Dottie Sandusky, the wife of convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky, maintained her husband's innocence in an interview with Matt Lauer aired Wednesday on NBC's "Today" show
It was her first-ever television interview, and she spoke from her home in State College, Pa.
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"Do I believe him? I definitely believe him," Sandusky told Lauer. "Because if I didn't believe him, when I testified at trial, I could have not said what I said. I would have had to tell the truth."
Jerry Sandusky, 70, the former Penn State assistant football coach, has been in a Pennsylvania maximum security prison since June 2012 when he was found guilty on 45 of 48 charges of sexually abusing young boys
over a 15-year period. In October of that year, he was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.
"There was nothing that went on because I was here," Dottie Sandusky said.
At one point, Lauer asked about a Washington Post story in which Melinda Henneberger wrote, "It's a shame that Dottie Sandusky doesn't have a cell of her own next to her notorious husband. We know that predators prey on the more vulnerable. They also tend to choose spouses who can be counted on to suppress any unpleasant ideas that might occur to them."
"I'm not a weak spouse," Sandusky told Lauer. "As you know ... they call me 'Sarge' because Jerry said I kept everybody in line. If they want to say that, let them say that. I know who I am. And I know who Jerry is. And I know he did not do the horrible crimes that he's convicted of. That's one thing I was taught by my parents. And that's something that we've taught our kids, to always be truthful."
Sandusky said she believes the witnesses were coerced.
"I think they were manipulated and they saw money," she told Lauer. "And once lawyers came into the case they said there was money."
When asked whether she felt her husband was ever behaved inappropriately, Sandusky said no.
"I believe he showered with kids," she said. "That's the generation that Jerry grew up in."
In October, Penn State University announced it had paid $59.7 million in out-of-court settlements
to the 26 victims.
"We hope this is another step forward in the healing process for those hurt by Mr. Sandusky, and another step forward for Penn State," University President Rodney Erickson said in a statement. "We cannot undo what has been done, but we can and must do everything possible to learn from this and ensure it never happens again at Penn State."
The Sanduskys got married in 1966 and have six adopted children.
The Sandusky scandal and subsequent cover-up also brought down legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who was fired for not taking appropriate action. He died of cancer in Jan. 22, 2012.
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