Senator Joni Ernst is opening up about her devastating experience with sexual assault and domestic violence in a candid interview.
A year after her famous divorce from Gail Ernst, Senator Joni Ernst is letting it all out in a new interview.
U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, speaks during a news conference following the weekly Senate Republican caucus luncheon in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 | Photo: Getty Images
Talking about her tell-all memoir, “Daughter of the Heartland,” which was published last week in an interview with People Magazine, Joni revealed that she had a hard time reading through her book as she couldn’t believe all those things happened to her.
[Senator Joni Ernst's] personal website mentions that she served for more than 23 years and lead as a company commander in Kuwait and Southern Iraq.
Sen. Joni Ernst talks to reporters following the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol January 14, 2020 | Photo: Getty Images
In the interview, the 49-year-old revealed that she had no plans to tell the story of how she was raped in the University by a boyfriend and physically assaulted during her marriage to Gail. However, she had a change of mind and wanted to use her story to share an important message. In her words:
“I have found that I think other women and other men take great solace in knowing that there is life beyond assault, and so I think that was important.”
Sen. Joni Ernst walks through the Capitol Building during the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on January 29, 2020 | Photo: Getty Images
Recounting her rape experience, which she first openly spoke about in 2019 during an interview with Bloomberg News, Joni revealed that it happened while she was at Iowa State University while visiting her boyfriend during a weekend.
Writing about the pain and hurt she felt after the incident, Joni said she was so ashamed and couldn’t bring herself to tell anyone about it. She added:
“I was sickened and traumatized, and also felt overwhelmed with guilt. After that, I tried to break up with him.”
Senator Joni Ernst addressed reporters just off the Senate floor on February 3, 2020 | Photo: Getty Images
She also talked about her nasty divorce from Gail and their tumultuous marriage, which included a violent altercation because she suspected him of cheating with their daughter’s nanny.
It will be recalled that Joni and Gail called it quits and underwent a nasty divorce battle, accusing him of physically and emotionally abusing her. However, Gail denied her allegations and accused her of cheating during her time in the military.
As seen on her official website, Joni was the first woman elected to serve in a federal elected office in Iowa and is also the first female combat veteran to serve in the senate.
Senator Joni Ernst, speaks during a campaign stop in Davenport, Iowa, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014 | Photo: Getty Images
After her undergraduate years at Iowa State University, Joni joined the University’s ROTC program, after which she enlisted in the US Army.
Her personal website mentions that she served for more than 23 years and lead as a company commander in Kuwait and Southern Iraq. She retired in 2015 as a Lieutenant Colonel and is a proud mother of 20-year-old Libby.
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