The XX Factor

Florida Rep. Alan Grayson Accused by Ex-Wife of Decades of Domestic Abuse

Rep. Alan Grayson listens to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testify during a hearing on Capitol Hill on Oct. 1, 2009, in Washington, D.C.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

According to documents obtained by Politico, Florida Rep. Alan Grayson’s ex-wife, Lolita Grayson, went to police repeatedly over a two-decade period with accusations of domestic abuse. Congressman Grayson is in a tight Senate race against Rep. Patrick Murphy (the primary is on Aug. 30), and these accusations might just tip the election. Alan Grayson’s current wife, Dena Grayson, is running for his congressional seat.

The police reports Lolita Grayson submitted show that she called the police on her husband twice in Virginia and twice in Florida, and pursued medical attention on at least two occasions. She also claims that in one case her husband had threatened to kill her.

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In 2014, Grayson actually accused his ex-wife of abusing him and strongly denied ever engaging in domestic abuse during their relationship. Grayson’s lawyer, Mark NeJame told Politico that “Lolita is a disturbed woman. She has made one false allegation after another. Her own daughter refutes her,” referring to a statement from Skye Grayson, the couple’s oldest child, who has claimed that her father never did anything wrong during the marriage. NeJame went on to point out that “there never has been a witness or any proof whatsoever of her claims. The claims have been so ridiculous that not one time has there even been enough probable cause to bring a charge or an arrest against Alan Grayson.”

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Skye Grayson, who was also once accused of domestic abuse by her mother, has said that her mother “physically lashed out at me, my siblings and our father, and then blamed us for it, victimizing us. This resulted in a considerably troubled childhood home.”

These accusations could greatly impact the race for Grayson. By Tuesday afternoon, reports that progressive groups were planning to withdraw support were already spreading. The news represents something of a reversal for the politician, who, in 2012, accused his congressional opponent Todd Long of domestic abuse. (The accusations were refuted by Long’s ex-wife.) Back then, Grayson criticized the media for not doing more to highlight his claims, saying that he was “disgusted that no major media in this town will let people know things that our polling shows they regard as highly relevant.”

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