Oprah Winfrey may have derailed Labour Secretary pick Andrew Puzder's confirmation over domestic abuse allegations

'He vowed revenge and said I will see you in the gutter. It will never be over, you will pay for this'

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The Independent US

Oprah Winfrey may have played a role in Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Labour, Andy Puzder, withdrawing his nomination for consideration in the new Cabinet.

A 30-year-old recording from one of the talk show host's programs featured Mr Puzder's ex-wife making serious allegations of domestic abuse against the fast food chain chief executive. 

Lisa Fierstein said he had abused her throughout their 14-year marriage, leaving her with “permanent damage”. 

“Most men, who are in positions like that don’t leave marks," she told the audience of The Oprah Winfrey Show. "The damage that I sustain, you just can’t see it. It is permanent damage but there are no marks They don’t hit you in the face.”  

Ms Fierstein, who was dressed in disguise and used a pseudonym during the 1990 recording, added that Mr Puzder threatened to seek revenge after she had made public allegations of abuse two years earlier.

The show entitled "High-Class Battered Women," was dedicated to domestic abuse. It was obtained and released by the Politico website  

Ms Fierstein claimed Mr Puzder had previously told her: “I will see you in the gutter. It will never be over, you will pay for this”. 

She said: “The most frightening thing was leaving because once I made that break and once I made it public - and remember my ex-husband was a public figure and everyone knew what he was doing - and once I made that public, he vowed revenge and said ‘I will see you in the gutter. It will never be over, you will pay for this’. I will end up losing everything, everything I have nothing. He has the Porsche and the Mercedes Benz, he has the home, he has everything, he was an attorney and he knew how to play the system." 

She added: “I was married for 14 years but it was not until one day I realised it had nothing to do with God as you just said, this was not about our relationship, this was something about a belief that didn’t existed."

Two years before the show was aired, Ms Fierstein had filed claims that her former husband “struck her violently about the face, chest, back shoulders and neck without provocation or cause” and that she suffered “severe and permanent injuries” including bruises on her chest, back, shoulders and neck. 

A few months after her appearance on the show, she withdrew her allegations. 

Mr Puzder always denied the allegations and the former couple went to great length to downplay the accusations during his nomination process.

In a statement from Mr Trump’s transition team, Ms Fierstein said she “regretted” filing the accusations 30 years earlier. 

“He and I have long ago worked out any differences that occurred over thirty years ago and I cannot recall a single incident involving the police. He will be a fantastic addition to the new administration’s cabinet," she said. 

Mr Puzder had already attracted widespread criticism about his suitability for the role because of his business record and personal background, according to The Washington Post

His position against an increase of the minimum-wage and more generous overtime benefits and his hiring of an undocumented worker for domestic work, also considerably weakened support from members of Donald Trump's Republican Party in the Senate.