Man who criticized anchorwoman Jennifer Livingston’s weight expresses regret

Lia Grainger
Shine On

When Kenneth Krause wrote an email to local Wisconsin television anchor Jennifer Livingston ridiculing her weight, there's no way he could have expected the international backlash that ensued. And now, after initially standing by his remarks, it seems the Wisconson security guard is finally beginning to repent.

Krause's original email chided the WKBT newswoman for her size, questioning whether she was a "a suitable example for this community's young people, girls in particular" and reminding her that "obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain."

Livingston fired back with a four and a half minute on-air retort that aired on Tuesday morning, calling out Krause for what she described as bullying and shaming. She acknowledged that she was fat — even obese — but went on to say, "To the person who wrote me that letter, do you think I don't know that?"

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She also spoke at length about bullying as a learnt behaviour, something children see at home and repeat at school.

"If you are at home and you are talking about the fat news lady, guess what? Your children are probably going to go to school and call someone fat. We need to teach our children to be kind, not critical, and we need to do that by example."

Livingston's speech quickly went viral, inspiring thousands of emails and Facebook comments, and more than a few angry comments directed at Krause.

But at first Krause was unrepentant. As a Facebook image of Krause posing by a mountain bike with biceps bulging began circling the web, the suddenly infamous Wisconson security guard issued the following response.

"Given this country's present epidemic of obesity and the many truly horrible diseases related thereto, and considering Jennifer Livingston's fortuitous position in the community, I hope she will finally take advantage of a rare and golden opportunity to influence the health and psychological well-being of Coulee Region children by transforming herself for all of her viewers to see over the next year, and, to that end, I would be absolutely pleased to offer Jennifer any advice or support she would be willing to accept."

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Livingston subsequently appearing on the Good Morning America with her husband, WKBT anchor Mike Thompson, who questioned why Krause would attack someone he knows nothing about.

"He doesn't know that she has a condition, a thyroid condition, that makes it harder for her to lose weight. He doesn't know any of that," says Thompson of his wife, who is a triathlete and runner. "He just decided to attack her for no reason."

Livingston's Hollywood actor brother, Office Space star Ron Livingston, even came forward, applauding his sister for her bravery.

"My sister Jennifer … brings an exceptional dedication to her job, her family, and her community, and has been a role model of mine for many, many years," her brother says in a statement to People magazine.

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Well, it seems all the public shunning is finally having an effect on Krause. In his first public comments since the email, he tells ABC News that he did not intend to hurt Livingston.

"If she is offended, I truly apologize to Jennifer," Krause tells ABC News' Alex Perez.  "That's the last thing I ever wanted to do."

He even went so far as to sympathize with the news anchor and her weight issues, saying, "I was obese as a child.  I've been fighting all my life." In the end, he admitted that if he could have a do-over, "It's possible I would revise a few things."

Nooooo kidding.