The sex scandal surrounding General David Petraeus and his follower Paula Broadwell has managed to pretty much successfully dominate the media market for stories about powerful men failing to behave in a sexually responsible manner. Yet another, far more embarrassing and long-running sex scandal has also been playing out at the same time – a scandal so torrid you may have trouble believing what you’re reading. Fortunately for the subject, it’s a scandal from the past that only recently came to light because of the release of divorce papers.
Meet Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), the man allegedly at the center of this supposed scandal:
Rep. DesJarlais, who is also a doctor, made the unfortunately rather common decision to cheat on his wife before assuming office.
However, that’s not all he did. You see, besides cheating on his wife, Rep. DesJarlais’ choice of partners bears mention – specifically, he…
- Cheated with his coworkers
- Cheated with his own patients.
- Wrote false prescriptions for one of his mistresses to get drugs, and…
- Pressured his own wife to get an abortion – twice – while campaigning as a supposedly family values-friendly candidate.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports:
A decade before calling himself “a consistent supporter of pro-life values,” Tennessee physician and Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais supported his ex-wife’s decision to get two abortions before their marriage, according to the congressman’s sworn testimony during his divorce trialObtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the couple’s 2001 trial transcript also confirms DesJarlais had sexual relationships with at least two patients, three coworkers and a drug representative while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tenn. During one affair with a female patient, DesJarlais prescribed her drugs, gave her an $875 watch and bought her a plane ticket to Las Vegas, records show.
DesJarlais spokesman Robert Jameson did not respond to requests for comment. The attorney for the congressman’s ex-wife said that at this point she does not have any comments to issue on her ex-husband’s testimony.[...]
DesJarlais, a family-values conservative who rode 2010’s tea party wave to Washington, testified his ex-wife’s earlier abortion stemmed from medical concerns.
“… [She] was on an experimental drug called Lupron and was not supposed to have gotten pregnant. There were potential risks. It was a therapeutic,” he said.
DesJarlais backed a second abortion after she returned from a military stint in Saudi Arabia a few years before they married in 1995.
“[It] was after she had gotten back from Desert Storm and things were not going well between us and it was a mutual decision,” he said.
Something tells us that these excuses are not going to get DesJarlais out of hot water any time soon. Fortunately for him, he won reelection easily even in spite of this scandal. Unfortunately for him, he might have trouble governing with this sort of story, and certainly will have trouble getting elected again. He may also lose his medical license, depriving him of both his current livelihood and the one before he entered Congress.