Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson advises Christian politician Vance McAllister to stay out of limelight after kissing affair
Republican Congressman Vance McAllister, who was caught on camera kissing a married member of his staff team, has sought the counsel of Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson following the revelation of his transgressions.
The Ouachita Citizen was the first to report on the story, revealing surveillance footage that shows McAllister - who has three children with his wife of 16 years - passionately kissing Melissa Peacock for nearly thirty seconds.
McAllister has spoken extensively about his Christian faith in the past, and even made it central to his political campaigns.
"Many people make light of my spiritual faith, but that is okay with me," McAllister told a local newspaper in November. "I know the blessing that I have received from the good Lord and the inner peace that comes from being a believer."
One campaign commercial saw McAllister declaring: "If you want to talk to me about my faith, I will. It's who I am; I'm not hiding from it."
According to ABC news, McAllister repeatedly drew upon a close friendship with Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson to endorse his bid for the Louisiana congressional seat in 2013, a relationship to which many attribute his eventual success, and the congressman is now once again turning to the reality TV star for help.
In a statement, McAllister has said he is asking "for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve".
"Trust is something I know has to be earned whether you're a husband, a father or a congressman. I promise to do everything I can to earn back the trust of everyone I've disappointed," he writes.
"While I realise I serve the public, I would appreciate the privacy given to my children as we get through this."
ABC reports that this statement follows advice that the disgraced congressman received from Robertson himself.
"Willie told me that he was a friend and that I needed to work things out privately," he told the Monroe News Star.
Not everyone is as convinced about McAllister's steadfast faith as the Duck Dynasty star, however. Melissa Peacock's husband, Heath, told CNN: "I know his beliefs. When he ran one of his commercials, he said 'I need your prayers,' and I asked, 'When did you get religious?' He said, 'When I needed votes.'
"He broke out the religious card and he's about the most non-religious person I know."
Peacock and his wife are said to be getting a divorce in light of the affair.