(NYDAILYNEWS) — The ultraconservative Arizona sheriff accused of threatening his ex-boyfriend with deportation said Monday that he’s the victim.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that his former lover “wanted to harm me.”

The lawman, who has said that he is gay, was accused on Friday of pressuring a man identified only as “Jose” to keep quiet about their relationship or be booted from the country, according to a Phoenix New Times story.

The sheriff admitted that he had a relationship with the man, whom he identified as a former worker on his campaign for the 4th Congressional District.

“We had been seeing each other privately and for some time, close to three years, simply dating,” he told Blitzer.

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