Videos showed Finland’s 36-year-old leader Marin dancing with friends in private.
“These videos are private and were shot in a private room. I resent that they became public knowledge,” Marin told reporters in Kuopio, Finland.
“I spent a night with my friends. We only celebrated, also left out. I danced and sang,” she said.
The footage shows Marin and five others posing and dancing in front of a camera. Another clip appears to show Marin on the floor singing towards the camera.
This had prompted some of Marin’s opponents to criticize her behavior as unworthy of a prime minister. Mikko Karna, an opposition MP, tweeted that Marin should take a drug test.
Marin told reporters that alcohol was consumed, but she was not aware of any drug use during the party.
Supporters have since defended it and accused critics of using double standards.
“Why can’t she party after work? Do we expect our leaders not to be human?” tweeted Ashok Swain, professor of peace and conflict studies at Sweden’s Uppsala University.
Marin has denied that leaking the videos was part of an extortion scheme. “I will not be blackmailed. These are private videos and they should not be public,” the Prime Minister said, adding, “They will be filmed this summer and at a private home. I won’t say whose house it is.”
It’s not the first time that Marin’s private life has been politicized in Finland. She previously apologized to the public in 2021 after a photo of her emerged at a nightclub after the Finnish foreign minister tested positive for Covid-19.
“I did wrong. I should have taken a closer look at the situation,” Marin said in a television interview with public broadcaster Yle at the time.
But she also said she was an “individual, a person, a real person too, even though I’m Prime Minister. So I will not change my behavior. Of course I have to be careful what I say because it can be represented as a whole government, but I’m still a person and I will be in the future.”