Tennessee Representative Scott DesJarlais, a pro-life, congressman, had an affair with a patient and pressured her to get an abortion when he worked as a doctor prior to his political career. This information was released as part of a transcript obtained by the Huffington Post. The transcript is of a recorded phone call that took place in September of 2000 when he was trying to save his marriage. Three different sources close to the situation claim that DesJarlais even made the tape himself.
The Huffington Post sent a copy of the transcript to DesJarlais, who did not deny any what it contained. His campaign released a statement that said, “Desperate personal attacks do not solve our nation’s problems, yet it appears my opponents are choosing to once again engage in the same gutter politics that CBS news called the dirtiest in the nation just 2 years ago.”
“You told me you’d have an abortion, and now we’re getting too far along without one,” DesJarlais says to the woman on the other end of the phone call. “You told me you would have time to go with me and everything,” the woman says.
“I said, if I could, I would, didn’t I? And I will try,” DesJarlais says. “If I can [find] time, you’re saying you still will?”
“Yeah,” the woman said.
During the call the two argue over when they can find a time to meet so they can figure out a solution to their issue. “This is not fair to me. I don’t want you in my life,” the woman says.
“Well, I didn’t want to be in your life either, but you lied to me about something that caused us to be in this situation, and that’s not my fault, that’s yours,” DesJarlais says in response.
“Well, it’s [your] fault for sleeping with your patient,” the woman says.
“If we need to go to Atlanta, or whatever, to get this solved and get it over with so we can get on with our lives, then let’s do it,” DesJarlais says.
“Well, we’ve got to do something soon. And you’ve even got to admit that because the clock is ticking right?” he says.
During the call he mentions multiple times about fixing the problem and how desperate he is to fix his marriage with his wife. His wife filed for divorce in 1998, claiming improper marital conduct. At the time of the call, the two were attempting to reconcile with each other.
“Well, I’ve been going crazy. I mean, if Susan could talk to you, she’d tell you that I’ve been psychotic for months over this,” DesJarlais says. “I don’t sleep at night. I mean, it’s like I’m trying to build my family back together just waiting for it to fall apart, and it’s been eating me apart.”