Jennie Willoughby, one of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter's ex-wives, told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday she's concerned about the safety of Porter's current girlfriend, White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, and "if he hasn't already been abusive with Hope, he will be."
Willoughby and Porter's first wife, Colbie Holderness, both came forward this week accusing Porter of verbal, emotional, and physical abuse, with Holderness sharing a photo of herself with a black eye, which she said she received from Porter while on a 2005 vacation. Porter resigned on Wednesday, calling the allegations "outrageous" and "simply false."
During her interview with Cooper, Willoughby, who married Porter in 2009 and divorced him in 2013, called her ex-husband a "troubled man with issues that needs help." He began belittling her within the first two weeks of their marriage, and it escalated, with him eventually grabbing her while she took a shower and punching through the glass in her front door. By the end, Willoughby said, she was in "constant terror of not knowing what I might do to set something off." But while they were dating, he was "quite charming and chivalrous and romantic," she said, and it took her awhile to realize she was in an abusive relationship.
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That led Willoughby to Hicks. "I don't think he's changed," she said, adding, "If he hasn't already been abusive with Hope, he will. Particularly now that he's under a lot of stress and scrutiny; that's when the behaviors come out." She said she doesn't think he's done "the self-reflective work to acknowledge this issue," and "hasn't really taken the time to deconstruct why it is that he behaves this way, and until he's able to do that, I don't know that he has control over it." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia
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