Rob Porter's ex-wife rips Kelly in op-ed: 'I can barely contain my indignation'

Rob Porter's ex-wife rips Kelly in op-ed: 'I can barely contain my indignation'
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Former White House staff secretary Rob Porter’s second ex-wife sharply criticizes John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE in a new op-ed, accusing the chief of staff of diminishing the significance of the abuse she says she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband.

Jennie Willoughby writes in The Washington Post that Kelly was dismissive of the accusations that she and another woman made against Porter.

“I can barely contain my indignation,” she wrote.

“Kelly’s comments serve to diminish the significance of emotional abuse. Granted, it is difficult for any outsider to understand what takes place in a marriage. But Kelly’s dismissive remarks about my having suffered only ‘emotional abuse’ grossly understate the seriousness of this conduct and the trauma it inflicts.”

Kelly originally defended Porter against the accusations, praising his character. Porter denied abusing his ex-wives, but resigned from his top White House post days after reports on the accusations were published.

Earlier this month, Kelly said he only knew of allegations that Porter had been emotionally abusive when he made the initial statement defending him.

Willoughby says the White House has still not apologized to her or Colbie Holderness, Porter’s first wife, for “mishandling the situation.”

One the reports about Porter included a photo of Holderness with a bruised eye. Holderness says Porter hit her when they were on vacation in Italy.

Willoughby criticized the White House for downplaying the abuse claims.


“This type of disbelief, minimization and ultimately denial is devastating — even more so when it comes from those privileged to work in the White House,” she writes.

“When people in highly visible positions deny or play down the details and impact of such abuse, their behavior perpetuates the inaccuracy that abuse constitutes a minor problem or occurs only in certain communities,” Willoughby adds. “And we, as a society, accept this narrative because, deep down, we need to believe it cannot happen to us.”

Holderness also penned an op-ed for The Washington Post last month, expressing her disappointment with the response of female White House aides to the abuse allegations.