Transcripts from a 2000 phone call now-congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) made to his then-mistress show the pro-life, tea-party lawmaker pressured the woman to get an abortion in an effort to save his failing marriage.
The Huffington Post says it sent a copy of the damning transcript to Rep. DesJarlais, and he confirmed their veracity.
DesJarlais met the unnamed woman when he was still practicing medicine and she was a patient with a foot problem. In a last-ditch attempt to stave off a divorce from his first wife Susan, the congressman called his paramour in September, 2000, and secretly recorded their conversation.
"You told me you'd have an abortion, and now we're getting too far along without one," DesJarlais can be heard telling the woman. "You told me you would have time to go with me and everything," she responds. "I said, if I could, I would, didn't I? And I will try," he retorts, "If I can [find] time, you're saying you still will?"
She relents: "Yeah."
They go back and forth for a bit, with the woman complaining that DesJarlais is being unfair and she wants to end their relationship for good. "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," he says.
"Well, it's [your] fault for sleeping with your patient," she rejoins.
The divorce was eventually finalized the following year, and court documents show DesJarlais confessed to having four extramarital affairs.
Other sordid details from the days leading up to the dissolution of DesJarlais' first marriage surfaced during the 2010 election, including a claim that he "held a gun in his own mouth for hours."
"Desperate personal attacks do not solve our nation's problems," he said in a statement to the Huffington Post. "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."
[photo via AP]