Politico has obtained rare footage of the ex-wife of President Donald Trump's labor secretary nominee appearing anonymously on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1990, where she alleged spousal abuse. "I will see you in the gutter. This will never be over. You will pay for this," Lisa Fierstein alleged the labor secretary nominee, Andrew Puzder, told her in an episode titled "High Class Battered Women."
Puzder, the CKE Restaurants CEO, is slated for his Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday although four Republicans have said they are "withholding support," possibly jeopardizing his nomination. In addition to allegations that he abused his wife, Puzder faces trouble due to pushback from labor rights activists and his admission that he and his wife once employed an undocumented immigrant as a part-time housekeeper.
When Fierstein appeared on Oprah, she was already divorced from Puzder — their separation was finalized in 1987 — and disguised by large sunglasses and a wig and used an assumed name. Another woman who appeared in the episode supplied the video to Politico, and senators on the HELP committee have also reviewed the tape, which was supplied to them by the Oprah Winfrey Network but had not been made available to the public.
In a petition seeking $350,000 in damages, Fierstein also alleged Puzder "assaulted and battered me by striking me violently about the face, chest, back, shoulders, and neck, without provocation or cause" and left "bruises and contusions to the chest, back, shoulders, and neck" as well as "two ruptured discs and two bulging discs." The petition was ultimately dismissed "on the grounds that Puzder's divorce agreement had already settled all Fierstein's prior claims against him," Politico writes.
Feirstein said in a recent letter to the Senate HELP committee: "I regret my decision to appear on that show. I never told Andy about it." A spokesperson for Puzder and Fierstein said the pair, along with Puzder's current wife, "are close friends today and often spend time together, but none of that context seems to matter to Andy's critics. Perpetuating these retracted 30-year-old allegations and an impulsive decision to appear on a talk show is nothing more than a desperate attempt to tarnish Andy Puzder at the expense of Lisa and their family." Read the full story at Politico and watch Fierstein's appearance on Oprah below. Jeva Lange