The ex-wife of President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for labor secretary once appeared anonymously on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” as a victim of domestic violence, Politico reported Tuesday.
An unnamed friend of Lisa Fierstein’s told Politico that when Fierstein made allegations of domestic violence against an unnamed perpetrator on Oprah’s show while wearing a wig and glasses, she was referring to Andy Puzder, her ex-husband.
Winfrey’s company told Politico it could not find a tape of the appearance. The report did not specify when Fierstein appeared on the show but said it occurred after she “accused [Puzder] multiple times of physically assaulting her in the 1980s.”
A spokesman for Puzder and Fierstein, George Thompson, confirmed Fierstein’s appearance on the show to the Politico. The report also cited two unnamed friends of Fierstein’s, who went by the name Lisa Henning at the time, who confirmed the appearance.
Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants Inc., which owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., was initially expected to appear in a confirmation hearing Thursday in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. His hearing was postponed to Jan. 17, and then postponed again indefinitely.
The couple’s contentious divorce proceedings were resurfaced over the weekend by the Riverfront Times. Fierstein had sought a protective order against Puzder in 1989, alleging that he “attacked me, choked me, threw me to the floor, hit me in the head, pushed his knee into my chest twisted my arm and dragged me on the floor, threw me against a wall, tried to stop my call to 911 and kicked me in the back,” according to court documents provided to the newspaper at the time.
“There was no physical abuse at any point in time,” Puzder had told the Riverfront Times. In a statement over the weekend, Fierstein said she “regretted” those old allegations and noted she had withdrawn them.
Puzder did not respond to Politico’s request for comment on Feirstein’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show” appearance. A spokeswoman for the Trump transition team brushed off the story.
“This is part of a desperate smear campaign to distract from President-elect Trump’s agenda of creating jobs and opportunities for American workers,” Liz Johnson told Politico. “As both Mr. Puzder and Ms. Fierstein have made clear, these were false allegations that were made 30 years ago, and in fact, they are good friends.”
Fierstein told Politico this week that Puzder was “a terrific guy with a wonderful character.”