As soon as Donald Trump named fast-food executive Andrew Puzder as his pick for secretary of labor, opponents opened fire — on both policy and personal grounds. Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restuarants, the parent company of the Carl’s Jr. chain, was attacked for his position on the minimum wage and for decades-old allegations of spousal abuse.
This account via the Guardian is typical:
Puzder’s ex-wife Lisa Henning, now Fierstein, accused him of spousal abuse in 1989. According to the Riverfront Times and the St Louis Post-Dispatch, Henning said in court filings that Puzder “attacked me, choked me, threw me to the floor, hit me in the head, pushed his knees into my chest, twisted my arm and dragged me on the floor, threw me against a wall, tried to stop my call to 911 and kicked me in the lower back”.
Puzder denied the abuse at the time and again later in a deposition for his divorce, calling his ex-wife’s allegations “baseless”.
Now, the Riverfront Times report that Lisa Fierstein, Puzder’s ex-wife, is recanting the domestic-violence charges. In an e-mail to her former husband dating from the end of November, Fierstein wrote:
You know how deeply I regret many of the rash decisions I made at that time and I sincerely hope that none of those decisions will become an issue for you at this time. I impulsively filed for a divorce without your knowledge and was counseled then to file an allegation of abuse. I regretted and still regret that decision and I withdrew those allegations over thirty years ago. You were not abusive.
I will most definitely confirm to anyone who may ask that in no way was there abuse. We had a heated argument. We both said things to one another that we regret to this day. I have always been grateful that we have been able to forgive one another for the hurt we caused caused each other.
CBS News’s Dean Reynolds reports Fierstein also provided the e-mail to his organization, wherein Fierstein says she “made the whole thing up.”