Tag Archives: mislead

DesJarlais Interview: ‘I Am Human’

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais says 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.
Further from Michael Collins:
In his first extensive 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.
“I am human,” he said during an hourlong interview with the News Sentinel. “I don’t think I ever put myself out there to be somebody that was perfect. I put myself out there as somebody who wanted to serve the public.”
He added, “I will serve as long as the people want me to serve.”
…DesJarlais said the charges of hypocrisy are unfair because, he said, his anti-abortion views have evolved over time but had not been formed when his wife aborted her pregnancies.
“I guess as a physician, I was a fairly objective person,” he said of his beliefs at the time. “I try not to be a judgmental person. (Abortion) was just not something that I put as much thought into as I should have, in retrospect. Going back, if I could change and do things differently, certainly I would.”
DesJarlais said his first wife’s abortions helped to eventually shape his anti-abortion views. Another factor in that evolution, he said, was his marriage to his second wife, Amy, a decade ago. Amy DesJarlais had gotten pregnant in high school, but chose to get married and have the child. Her husband died in a mining accident when the child was 3, and she later married DesJarlais, who helped raise her son, Tyler, now 17.
“I can’t imagine not having Tyler as my son,” he said. “That certainly had a major influence on my life and my beliefs.”
Regarding the phone conversation in which he was recorded urging a sexual partner to get an abortion, DesJarlais said he knew the woman wasn’t pregnant and that he was trying to get her to admit it. In his divorce transcript, however, the woman insists that she was pregnant, although she declines to give the outcome of that pregnancy.
Despite the woman’s testimony, DesJarlais insists that she was not pregnant. “She was not pregnant by me,” he said. “I don’t think she was pregnant period.”

Supreme Court Rules Misleading Mom Must Pay Duped Dad

News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
The Tennessee Supreme Court today upheld a trial court’s damage award against a mother who misled her boyfriend by telling him he was the child’s father when he was not. In its ruling, the Court stated that an intentional misrepresentation claim, which is already recognized in Tennessee’s courts, is broad enough to apply to circumstances where a mother intentionally misrepresents the parentage of her child.
In November 1991, Tina Hodge told Chadwick Craig that she was pregnant and that he was the child’s father. When Mr. Craig asked Ms. Hodge if she was sure he was the father, Ms. Hodge answered that she was, even though she had been having sexual relations with another man at the time. The couple married in December 1991, and Ms. Hodge’s child was born in June 1992. Mr. Craig raised the child, believing that he was the child’s biological father.
After the couple divorced in 2001, Mr. Craig began to suspect that the child was not his. Genetic tests eventually confirmed that Mr. Craig was not the child’s father. This news strained the relationship between Mr. Craig and the child. When Ms. Hodge and Mr. Craig returned to court to address custody and child support issues, Mr. Craig claimed that he was entitled to monetary damages based on Ms. Hodge’ s intentional misrepresentation that he was the child’s biological father. Following a trial in the Circuit Court for Maury County, the trial court found that Ms. Hodge had intentionally misrepresented to Mr. Craig that he was the child’s biological father and ordered Ms. Hodge to pay damages to Mr. Craig.
The Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court that Ms. Hodge had intentionally misrepresented the parentage of the child to Mr. Craig. But the appellate court vacated the damage award because it was a retroactive modification of child support which is prohibited by statute. Mr. Craig appealed to the Supreme Court
In a unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court held that existing Tennessee law allowed Mr. Craig to file an intentional misrepresentation claim against Ms. Hodge. The Court also agreed with the Court of Appeals that the evidence supported the trial court’s finding that Ms. Hodge had intentionally misrepresented to Mr. Craig that he was her child’s father. In addition, the Court held that Mr. Craig was entitled to recover damages from Ms. Hodge and that a damage award based on the amount of child support expenses Mr. Craig had paid following the divorce was not a prohibited retroactive modification of child support.
To read the Tina Marie Hodge v. Chadwick Craig opinion, authored by Justice William C. Koch, Jr., visit http://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/hodgetmopn.pdf
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