United States men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter has alleged he was the victim of a blackmail scheme to bring about the end of his coaching tenure.

Berhalter said he and his now-wife Rosalind had an argument four months after they first met and started dating in the fall of 1991. He said he kicked her in the legs, calling it “a shameful moment and one that I regret to this day.”

Berhalter said he and Rosalind told their friends and family members what had happened but didn’t go to the local authorities. He also said he “sought out counseling to help learn, grow and improve—one of the most valuable decisions that I ever made.”

The couple reconciled seven months later and has been together since then.