Senator Joni Ernst’s divorce decree was temporarily an open public document–revealing details about her 26-year marriage — which the senator describes as a “painful journey.”
Senator Ernst, in her court filing, described a “dark and troubling time” in her marriage when she was serving as Montgomery County Auditor. Ernst accused her husband Gail of having an affair with her daughter’s babysitter. Ernst says her now-ex-husband physically assaulted her and she says the next day a victim advocate recommended that Ernst go to the hospital, but Ernst says she was too embarrassed and humiliated. The couple went to marriage counseling instead. Gail Ernst denies the claims.
Ernst also talked in the court filing about turning down Donald Trump’s offer to be his running mate, which Radio Iowa first reported in 2016. In the court documents she says she turned down the opportunity because of the issues with her husband.
Details from the court filing were first reported Monday in the “Civic Skinny” column in “City View” — a publication based in Des Moines. The divorce papers have today been sealed by a judge.