Stufflebeem, who went on to command 6th Fleet and, last year, became director of the Navy Staff, is being dogged by an eight-month affair he had with a female State Department staffer while the two were assigned to the White House in 1990, the Navy Times reported Sunday.
Stufflebeem, then a 37-year-old commander, pretended to be a widower, telling the woman his wife had died of breast cancer and he was raising his two children on his own, the newspaper said. In fact, Stufflebeem was still living with his wife at the time.
An inspector general's report said Stufflebeem had sex with the State Department staffer in sleeping quarters in the White House basement.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead fired Stufflebeem March 21 as director of the Navy Staff.
Stufflebeem told the newspaper he never intentionally misled anybody about the affair.
"It is regrettable that an investigation into an 18-year-old accusation has caused embarrassment to the Navy and my family. It was never my intent to harm or deceive either of them," said Stufflebeem, who has put in paperwork requesting retirement.