A Republican congressman from Pennsylvania has admitted to having an affair with a psychologist. Rep. Tim Murphy, 64, has been subpoenaed in the divorce of doctors Jesse Sally and his wife Shannon Edwards, 36. The revelations were first published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on September 6. Rep. Murphy, who represents Pennsylvania’s 18th District and has done so since 2003, was deposed in the divorce in later in September 2017.
On the same day of the Post-Gazette report, Rep. Murphy released a statement saying, “Last year I became involved in an affair with a personal friend. This is nobody’s fault but my own, and I offer no excuses. To the extent that there should be any blame in this matter it falls solely upon me. I ask the media to respect the privacy of my family. They have done nothing wrong and deserve to be left alone. I will have nothing further to say on this matter.”
The Post-Gazette later reported that Rep. Murphy, who is publicly a pro-life advocate, had asked Dr. Edwards to abort their unborn child. Dr. Edwards apparently thought she may have been pregnant, it turned out she wasn’t.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Dr. Edwards Recently Called the Last 15 Months ‘Some of the Most Difficult in My Life’
The only visible post from Dr. Shannon Edwards’ Facebook page comes from August 25. It reads, “The past 15 months have been some of the most difficult in my life thus far, including the last 2 weeks. There have been many times I’ve wanted to write about how I felt. I feel as though I’m finally reaching the point of peace and acceptance. Most importantly – gratitude – for the people in my life. Thank you.”
Attached with that post was the music video for Kesha’s song “Praying.” The Guardian’s review of the song speculated that “Praying” was about Kesha’s allegations that she was raped by music producer Dr. Luke.
Dr. Edwards and Dr. Sally have one daughter together. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Dr. Sally is alleging the affair between Rep. Murphy and Dr. Edwards’ began in February 2016.
2. Dr. Edwards Organized a Protest Against the Ending of ‘Full House’ in the 90s
In addition to her psychology career, Dr. Edwards says on her LinkedIn page that she is a “A social advocate by nature [having boycotted the ending of “Full House in the ’90’s with a door-to-door petition I was sure would bring them back on air].”
Dr. Edwards’ Twitter page is dominated by her advocacy for mental health reform. That page shows Dr. Edwards at events with Rep. Tim Murphy. In her bio on Twitter, Dr. Edwards calls herself a “voice for the voiceless.” In a blog on LinkedIn, Dr. Edwards wrote of desire for reform with regard prisoners who are seeking psychological help.
Dr. Edwards is not a fan of Trump, according to Twitter posts. Five Thirty Eight has ranked Rep. Murphy has being largely supportive of Trump’s actions as president.
3. Dr. Edwards Is a Specialist in Court Ordered Psychological Interventions
As the leader of Dr. Shannon Edwards Psy. D Forensic Psychological Services, Dr. Edwards is considered an expert in court ordered psychological interventions. A profile says that Dr. Edwards is “active in the leadership of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association. Her court-related expertise is recognized in Pennsylvania and Illinois.
Rep. Murphy, in addition to his government duties, is a practicing psychologist as well as a commander in the Navy Reserve. On his official biography, it says that Rep. Murphy has written books about family psychological treatment.
4. Dr. Jesse Sally Is a Sports Medicine & Spinal Specialist
According to an online profile, Dr. Jesse Sally is a native of Pittsburgh. Dr. Sally studied at Virginia Tech and attained his medical degree at the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2008. He is a specialist in sports medicine and spinal issues. Dr. Sally has offices in Bridgeville, Pittburgh and Monroeville in Pennsylvania.
5. Murphy’s Attorney Says His Subpoena Is About ‘Harassment’
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted Dr. Sally’s lawyer, Dorothy Wolbert, as saying, “[Dr. Sally] has the right to know what went on with this marital misconduct.” While Rep. Murphy attorney, Kenneth J. Horoho Jr., said, “Why do you need to depose him other than to harras him? They got the marital misconduct. They admit it. At some point, your honor, it does rise to the level of harassment and bad faith.”
As of June 2016, Rep. Tim Murphy was still listed as being married to wife Nanette Missig.
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