Published: November 22, 2012
U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais said in an interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press he never intentionally misled voters about his past and stressed that he has no plans to resign over recent revelations that depict a private life starkly at odds with his public image as an anti-abortion, family values congressman. In his first remarks since the release of a court transcript from his 14-year-old divorce, the Jasper Republican conceded that he often used "very poor judgment" during his first marriage and the lengthy separation that followed. But DesJarlais said he is not the same man who supported his first wife's decision to have two abortions. The physician-turned-congressman said he also deeply regrets sexual relationships with multiple women, including two patients, three co-workers and a drug company representative while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper. DesJarlais, re-elected to a second term just two weeks ago, said he hopes voters will look at the job he has done while in office and will not judge him on his past. He represents Rutherford County and 15 other Middle and East Tennessee counties.