On the left, Wyoming state Sen. Anthony Bouchard on January 28, 2021 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images) On the right, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on May 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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A Wyoming Republican mounting a primary challenge to Rep. Liz Cheney said Thursday that he impregnated a 14-year-old girl when he was 18, and that she had a baby, the Casper Star Tribune reported.
Anthony Bouchard, a two-term GOP state senator, went on Facebook Live Thursday to disclose the relationship before it became more widely known, but did not disclose the girl’s age. “Bottom line, it’s a story when I was young, two teenagers, girl gets pregnant,” Bouchard said in the video, which was labeled “Senator Bouchard takes on the fake news media!”
Bouchard compared the story to “Romeo and Juliet.”
“You’ve heard those stories before,” he said. “She was a little younger than me, so it’s like the Romeo and Juliet story.” He later told the Star-Tribune that he was 18 and she was 14 at the time she got pregnant.
Bouchard said the girl later gave birth to a son.
Bouchard and the woman married in Florida when he was 19 and she was 15 with her mother’s consent, he told the Casper Star-Tribune. Their relationship ended in a “kind of bitter divorce,” he said in the video. She died by suicide when she was 20 years old after having “problems in another relationship,” he said on Facebook Live. The woman, who the Casper Star-Tribune did not name, was buried in Florida in 1990, according to the Star-Tribune.
On Facebook Live, Bouchard described his relationship with the child as “estranged,” and became emotional discussing it.
“Sadly, he’s made some wrong choices in his life,” Bouchard said in the video. “He’s almost become my estranged son. Some of the things that he’s got going on in his life, I certainly don’t approve of them. But I’m not going to abandon him. I still love him. Just like when he was born.”
Bouchard is one of the most prominent Wyoming Republicans to announce a primary challenge against Cheney in one of the most conservative states in the country. Bouchard announced his 2022 bid in January, soon after Cheney voted to impeach Trump; a poll that month found Bouchard beating Cheney in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup by more than 30 points.
Cheney was removed from House Republican leadership earlier this month after she voted to impeach former President Donald Trump, and continued to criticize him in the months that followed. In addition to Bouchard, Wyoming state representative Chuck Gray announced in March that he would run for Cheney’s seat.
Bouchard told the Casper Star-Tribune that he revealed that he impregnated a 14 year old to get in front of a story he expected to be published soon, saying the story was planted by a “political opposition research company” and that a ”UK media reporter” was involved.
“Is this the worst you got on me? This is what you’re going to do, this is what the establishment swamp does, drag this out?” Bouchard said in the video.
Bouchard told the Star-Tribune that he didn’t believe Cheney herself was involved in the story surfacing, but said in the video that the people involved cared only “about helping people like Liz Cheney win.” The Cheney campaign denied any involvement with the story to the Casper Star-Tribune.
“Investigators have been hounding my family for weeks and now the liberal fake news is coming out with a hit piece about my teenage years,” Bouchard said in a Thursday tweet sharing the video. “This is why good people avoid running for office. I won’t back down, Swamp! @RepLizCheney Bring it!”