New Details About Iowa Senator Jodi Ernst And The Sad Details Of Her Divorce

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New Details Iowa Senator Jodi Ernst Husband Gail Ernst Divorce Cheating Abuse

The husband of Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, whom she claimed abused her during their marriage, has accused her of infidelity.

The Republican's estranged husband Gail Ernst, 65, filed for divorce last summer and documents regarding the split, filed in October and recently unsealed, allow the world to see inside their failed 26-year marriage.

Gail alleges in court documents that his wife had a sexual affair with one of her soldiers while deployed in 2003-2004 and "dated other men" while in D.C. He also claims that she admitted to cheating on him when he found secret emails between Joni and the soldier.


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Joni, 48, has denied the affair.

"That is not accurate and I was a company commander overseas and took that job very, very seriously," she said Wednesday while answering questions from the media after a public town hall event at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

 

 


Joni, who was the first woman in Iowa elected to Congress, said that the questions about her divorce caught her "off guard" as she believed they would be sealed. Their divorce was finalized this month, making some of the court filings public.

"I am a survivor and I fully believe that our survivors have the right to keep their stories to themselves if they don’t want to share those stories or are not ready to share those stories and unfortunately I have been forced to share my story," she said.

In her own affidavit filed in October, Joni fired back at Gail, claiming he was the one who had an affair and even physically abused her when she confronted him about it.

"We went through a very dark and troubling time in our marriage," Ernst wrote. "I very nearly filed for divorce after a night that we argued, and it became physical."


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Joni accused Gail of having a "special relationship" with their daughter's babysitter between 2005 and 2011. When she addressed the alleged affair, Gail turned abusive and Joni fled to her mother's home with their young daughter in the night, the affidavit states. Gail later showed up at her mother's in tears and apologized, it continues.

She didn't report the alleged abuse due to embarrassment, but was examined by a victim's advocate at the courthouse the following day, the affidavit says.

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"Gail has been very cruel," she wrote. "This has been an extremely painful journey."

According to the Des Moines Register, Red Oak Police Chief Justin Rhamy said his officers had never responded to any domestic violence calls at the Ernst residence. Montgomery County Sheriff Joe Sampson also told the news outlet that he had no knowledge of domestic abuse regarding the senator and her husband.

She also claimed Gail “hated any successes I had and would belittle me and get angry any time I achieved a goal" and said he was the main reason she had turned down Trump's offer for her to run alongside him as vice president. At the time, she cited her declination as the "right move" for her and her family.

Joni plans to seek a second term in the Senate in 2020, she said Wednesday. She has and will continue to use her life experiences as fuel for her political commitments, she said.

“What I want to focus on is being the best United States senator I can be,” Ernst said, adding that “a lot of those incidents in my past have influenced the types of policies that I work on.”


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Sarah Gangraw writes about all things news, entertainment and crime. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.