5:06 PM PT -- Rep. Lauren Boebert is breaking her silence on the theater incident, saying ... "The past few days have been difficult and humbling, and I'm truly sorry for the unwanted attention my Sunday evening in Denver has brought to the community. While none of my actions or words as a private citizen that night were intended to be malicious or meant to cause harm, the reality is they did and I regret that."
In a statement Friday, Boebert cites her ongoing divorce as a factor, saying she's tried to handle it with "strength and grace" only to "fall short of my values" at the theater.
She's also explaining why she initially said she wasn't vaping, despite video evidence to the contrary, saying ... "Whether it was the excitement of seeing a much-anticipated production or the natural anxiety of being in a new environment, I genuinely did not recall vaping that evening when I discussed the night's events with my campaign team while confirming my enthusiasm for the musical."
Now, Boebert says she was vaping and it was never her intention to mislead the public, adding ... "We do understand the nature of how this looks."
She says she has work to do to earn back trust and she's vowing to do better moving forward.
Rep. Lauren Boebert's night inside a Denver theater was way more handsy than it initially appeared -- new video shows her groping her date's crotch as he aggressively paws at her breast.
In the new surveillance video clip -- recorded Sunday night during a performance of "Beetlejuice" -- Boebert's date first reaches over to fondle her right breast, and almost immediately she puts a hand in between his legs.
The groping of her chest continues throughout the clip, and eventually the U.S. Congresswoman puts her other hand in his crotch as well.
As we previously reported, other clips revealed Boebert was also illegally vaping inside the theater -- something she had denied -- and that eventually got her and her date kicked out of the performance. For good measure, she flipped off a theater employee on the way out.
Boebert is, of course, a staunch and vocal Trump Republican -- but her date is reportedly an Aspen bar owner ... and a Democrat. If only we could get this kind of bipartisan cooperation in Washington.
Pick your controversy here folks, but the biggest takeaway we see is: Who knew "Beetlejuice" was such a turn-on??? This should do wonders for future ticket sales.