Syndicated from post here.
Oprah Winfrey has ended the hopes of fast food CEO Andrew Puzder, whom President Trump nominated to be the next Secretary of Labor.
In 1990, Puzder’s wife, Lisa Fierstein, made spousal abuse allegations against her husband while in disguise and using the alias “Ann” on Winfrey’s talk show. Winfrey turned over the tape of the episode at the request of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, but didn’t give the tape to the media. Politico obtained a copy of the interview from another woman who appeared alongside Fierstein in the episode.
While wearing a wig and large sunglasses to conceal her face, “Ann” spoke for roughly six minutes in the hour-long episode about her experiences. While she didn’t go into detail about the abuse she suffered on the talk show, Fierstein (then Henning) filed a petition in May of 1988 for $350,000 in damages against her ex-husband, alleging Puzder “assaulted and battered me by striking me violently about the face, chest, back, shoulders and neck, without provocation or cause.” Fierstein alleged the beating left “bruises and contusions to the chest, back, shoulders and neck,” along with “two ruptured discs and two bulging discs.”
In the episode, “High-Class Battered Women,” Fierstein said Puzder threatened her life, telling her, “I will see you in the gutter. This will never be over. You will pay for this.”
Fierstein also told Oprah that after a judge dismissed her petition for damages, she wound up broke and penniless, blaming Puzder’s experience as an attorney.
“I wound up losing everything, everything,” Fierstein told Winfrey. “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,” she added.
In addition to Puzder’s documented record as a wife-beater, he also runs a restaurant chain (Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr.) with an unusually high rate of sexual harassment complaints compared to others in the industry. He’s also a fierce opponent of increasing the minimum wage, and wants to eventually replace human fast food workers with robots.
On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that four GOP senators were on the fence about whether or not to vote for Puzder’s confirmation. By Wednesday morning, that number had increased to six. And on Wednesday afternoon, top Senate Republicans requested Trump withdraw Puzder’s nomination and appoint someone else to the post. Roll Call reported on Wednesday afternoon that Puzder withdrew his nomination.
Watch Fierstein describe Puzder’s abuse in the video below, obtained by Politico:
Tom Cahill is a writer for US Uncut based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Facebook.
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