May 06, 2005 08:00 AM

Jennifer Wilbanks, the so-called “Runaway Bride” whose disappearance four days before her wedding sparked a nationwide search, issued a statement Thursday offering a “sincere apology” for her actions.

The apology came five days after it was discovered she fled on her own accord and faked her abduction. Wilbanks, 32, took a bus from her home in Duluth, Ga., to Las Vegas and then to Albuquerque. She initially said that she had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted, but her story quickly collapsed.

In her statement, which was read by her father’s pastor, Rev. Tom Smiley, Wilbanks said that she hadn’t left because of “cold feet,” but that she was driven by “a host of compelling issues, which seemed out of control,” the Associated Press reports.

That mysterious description was at the center of Wilbanks’s message, and the former-bride-to-be did little to clear up what those issues were in the rest of the statement. She did, however, apologize for leaving her fianc , John Mason, in the lurch, and to everyone else whose day – or week – she might have ruined.

“I am truly sorry for the troubles I caused, and I offer my deep and sincere apology,” the statement said.

Wilbanks’s statement also pointed out that her misadventure should not be read as a decision to leave her fianc : “Those who know me know how excited I’ve been, and how excited I was about the spectacular wedding we planned, and how I could not wait to be Mrs. John Mason.”

Wilbanks did not appear at the reading of her statement. She has been in seclusion since her return home, and she is currently seeking professional help, her attorney said.

For more on the "Runaway Bride," pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on sale now.

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