DesJarlais, a physician who came to Congress as a Tea Party favorite and family values candidate in 2010, was elected to a second term Nov. 6, four weeks after publication of a transcript of a telephone conversation between him and a patient with whom he allegedly had been having an affair -- and three weeks after admitting he had shown "poor judgment" in having an affair with a patient 12 years ago.
The transcript shows DesJarlais pressuring the woman to have an abortion.
Initially, DesJarlais' office called the story "old news from the last election cycle."
Citing the transcript from DesJarlais' 2001 divorce trial, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported Thursday he admitted under oath he had sexual relationships with at least two patients, three coworkers and a drug company representative while he was employed as chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tenn.
A spokesman for DesJarlais, 48, did not reply to Times Free Press requests for comment. The newspaper said an attorney for DesJarlais' ex-wife said she had no comment.
DesJarlais defeated Democratic state Sen. Eric Stewart 56 percent to 44 percent in the Nov. 6 election.
Tennessee Democratic Party spokesman Brandon Puttbrese said the party was unable to obtain the trial transcript before the election but suggested its contents could have a negative impact on DesJarlais' medical practice and his future in politics.
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