Rep. Scott DesJarlais divorce transcript released, contents go against congressman’s recent comments

Authored By James Harrison

A 2001 divorce transcript that kept Rep. Scott DesJarlais holed up in a Hamilton County courtroom on the day before Election Day has been acquired and released by the Tennessee Democratic Party. 

The contents go against recent statements made by the congressman.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported details of previously unpublished portions of the proceedings Thursday.

Along with an unnamed woman’s sworn testimony that she was, in fact, pregnant when DesJarlais had pressured her to terminate a pregnancy, the transcript also includes DesJarlais admitting he and his wife recorded the conversation with the woman, who had been one of his patients when he engaged in a sexual relationship with her.

The congressman had previously said he had known the woman was not actually pregnant and that the recording of the conversation had been recorded secretly, against his will.

“I was recorded unknowingly and without my consent,” he wrote in an open letter to supporters on Oct. 12.

Additionally, the transcript includes an admission from DesJarlais, who is now a pro-life Republican member of Congress, that he supported his ex-wife’s decision to get two abortions before they were married.

“I don’t think it was easy for either one of us,” he is quoted saying. “I think it was a very difficult and poor choice, and I think that there are probably regrets both ways.”

DesJarlais has had a consistent record of voting in favor of pro-life legislation since being elected to Congress in 2010.

The transcript also reveals that the congressman had sexual relationships with at least two patients, three co-workers and a drug representative while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper. 

A Washington, D.C.-based ethics group has filed a complaint against DesJarlais with the Tennessee Department of Health to investigate any relationships he engaged in with women who were his patients.

During his campaign, DesJarlais repeatedly described allegations stemming from his 2001 divorce as a “smear campaign” and “gutter politics.” The congressman asked voters to judge him based on his 10-year marriage to his second wife, along with his record in Congress.

“I am not trying to justify my actions or say that I am without fault. But I am not the hypocrite my opponents and some liberal media outlets are portraying me as,” he said

DesJarlais defeated his Democratic challenger, state Sen. Eric Stewart, by a margin of 12 percent on Nov. 6. 

The congressman has yet to comment on the new revelations. 

This is a developing story. will have more updates on this story as they become available.