HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The ex-wife of Sean Parnell, the Republican backed by former President Donald Trump for the United States Senate in Pennsylvania, testified under oath on Monday that she had endured years of rage and abuse on her part, including being strangled until she had to bite him, a newspaper reported.
Laurie Parnell’s testimony came in divorce and custody proceedings in Butler County Court regarding custody of their three school-aged children, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.
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In their suburban Pittsburgh home, the family âwalked on eggshells. The minute he walked into the house we were petrified, âshe said.
At one point, Laurie Parnell said, âhe tried to choke me on a couch and I literally had to bite himâ to get me free. “He was strangling me,” she said, according to the Inquirer.
She testified that once after a Thanksgiving trip, he forced her out of their vehicle and left her alongside the freeway during an argument when he told her to “go get away. to have an abortion “.
Laurie Parnell also said that Sean once slapped one of their children hard enough to leave marks on the back of the child’s shirt.
He once called her a “whore” and other obscenities while pinning her to the ground.
“It just got worse and worse,” she said.
The Parnells have been living apart for at least three years, but have shared custody of their children equally.
Sean Parnell, a decorated former Army Ranger who led a platoon in Afghanistan, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, she said.
Parnell has been open about this diagnosis, claiming in the past that he has been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and PTSD.
In a statement released by his campaign, Sean Parnell disputed his claims and said he would “clear things up” when he testifies next week.
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“We look forward to the opportunity to refute these hurtful and baseless allegations,” the statement said. âLet me say emphatically: I never raised my hand in anger against my wife or any of our three children. What happened today in court was not justice, and had no basis in fact or in truth. Next week I will have the opportunity to present the truth in court and I look forward to this opportunity.
The hearing is due to resume in a week.
Parnell wrote a memoir of his service in Afghanistan, which became a New York Times bestseller.
In it, he described participating in heavy fighting during his tour in 2006 and 2007, and sustaining injuries that prevented him from returning to combat, describing dizziness, difficulty in movement and becoming forgetful and unstable. on his feet.
He has also written four action novels, has become a regular guest on Fox News programs, and unsuccessfully appeared in Congress last year.
In the process, he became a friend of Donald Trump Jr. and a favorite of Trump, even landing a coveted speaking spot at the 2020 Republican National Convention.
Parnell’s story with his wife became a topic of the Republican primary campaign, days after Trump endorsed Parnell over several other rivals for the GOP nomination in next year’s election.
A rival, real estate developer Jeff Bartos, has publicly attacked Parnell over allegations in the divorce and child custody dispute, citing restraining orders sought by Parnell’s wife in 2017 and 2018.
Parnell’s campaign challenged the idea that temporary orders – granted before a hearing involving both parties – were proof of any wrongdoing.
Neither lasted more than a few days and a judge then ordered their expungement. Orders for orders – the document that details the allegations – are no longer publicly available documents in their divorce case.
Parnell was not eligible, Bartos said, and a super PAC supporting Bartos launched an ad campaign against Parnell.
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