Transcript from DesJarlais divorce to be released - WSMV News 4

Transcript from DesJarlais divorce to be released

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One day before the election, Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais wasn't on the campaign trail. Instead, he was in a Tennessee courtroom.

It all goes back to a fight over how much the public should know about his divorce more than a decade ago.

Records from the 2001 divorce earlier revealed that DesJarlais, who opposes abortion rights, once urged his girlfriend to have an abortion. The revelation boosted the campaign of Democratic challenger Eric Stewart.

DesJarlais was in Hamilton County court because Democrats believe more information about the affairs are contained in the divorce records.

"I'm here today, because this is an attack on my family, and that's why I'm here," DesJarlais said.

While a judge ruled some records would remain sealed, she is allowing the release of a 700-page transcript of the divorce proceedings. However, the transcript likely will not be available before Election Day.

"We think the voters in the congressional district need to know the sort of person they are voting for. Integrity is a very important thing," said Gerard Stranch, who represents the Tennessee Democratic Party.

Through an attorney, DesJarlais' ex-wife broke her silence and said she is terrified of things he has gotten away with for so long.

"She's heard the lies that Dr. DesJarlais has said to his constituents for the past several months, and she's tired of that," said attorney Mike Galligan.

As for DesJarlais, he has not answered questions about the allegations against him. When asked Monday if the allegations were true, DesJarlais responded:

"Go look at the election two years ago."

The impact of the latest release is uncertain. More than 120,000 ballots have already been cast in the 4th District during early voting, and recent polls show DesJarlais holding a lead.

Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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