SCANDAL

Report: Labor Nominee’s Ex-Wife Appeared on Oprah as Domestic-Violence Victim

Abuse claims against Andrew Puzder, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for labor secretary, are resurfacing as a new report claims his ex-wife appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show incognito as a domestic-violence victim. The abuse claims against Puzder first surfaced during his divorce with Lisa Fierstein in 1987, when Fierstein said in court documents she’d “suffered severe and permanent injuries” from an unprovoked battering, Politico reported. While Fierstein retracted her accusations after Puzder was nominated to be labor secretary in November, new details have called her version of events into question. The Politico report out Tuesday cites two friends of Fierstein’s and a former spokesman confirming that Fierstein appeared in disguise on an episode of Oprah to speak about her abuse. For some women’s groups, the move doesn’t seem to fit with a woman who was just seeking to get a bigger divorce settlement, something Fierstein claimed she’d been doing. Women’s groups have noted that a woman employing manipulative divorce-settlement tactics probably wouldn’t go to such great lengths to disguise herself as Fierstein allegedly did, donning a wig and glasses and calling herself Ann. Puzder declined to comment Tuesday on the allegations, but a spokesman for Trump’s transition team dismissed it as “part of a desperate smear campaign.” Oprah Winfrey’s company was unable to locate the tape of Fierstein’s alleged appearance on the show.