Exclusive: Court Document Details Congressman's Past Spousal Abuse

Ohio Democrat Congressman Charlie Wilson was first elected to Congress in the Democrat wave year of 2006. Prior to that, he had been a long-time member of the Ohio state legislature, first elected to the Ohio House in 1996 and the Ohio Senate in 2004. (One of his four grown sons succeeded him in the legislature and is currently an Ohio State Senator.) He was also married for 27 years to his wife, Clara. The marriage ended in divorce in 1990.

BigGovernment has obtained a trial brief filed by Mrs. Clara Wilson prior to the formal divorce proceedings. The brief was filed November 9th, 1990. The brief is part of the public record and was obtained at Belmont County Court House in Ohio. (Other documents related to the divorce are sealed.) The brief, which is posted below, is shocking and details very serious allegations of spousal abuse. It states that the grounds of divorce are “extreme cruelty.”

Here are relevant parts of the brief. Pay attention to the highlighted excerpts:


While the divorce was 20 years ago, there is no such thing as a ‘sell-by’ date on serious allegations of spousal abuse.

Worse, it appears it wasn’t a single incident, but a pattern. The marriage began with abuse, which, according to the brief, Mr. Wilson admitted. And it ended in abuse, which Mr. Wilson also admitted, according to the brief. The abuse only abated when, according to the brief:

she was afraid to anger the Defendant and instead yielded to his demands

Additionally, for those who continue to think that this is an “old” story, remember that the brief has been publicly available for 20 years. Sources tells us that the existence of the brief has been known for some time by state reporters. They have consistently declined to pursue this story. Also, remember that in 1996, when Rep. Wilson first won elective office, domestic abuse was a major national issue.

We contacted the former Mrs. Wilson this morning. She stated that several years ago, she and her husband issued a joint statement on the matter. After an extended conversation, she reiterated that she considers this a “family matter” and doesn’t want to comment further.

We contacted Mr. Wilson’s campaign for a copy of the joint statement and were referred to his Congressional Communication’s Director, Hillary Viers. We contacted Ms. Viers. We exchanged several e-mails with her, asking both for a copy of the past joint statement, as well as a response to the allegations in the brief. We delayed publication for a few hours, to give Rep. Wilson’s office a chance to respond. We haven’t received a reply, but will update the post if we do.


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