RICHMOND, VA—Apologizing profusely for his youthful indiscretions, embattled Virginia governor Ralph Northam admitted Wednesday that he once engaged in pedophilia as part of a Michael Jackson costume. “I think it’s important to put my actions into context—I was a huge Michael Jackson fan at the time and winning that contest was very important to me, so I learned the dance moves, wore the clothes, and molested kids,” said Northam, adding that the thought of imitating the King of Pop without performing Michael Jackson’s signature move had struck him as disingenuous. “It was all in good fun—and honestly, how many people would have recognized me as Michael Jackson if I wasn’t committing acts of pedophilia? Virtually no one. Would I do it now? Of course not. I’d probably just go out and buy a chimp. Listen, I loved Michael Jackson, and I never meant to offend. It was supposed to be a tribute.” At press time, Northam claimed that he would have come clean about the pedophilia sooner had he not been so strung out on powerful sedatives.