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CHICAGO _ Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson on Thursday announced that he will take time off from public life to "revive my spirit and reconnect with my family" after admitting that he fathered a child with a woman who worked for his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.
Facing imminent publication of a story in the National Enquirer, Jackson after midnight Wednesday released a short statement acknowledging an extramarital relationship and the child, who is now 20 months old.
"This is no time for evasions, denials or alibis," Jackson's statement said. "I fully accept responsibility and I am truly sorry for my actions."
According to his spokesman, the girl and her mother, who now reside in California, receive $3,000 a month in child support.
"As her mother does, I love this child very much and have assumed responsibility for her emotional and financial support since she was born," Jackson said in his statement.
Jackson, a 59-year-old Baptist minister who has been married for 38 years, spent Thursday out of public view, accepting visits to his South Side home from a string of ministers, Rainbow/PUSH colleagues and family members, including two visits from his congressman son.
A meeting of the Chicago-based Rainbow/PUSH Coalition is scheduled for Friday, board members said. What Jackson's planned break …