The spurned lover of Alabama’s married Secretary of State has released explicit audio and text messages describing in graphic detail their trysts – forcing him to abandon a possible run for the U.S. Senate, a day after he said her story was ‘baseless’.
John Merrill, a Republican who has promoted himself as a ‘family values’ conservative, admitted on Thursday a three-year extramarital affair with Cesaire McPherson.
His admission came a day after he told a local radio station that her claims were ‘baseless’, describing her as a stalker who harassed him.
McPherson, a 44-year-old legal assistant from Montgomery, revealed the affair to the online blog National File, saying it started in November 2017 and ended in November 2020.
In one text message, she is begging him for sex, to which he replies: ‘I can’t talk anymore I will talk soon.’
She described in vivid detail her sexual encounters with the secretary of state in his marital bed. One at least one occasion, she recorded the two of them having sex.
In the recording, McPherson asks Merrill if ‘the last time that he had sex’ was ‘the last time ever?’
‘Well, it was a pretty good day,’ Merrill is heard telling her.
John Merrill, Alabama’s Republican secretary of state, acknowledged that he carried on a nearly one-year extramarital affair with Cesaire McPherson, a 44-year-old legal assistant from Montgomery, from November 2017 until November 2020. Merrill and McPherson are photographed together at the State Capitol in November 2018 – a year after the affair started
McPherson said that she and Merrill, 57, would have sex in his marital bed. Merrill is seen right with his wife, Cindy Benford Merrill, in this November 2019 photo
When she asks again if ‘that’s the last time ever,’ he replies: ‘It’s supposedly the last time ever.’
She tells him: ‘You know it’s not going to be.’
McPherson then asks Merrill about specific acts they did in several locations, including a local inn, her house, and his apartment.
Merrill said that he hoped to draw strength from God to end the affair.
‘I am not able to stay away from you, so that’s the reason why I have to have help in order to do that … the help is coming from the Lord,’ Merrill said.
‘You already went against your marriage … So you’ve already done it, you can’t take that back, you can’t change it,’ McPherson said.
‘Can’t take anything back. Can’t change anything. All I can do is what I can do from today forward,’ he responded.
Local news website AL.com played the full audio to Merrill, and he finally confessed.
On Thursday they then released a portion of the 17-minute clip.
McPherson (pictured above in December) released audio recordings of phone conversations as well as sexts between her and Merrill
The text messages released by McPherson describe explicit sexual acts involving accessories
McPherson said in her interview with National File that Merrill asked her to buy clothes pins because ‘he wanted me to put them on his nipples.’
She also claimed he liked ‘the top of his c*** to be bit’ and that he ‘always liked a finger up his a**.’
‘When I’d s*** his c***, he’d want me to put both of his b**** in my mouth and put my finger up his a**,’ she told National File.
‘And his left b*** is smaller than his right one, and it’s weird. It’s so weird.’
She also described using a ‘b*** plug,’ saying: ‘Yeah, he liked stuff up his a**, yeah.’
McPherson said that she initiated the relationship with Merrill by contacting him through social media.
‘I started it, sending messages… For some reason I just got bored one night and I was sending the text messages and I said maybe we should go have lunch or something,’ she said.
‘And he said, ‘or something’? And I was like, okay. So, it was from like November until January, we’d just send text messages back.
‘Then in January we started to just like over Facebook video just showing each other our body and doing things, and then when he met me for the second time in person and realized that I really am, I’m a very sexy kind of person, and I can’t help it.
‘I just am.
‘It was July 2019, and then we’d just, he’d come over Sunday night, Monday night, sometimes Tuesday nights if she (his wife) didn’t come into town and stay in the apartment with him because he would have to be there with her.
‘And mostly Wednesday and Thursday. Sunday, Monday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and then if he had a weekend…I stayed at his house twice.
‘I went and spent the night, and then I slept in her bed and had sex in her bed.’
McPherson also alleges that Merrill would often make racist remarks about African-Americans.
‘He might act like he likes black people, but he’s really racist. Real bad racist…(He would say) ‘The colored folks. He was loved by all the coloreds…And they go around thinking everything is supposed to be theirs, and given to them, and all this and that…the black people should be appreciative’.’
Merrill, who initially denied allegations of an affair and accused McPherson of ‘stalking’ and ‘harassing,’ reversed himself and admitted that they did indeed have ‘an inappropriate relationship,’ according to AL.com.
John Merrill married his wife, Cindy Benford Merrill, in 1985. They have two children – Brooks Merill and Allie Grace Merrill. The image above was posted in December 2020
‘It’s clear that I had an inappropriate relationship with her, and it is not something that I am proud of or something that is something that – I’m very disappointed in myself,’ Merrill (pictured above with his wife) said
John Merrill married his wife, Cindy Benford Merrill, in 1985. They have two children – Brooks Merill and Allie Grace Merrill.
On their wedding anniversary, John Merrill tweeted: ’28 years ago today, Cindy Benford & I were married @ Calvary Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa.
‘That decision has made all the difference for me.’
DailyMail.com has sought comment from McPherson, John Merrill, and Cindy Merrill.
Merrill was expected to run for the US Senate seat from Alabama that is being vacated by the retiring Senator Richard Shelby in 2022. Merrill was likely to compete against the pro-Trump congressman, Mo Brooks.
‘I will obviously not be a candidate for the United States Senate nor will I be seeking any other elected position in 2022, because I think it’s important to me to make sure that I become the man that I have been before and that I am working to put myself in the position to be the leader that I have been before, as a husband, as a father, as a friend and as an elected official,’ Merrill said in a statement.
Merrill was elected secretary of state of Alabama in 2014 and then re-elected in 2018. Alabama law places a two-term limit on the office.
‘With the end of my term coming up in January of 2023, I have been presented with a variety of options for where my path in public service could lead,’ a statement from his office read.
‘I have decided that I will not be a candidate for any office in 2022.’
McPherson leaked audio of a 17-minute phone conversation she had with Merrill in October 2020.
McPherson released a 17-minute recorded phone conversation with Merrill in which the secretary of state is heard saying that he needed to summon ‘help from the Lord’ to end the affair
McPherson also alleges that Merrill made racist comments about African-Americans
In the recording, the two discuss several sex acts that they performed during the dozens of encounters they had over the course of three years.
Merrill heard a portion of the recording. He told AL.com that ‘there’s no excuse’ for his affair.
‘It’s clear that I had an inappropriate relationship with her, and it is not something that I am proud of or something that is something that – I’m very disappointed in myself,’ Merrill said.
‘I’m also disappointed that I allowed my family to be embarrassed by this action,’ he said.
During his career, Merrill has made several controversial statements denouncing ‘homosexual activities’ and ‘wife swap shows’ that were supposedly responsible for degradation in America
After Merrill confirmed the affair, Governor Kay Ivey released a statement on Thursday saying: ‘It is always unfortunate when someone in public life, especially an elected official, betrays the trust of his family, his constituents and those who have supported him.
‘My thoughts and prayers are with all who have been negatively impacted by these poor decisions and bad choices.’
In 2015, Merrill denied allegations made by a woman that she performed oral sex on him five years earlier – though he did admit to kissing her and allowing her to fondle him.
During his career, Merrill has made several controversial statements denouncing ‘homosexual activities’ and ‘wife swap shows’ that were supposedly responsible for degradation in America.
In 2010, he was elected to the state House of Representatives, where he served until he won the secretary of state seat in 2014.
In reflecting on how the affair has essentially destroyed his career, Merrill told AL.com: ‘I hope someone can use me as an example of how they have the opportunity to accomplish things, but because of poor choices and poor decisions in things, it can result in a negative impact for a lot of people that you did not intend to impact.
‘That’s because I exercised poor choices and poor discipline. Maybe some good can come out of this for somebody else.’