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Despite his work in finding justice for the family of Trayvon MartinRev. Al Sharpton’sbiggest media moment in recent times happened because of the announcement that 58-year-old civil rights activist is dating 35-year-old stylist Aisha McShaw, which garnered heavy criticism from the disapproving public.

Over the last few weeks, Sharpton and McShaw have been photographed arm-in-arm on several high profile events, stirring up anger with critical fans who complain that McShaw is too young for Sharpton. Sharpton is also being criticized for dating McShaw while still being legally married to his wife, Kathy Jordan. They married in 1980 and separated in 2004.

However, according to Rumor Fix, Sharpton’s publicist, Rachel Noerdlinger, claims that Sharpton is perplexed by all of the scrutiny and criticism.

“His exact words to me were, ‘Rachel, I’m not announcing an engagement or a marriage. Don’t I have a right to date when my marriage has been over for a decade?’” said Noerdlinger.