The Virginia Beach City Councilman thought it was an innocentHalloween costume, but it turned into much more than that.
Councilman Bill DeSteph went to a fundraiser costume party asa "grant three wishes" genie in a lamp he purchased in a localcostume store.
WAVY.com got pictures of DeSteph in what could beconstrued as a sexually suggestive costume, "I took it for what itwas - a genie. I dressed up as a genie, and I don't have anyproblem with that."
But the genie in the lamp costume Desteph wore included thewords "Rub Me" over DeSteph's private area.
WAVY.com asked DeSteph, "Do you think it's appropriate tohave the words "rub me" on the costume where theyappear?" DeSteph replied, "As a Genie, no. It's on a genie'slamp, so I don't see any problem with that. It's on a genie'slamp."
The picture was taken October 24, at old Cavalier Hotelduring "The Monster Mash" which is an annual benefit raising moneyfor The Seton Youth Shelters for abused children.
WAVY.com contacted Seton's Executive Director Paul Saley byphone, "If the issue is that it is a person in a position ofresponsibility, then I think it's poor judgment." Saleydoes not remember the "rub me" part of the costume, but doesremember the genie at the party.
In fact after the party, DeSteph himself got a complaint. "Ihad a young lady call me after the party. She thought the costumecould be construed in a different way. I told her that was not theintent of the costume or anything like that. It was a geniein a lamp."
WAVY.com received the picture because people construed it asinappropriate.
They said, "How about those who think it's offensive for acity councilman in an elective position to be wearing "rub me,"which could be suggestive for people to rub you where the wordsappear."
"Well for those I apologize, but it was meant as a genie in alamp. If they took it the wrong way I apologize, but it was meantto be a genie in a lamp. Nothing provocative or nothingotherwise."
Saley says people in his position are always held to a higherstandard. "As executive director of The Seton House, I wouldnot wear that costume as a role model or as a person of position.It's poor judgment."
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