South Carolina Republican Representative Jeff Duncan was criticized after his wife Melody filed for divorce last week, citing his multiple extramarital affairs during their 34-year marriage.
Melody Duncan, who shares three adult children with the congressman, submitted the divorce filing on Friday at a courthouse located in Laurens County, South Carolina. The allegations within the filing accuse her husband of having multiple extramarital affairs and ultimately leaving their shared residence to cohabitate with another woman.
The divorce filing specifically identified Duncan's alleged paramour as Liz Williams, purportedly a lobbyist based in the Washington, D.C. area. It says Jeff Duncan “admitted this adulterous relationship to many people, including [the couple’s three sons] and members of his staff.”
While he recently publicly said Melody Duncan is a “supportive and loving wife”—as he did when he attended the 12th annual Faith and Freedom BBQ—the filing says Jeff Duncan “left the next day and went directly to the home of his paramour, Liz Williams, in the Washington DC area, where [Melody] is informed and believes he continues to reside.”
Social media posts reveal a pattern of similar behavior from the Congressman.
Just weeks ago, Jeff Duncan posted a photograph of himself and his wife during one of her visits to Washington, saying "having Melody in town made it even better!"
You can see the post below.
And a few weeks before that, he praised his wife "for always cheering me on and being with me every step of the way!"
You can see the post below.
The Duncans—who have been married since 1988—have come under further scrutiny because Jeff Duncan has actively promoted himself as a "strong advocate for life and traditional family values."
But the filing, which notes that "[Melody] is informed and believes that [Duncan's] extramarital relationship(s) is/are widely known in political circles of South Carolina and Washington D.C.," has dispelled that notion. It also alleges that the Congressman had "engaged in an extramarital relationship with at least one other woman" during the course of their marriage.
One critic said that Republicans cheating on their spouses "seems to be a daily headline," adding:
"The problem is Republicans keep preaching to everyone about moral decay when they are only projecting their own behavior. It is a total joke and smokescreen to obscure the fact that they do nothing for the American people except try to legislate other people’s personal and private choices."
"That isn’t freedom. Vote them out."
Others have also called out the Congressman for his hypocrisy.
In her legal filing, Melody Duncan has requested that the court award her permanent and periodic alimony, exclusive use of their marital residence, and their property in Montana.
She also seeks to have Duncan assume sole responsibility for outstanding debts and other financial obligations. Additionally, she has asked the court to maintain health insurance coverage for both herself and their children, cover their uncovered medical expenses, and account for attorney's fees and associated costs.
Duncan—who has served South Carolina's 3rd congressional district since 2011 and is up for re-election in 2024—has previously made headlines for his opposition to abortion and exceptions for rape, incest, or saving the life of the mother.
In addition to his efforts to ban same-sex marriage, he has been a very vocal election denier, previously voting not to impeach former President Donald Trump for attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election.