Sen. Joni Ernst Says She Was Raped by a College Boyfriend, Abused by Ex-Husband

Sen. Joni Ernst, an Army veteran and high-ranking Senate Republican, revealed a troubling past with men, claiming she was raped by a boyfriend in college and physically abused by her ex-husband during their 25-year marriage.

Sen. Joni Ernst broke down after she says she was raped in college by someone she knew. 

Ernst, 48, is the fourth-highest-ranking Republican in the Senate and was even considered as a running mate for Donald Trump. In 2014, she became the first female combat veteran elected to the Senate, and she is up for re-election in 2020.  

The senator said that she was raped in college by her then-boyfriend, which she said was the beginning of a dark history with men.

“I didn’t want to share it with anybody, and in the era of #MeToo survivors, I always believed that every person is different and they will confront their demons when they’re ready,” the Iowa lawmaker told Bloomberg News. 

Ernst's divorce papers were accidentally released are also making headlines for what she calls a "dark and troubling time" in her 25-year marriage.

In the divorce papers, the senator accuses her now ex-husband of verbal and physical abuse. 

Ernst also claims her husband had a "special friendship" with their daughter's babysitter and a "long-term girlfriend." 

For his part, Gail Ernst accuses his ex-wife of having an affair with a solider under her command and also alleges she has "dated other men while in D.C." 

“Out of respect for his family, Gail is declining to make any statements at this point,” Ivan Miller, an attorney for Gail Ernst, told Bloomberg News.

Both Joni and Gail Ernst deny all allegations of wrongdoing.