this as acceptable behavior for a college student during the mid-1960s, that is not who I am today, and it is not what my Administration represents all these years later.”
“I offer my heartfelt apologies for the pain and embarrassment this causes, and I will do all I can — going forward — to help show the nation that the Alabama of today is a far cry from the Alabama of the 1960s,” she added. “We have come a long way, for sure, but we still have a long way to go.”
According to NBC, Ivey and her then-fiancé Ben LaRavia sat down for the student radio interview in 1967. It was LaRavia who described her role in the blackface skit which took place at a Baptists Student Union Party in the same year.
“As I look at my fiance across the room, I can see her that night,” LaRavia said in the interview. “She had on a pair of blue coveralls and she had put some black paint all over her face and we were acting out this skit called ‘Cigar Butts.'”
Ivey, who was the university’s student body vice president at the time was crawling on the floor looking for cigar butts as a part of the skit, which, LaRavia chuckled “certainly got a big reaction out of the audience.”