WH Speechwriter Steps Down, Ex Says: I Feared for My Life

David Sorensen is 2nd WH staffer to resign in recent days amid domestic violence accusations
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2018 7:30 AM CST
2nd WH Staffer Resigns Amid Domestic Abuse Allegations
More trouble swirling in the White House around domestic violence.   (Getty Images/lucky-photographer)

The White House, still reeling from criticism on how it handled domestic abuse allegations against ex-staff secretary Rob Porter, has a new headache. Per the Washington Post, David Sorensen, a speechwriter reporting to senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, stepped down from his role Friday after his ex-wife, Jessica Corbett, to whom he was married for two-and-a-half years, detailed to the Post what she says was a physically and emotionally violent marriage. Among her allegations: that Sorensen put out a cigarette on her hand, ran over her foot with his car, and, in an incident that she says made her fear for her life, "grabbed her menacingly by her hair" while on their boat off the coast of Maine. Corbett, who said she'd been afraid to call the cops on Sorensen because he knew people in law enforcement, showed the Post texts and emails from her ex that contained vulgar language toward her.

Two people also told the Post that Corbett had told them she was being abused. Via a Facebook message, Sorensen told the New York Times his ex-wife is being "creative," and in a statement he adds he "never committed violence of any kind against any woman in my entire life" and says he was actually the victim of her "repeated physical violence." He says she'd punched him several times; Corbett acknowledges slapping him on multiple occasions after he called her vulgar names. White House officials say Sorensen didn't need a security clearance for his post and that his background check was still in the works. Corbett, however, tells the Post she told the FBI about the alleged abuse last fall. The White House says it learned about the allegations Thursday. "We immediately confronted the staffer, he denied the allegations, and he resigned today," spokesman Raj Shah says. (Read more domestic violence stories.)

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