President Trump’s Labor Department nominee, Andy Puzder, is facing old accusations of domestic abuse against his ex-wife Lisa Fierstein. As Ed pointed out yesterday, those accusations have been denied by Fierstein since the early 1990s. She claims she was encouraged to make the accusations by her attorney at the time. Today, Fox News reports Fierstein is lashing out at efforts to dredge up the old accusations:
Fierstein, though, is now speaking out against efforts by an activist group to get her divorce documents released, calling it an “unfair invasion” of her personal life and saying, “None of the events from so far in the past have anything to do with Andy’s kindness and generosity and his ability to serve his country.”
While her abuse allegations have returned to the headlines, Fierstein retracted those claims decades ago. “My privacy has been invaded, my family has been hurt, my children are suffering and I have become the victim of the media’s malice and determination to find ugliness where only kindness and love exists,” Fierstein said in a statement provided to Fox News.
Politico has received a copy of Fierstein’s appearance on the Oprah show from the mid-80s and says it does not include specific allegations of abuse:
“I wound up losing everything, everything,” Fierstein said on “Oprah.” “I have nothing. He has a Porsche and a Mercedes-Benz. He has the home. He has everything. He was an attorney, and he knew how to play the system.”
Fierstein spoke mostly in broad terms on “Oprah” about the effect the abuse had, she said, on herself, and the effect such abuse has on women in general.
Fox News reports that sources on the HELP committee don’t believe the Oprah video was a “watershed” moment for Puzder’s confirmation. Meanwhile, the left-wing Campaign for Accountability was in court Tuesday arguing Puzder’s divorce records should be unsealed. The goal is clearly to publicize the allegations before his confirmation.
A spokesman for Puzder tells Fox News that Fierstein and Puzder are now “good friends” who had dinner with Puzder’s current wife Dee last week. The spokesman adds, “They spend a lot of time together and this was a chance to just be family. But the calls from reporters and the attempts to unseal her divorce documents, have been very difficult for Lisa.”
Update: And just like that he’s gone:
News: Source very close to Labor Secretary nominee Andy Puzder tells me he expects Puzder to withdraw. "He's very tired of the abuse."
— Major Garrett (@MajorCBS) February 15, 2017
NEW: A senior administration official tells me Andy Puzder is expected to withdraw his nomination for Labor Secretary.
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) February 15, 2017
Per @Kasie: A senior GOP source on Capitol Hill says of the Puzder nomination: "It's dead."
— Alex Moe (@AlexNBCNews) February 15, 2017