Rep. DesJarlais divorce records confirm affairs, his support of abortions

Records released Thursday from Rep. Scott DesJarlais's (R-Tenn.) 2001 divorce appear to confirm previous reports that DesJarlais had sexual relationships with patients while a practicing physician in Tennessee.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press obtained the documents, which reveal that DesJarlais, who opposes abortion rights, supported his ex-wife in obtaining two abortions before their marriage.

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The Chattanooga Times Free Press also reports that the transcripts from the divorce trial provide a record of sexual relationships DesJarlais had with at least two patients, three coworkers and a drug representative during the time he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tenn.

The Tennessee Democratic Party had asked a county judge to unseal records from DesJarlais's divorce, but the judge delayed the release until after Election Day.

DesJarlais won reelection last week despite a report, based on audio of a phone call released last month, that in September 2000 he had encouraged his mistress to get an abortion. 

"I don't mind telling people that there was no pregnancy, and no abortion," DesJarlais told WTN-FM last month. "But I also don't mind telling people that this was a protracted two-year divorce back in 1999 and 2000. There was some difficult times, for sure."

Testimony released in the divorce records includes a description of what seems to be that phone call. 

“She goes, ‘I will have an abortion. This will never be a problem of yours,’ ” DesJarlais said, according to the transcript reviewed by the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “And I think that she was trying to get me to pay her money, and I refused to because there was no proof of the pregnancy.”