BOSTON — Former Massachusetts Senate president William Bulger said Friday he doesn’t condone the actions of his older brother, convicted Boston mobster James ‘‘Whitey’’ Bulger, but has been visiting him weekly in jail.
The situation ‘‘has been a source of great anguish,’’ Bulger said in an interview with Boston’s WCVB-TV.
Whitey Bulger was sentenced Thursday to two life terms after a jury convicted him in August in a broad racketeering case that included 11 killings in the 1970s and ‘80s, along with dozens of other gangland crimes, including shakedowns and money laundering.
William Bulger said he always knew ‘‘there was fact and fiction’’ about his brother, who he said fervently denied that all of the charges against him were true.
‘‘I don’t try to sort it out any longer. I just try to be a brother,’’ he said.
William Bulger, 79, said he was shocked by some of the things that came out at his 84-year-old brother’s trial. William Bulger didn’t attend the trial, though some of his children and another brother did. He did attend Whitey’s arraignment after his 2011 arrest in California following 16 years as a fugitive.
Bulger said he and Whitey never talked specifically about the case during their recorded jail visit conversations.
‘‘He knew he would not emerge from this,’’ Bulger said, and ‘‘the gravity of the accusations’’ was clearly recognized.
William Bulger said he will continue his weekly visits to his brother as long as he can.