Transcripts show DesJarlais had sex with patients, coworkers - WSMV News 4

Transcripts show DesJarlais had sex with patients, coworkers

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Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais testified during divorce proceedings that he and his former wife made a "mutual" decision for her to have two abortions, according to divorce transcripts released Thursday.

DesJarlais also had sexual relationships with at least two patients and three coworkers while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, TN, according to records.

During one affair with a patient, DesJarlais prescribed the woman drugs and gave her an $875 watch.

The 2001 court transcripts were released by the state Democratic Party, which had tried to air the documents before the Nov. 6 election. A DesJarlais spokesman didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.

"In his own words, he has described the kind of activities as 'family values,'" said Chip Forrester, with the Tennessee Democratic Party. "That really means to us that he needs to come home."

The state's largest and oldest conservative group wants Republican leaders to ask Congressman Scott DeJarlaid to step down.

The Conservative Union's chairman, Lloyd Daugherty, said  the revelations are "ten time worse than we first thought."

"Hypocrisy has reached a level not seen in a long time," Daugherty said.

DesJarlais easily won a second term despite revelations that he once urged a patient with whom he was having an affair to get an abortion. DesJarlais, whose campaign platform opposed abortion, acknowledged the conversation but said he was only trying to get her to admit she wasn't pregnant.

The transcripts show that a woman testified under oath that she had been pregnant. She declined to elaborate on the outcome of the pregnancy.

On his campaign website, DesJarlais espoused an anti-abortion position, saying: "All life should be cherished and protected. We are pro-life."

According to DesJarlais' testimony, the first of his ex-wife Susan's abortions was because she was taking an experimental drug that carried potential risks in pregnancy. The second came amid problems in their relationship.

"Things were not going well between us and it was a mutual decision," DesJarlais said. "I don't think that it was easy for either one of us. I think it was a very difficult and poor choice, and I think that there are probably regrets both ways."

Democrats say this all shows DesJarlais is not fit for office.

"This is a dirty politician. This is a guy who has no business representing the 4th Congressional District," Forrester said.

DesJarlais' first wife had supported earlier efforts to release the court records, though her attorney said Thursday he hadn't had time to review them enough to comment.

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

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