Andrew Puzder, Trump's pick for secretary of labor, reportedly abused his wife

Following Donald Trump's announcement that he would be choosing CEO Andrew Puzder as his Secretary of Labor, reports of the fast food giant's "troubling record" with women popped up, detailing Puzder's history of sexist advertisements featuring bikini-clad women eating burgers.

Puzder's treatment of women, though, may have been far worse when it came to his marriage. According to the Riverfront Times, Puzder faced accusations of domestic abuse against his first wife Lisa Henning in the 1980s, which became public when the couple filed for divorce in 1989.

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The divorce documents detailed multiple incidents of physical assault, the first of which includes Puzder hitting Henning, throwing her to the floor and unplugging the phone when she tried to call the police. In a court deposition, Puzder maintained he "grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her back" because he was trying to stop her from hurting herself.

Another incident from the '70s included a verbal argument which turned into a "plate-throwing fight," according to the Riverfront Times. Henning also alleged that Puzder punched her while driving in 1985. When Puzder addressed the accusations he denied punching his wife, but said he recalled driving up onto the curb — a gaffe he said "had to do with the liquid refreshment we had with our dinner more than anything else."

Puzder called the domestic violence accusations "baseless" at the time, stating, "There was no physical abuse at any point in time."

According to the Riverfront Times, the domestic abuse allegations weren't resolved during the divorce proceedings, and both Puzder and Henning were awarded joint custody of their two children.

More on the president-elect's future Cabinet members

Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions
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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions

Counselor to the President: Kellyanne Conway

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Veterans Affairs Secretary: David Shulkin

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Transportation secretary: Elaine Chao

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Energy secretary: Rick Perry

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Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

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Secretary of Defense: Retired Marine General James Mattis

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Chief of staff: Reince Priebus

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Chief strategist: Steve Bannon


Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions

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Director of the CIA: Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo

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Deputy national security adviser: K.T. McFarland

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White House counsel: Donald McGahn

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Ambassador to the United Nations: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

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Education secretary: Betsy DeVos

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Commerce secretary: Wilbur Ross

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Homeland security secretary: General John Kelly

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Housing and urban development secretary: Ben Carson

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Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

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Health and human services secretary: Tom Price

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Department of Homeland Security: Retired General John Kelly

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Secretary of agriculture: Sonny Perdue

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Still, the accusations led many to question whether Puzder was fit to author an anti-abortion statute, per the direction of former Missouri Gov. John Ashcroft, in his capacity as a prominent St. Louis lawyer.

"Should someone like Puzder recommend policy for all the women and children in Missouri?" Laura Cohen, coordinator for Missouri's branch of the National Abortion Rights Action League wondered in a 1989 interview with the Riverfront Times. "The ultimate question is 'Who decides?' Will men like this be able to have control over women's most personal and private choices?"

Puzder maintained his name was simply being dragged through the mud.

He called the accusations "what normally happens in a divorce case."

He told the Riverfront Times in '89, "If you're trying to smear me by raising the fact that my ex-wife made some charges against me, you're making a big mistake."

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