Rep. DesJarlais admitted to affairs with patients, supported abortions: Report
Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais (Erik Schelzig/AP)
Winning re-election has failed to quiet scandals surrounding Rep. Scott DesJarlais.
Court transcripts from his 2001 divorce trial obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press and reported on Thursday revealed that the Tennessee Republican tea partyer, a former physician, had admitted to sexual relationships with patients and supported his wife's abortions.
DesJarlais reportedly also admitted to having affairs with co-workers and a drug representative while serving as 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," the newspaper wrote.
DesJarlais also reportedly supported his wife's two abortions before they were married, one of which occurred while she was on medication that carried risks.
A DesJarlais spokesman did not immediately respond to Yahoo News' request for comment.
DesJarlais was dogged by stories of his past affairs during his re-election campaign this year. A story in the Huffington Post on Oct. 28 alleged that he encouraged a patient he impregnated to have an abortion. DesJarlais, who espouses an anti-abortion platform, denied that the woman became pregnant or had an abortion, and said the relationship took place during his divorce proceedings.
A freshman, DesJarlais easily clinched re-election Nov. 6 in Tennessee's 4th District over Democratic state Sen. Eric Stewart. DesJarlais had been heavily favored to win, but the scandalous reports prompted some Democrats to invest in opposing his candidacy in the campaign's final weeks.
The Times Free Press reports that the state Democratic Party attempted to obtain DesJarlais' divorce trial transcripts before the election, but the court delayed the release of the 679-page document.