Oprah Gives Senators Video of Puzder Abuse Allegations

Donald Trump walks with CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder / AP
• February 14, 2017 11:10 am

Both Republican and Democratic senators have now seen a 27-year-old episode of the "Oprah Winfrey Show" that features the former wife of Andrew Puzder, President Trump's labor secretary nominee, raising abuse allegations against him.

The video was provided to the Senate by the Oprah Winfrey Network as the chamber is scheduled to vote Thursday on Puzder's confirmation to Trump's Cabinet.

The episode, which was called "High-Class Battered Women," aired in March 1990 and was recently given to senators in a Capitol Hill office building, Politico reported Monday, citing anonymous sources.

The Oprah Winfrey Network has yet to to comment on the story.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said he arranged for the senators to view the video.

"I've arranged for senators on the committee to see that," he said. "I thought that was a reasonable request. No reason not to see it."

Lisa Fierstein, Puzder's former wife, disputes the allegations shown in the video. She retracted her charges of abuse against Puzder in a letter to the Senate HELP Committee.

"That happened 27 years ago," Alexander said."His former wife has said it was all not true. She has reiterated that in a heartfelt letter to members of the committee and has been willing to talk to members of the committee so I don't think that’s an issue."

Alexander supports Puzder's nomination.

But Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.) has a different view, saying that she was "deeply troubled" by the content of the video.

"It was important for us to know all of the information about any candidate that comes before us," she said.

Fierstein reportedly appeared on the Oprah show in disguise in 1990 to allege that Puzder physically abused her while they were married. Puzder has consistently denied any allegations of abuse, and Fierstein later suggested she made up the charges to gain the upper hand in the couple's divorce settlement.

Puzder and Fierstein formally separated in June 1986.