Michel Friedman, host of a popular television show, on Tuesday broke a month of silence on the sensational case and asked people to understand his decision to keep quiet until now.
Friedman, 48, who gained fame for his show in which he grilled politicians as if they were on trial said, “I have been punished for what I did and I accept the order of summary punishment,” he said of the 17,400 euro ($19,640) fine and a criminal record.
“Drugs offer no assistance in your life’s crises. They mislead you and are dangerous. Yes, I made a mistake. I’m resigning from all my offices,” he said.
Friedman said he was especially sorry for hurting his partner, another television host named Baerbel Schaefer, who recently announced she was ending their relationship. He said he wanted to win back the trust of Schaefer and the public.
“I ask all of you to keep in mind that this incident was not my whole life, that this is not the whole Michel Friedman,” he said. “I’m sorry and ask that you give me a second chance.”
Friedman abruptly cancelled his top-rated show “Watch Out! Friedman!” in early June and disappeared after prosecutors said he was under investigation for drugs possession. Police found cocaine in raids on his home and office.
Known for making politicians squirm, Germany’s attention was focussed on the irony of a tough television host in the hot seat, because of his own foibles.
Friedman’s position as a spokesman for Jews in Germany caused further embarrassment for the community.
Some in his community accused Berlin prosecutors of going after Friedman, because he was Jewish and attacked the media coverage. But other Jewish leaders insisted there was no anti-semitism in the case or in the media.