Virginia Gov. Northam confirms appearance in racist yearbook photo, apologizes

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has released a statement just hours after a racist image in his yearbook photo gallery surfaced showing two men - one in blackface, and another in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.

The school - Eastern Virginia Medical School - has confirmed that the page from the 1984 student-produced yearbook is real.

MORE DETAILS: Virginia Gov. Northam's yearbook photo shows one man in blackface, another in KKK regalia

The governor's statement offers an apology, but falls short of confirming which man he is in the photo:

"Earlier today, a website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive.

"I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now.

"This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine, and in public service. But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians' faith in that commitment.

"I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused. I am ready to do that important work. The first step is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to be their Governor."