(AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, File). FILE - This Nov. 21, 2011 file photo shows Rep.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV-AP) -
A Tennessee congressman who champions himself as staunchly anti-abortion is facing allegations he tried to convince his pregnant mistress to have an abortion.
In the transcript of a recorded phone conversation, which appears to have been made before U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-4th District, divorced his ex-wife, Susan, in 2001, DesJarlais tells an unidentified woman that he is concerned that she hadn't taken steps toward terminating the pregnancy.
"You told me you'd have an abortion, and now we're getting too far along without one," DesJarlais said, according to the transcript. "If we need to go to Atlanta, or whatever, to get this solved and get it over with so we can get on with our lives, then let's do it."
Former U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis said the transcript appeared in the waning days of his 2010 campaign against DesJarlais and said DesJarlais' ex-wife told him it was true last Spring.
"I said, 'do you know who recorded it?' She said, 'yes, he did himself, and he let me listen to the content of it,'" Davis said.
A DesJarlais spokesman did not deny the existence nor content of the transcript.
In a statement he said,"this is old news from the last election cycle that Tennesseans have already widely rejected. Desperate personal attacks do not solve our nation's problems, yet it appears that there are those who choose to continue to engage in the same gutter politics that were characterized by national media as the nastiest in the nation just two years ago. Since the congressman's opponents cannot attack him on his independent, conservative and pro-life record in Congress, they have once again resorted to pure character assassination."
DesJarlais now faces Democratic State Senator Eric Stewart, who was on the campaign trail Wednesday.
He said this incident calls into questions whether DesJarlais, who champions his anti-abortion stance, is fit for service.
"Congressman DesJarlais has proven over and over again that he can't be trusted, and the latest revelations are disgusting and also disqualifying," Stewart said.
Court documents from the DesJarlais divorce also show he admitted to four extramarital affairs during his first marriage, which lasted from 1995 to 1998.
Channel 4 News requested to speak with DesJarlais about these allegations but was told he was in a congressional hearing.
The transcript is part of a 200-page memorandum of court records detailing DesJarlais' divorce. The author of the report is not listed.
In the newly surfaced transcript, DesJarlais refers to the toll the marital issues had been taking on him.
"I've been going crazy," he said. "I mean, if Susan could talk to you she'd tell you that I've been psychotic for months over this.
"I don't sleep at night. I mean, it's like I'm trying to build my family back together just waiting for it to fall apart, and it's been eating me apart."
DesJarlais appears to blame the woman for becoming pregnant.
"You lied to me about something that caused us to be in this situation, and that's not my fault, that's yours," he said.
The woman retorts: "Well, it's your fault for sleeping with your patient."
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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