Wyoming state Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R), who’s challenging Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for her House seat, acknowledged in an interview with Casper Star-Tribune that he impregnated a 14-year-old girl when he was 18.
Bouchard first revealed the relationship in a Facebook Live video on Thursday, though he did not say exactly how old he or the girl was when the pregnancy happened. In that video, he said he wanted to come out with the story himself after learning that people had been looking into the matter.
“It’s amazing that they look at things so negatively. So bottom line is it’s a story when I was young, two teenagers, girl gets pregnant,” Bouchard said. “You’ve heard those stories before. She was a little younger than me, so it’s like the Romeo and Juliet story.”
“A lot of pressure. Pressure to abort a baby. I got to tell you, I wasn’t going to do it and neither was she. And there was pressure to have her banished from their family. Just pressure. Pressure to go hide somewhere.”
Bouchard said that he eventually married the girl, who, according to the Star-Tribune, was 15 at the time of the marriage. At the time, both were living in Florida. In his Facebook video, Bouchard explained that “the only thing I could see as the right thing to do was to get married and take care of them.”
The couple divorced three years later. He said that his ex-wife had died by suicide. At the time, he said, “she had problems in another relationship.”
“You know, this thing ended in kind of a bitter divorce. All the odds were against us,” he said. “We later became friends. She had problems in another relationship. Her dad had committed suicide. … For whatever reason she decided to do the same.”
Bouchard said that he decided to open up about the pregnancy and marriage after he found out that a political opposition research firm had begun looking into the matter. He also said he been contacted by a “U.K. media reporter” whom he accused of working with the opposition research company.
“We know the company that started this investigation,” he said. “It’s a political opposition research company. We know who they are. And then it turned into a U.K. media reporter, who called me. But if you look at him, he’s all part of that whole investigative team that smears people.”
Bouchard pointed to that apparent investigation into his personal history as a sign that he is the “front-runner” in the race to unseat Cheney, a conservative stalwart who is facing trouble from within her own party for speaking out against former President Trump’s claims of a stolen election.
“I’ve heard reports over a week ago calling family members, even offering to compensate them for anything they would give up on me. That’s dirty,” Bouchard said. “That also tells you I’m in the lead, because they wouldn’t be doing this to me if I wasn’t in the lead. They wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t the front-runner.”
Jeremy Adler, a spokesperson for Cheney, told the Star-Tribune that Cheney’s campaign had no part in trying to surface the story about Bouchard’s past.
In his Facebook video, Bouchard cast the effort to investigate his personal life as “dirty politics” by the “establishment swamp.” He also told supporters to question “everything you see in the media.”
“It’s a little bit of truth maybe, sprinkled with a lot of lies,” he said.
Bouchard also vowed to remain in the race for Cheney’s seat.
“I’m going to stay in this race. We’re going to continue to raise money.”