A Republican member of the Wyoming state senate said he impregnated a 14-year-old girl when he was 18. He was living in Florida at the time.
Anthony Bouchard, 55—who is running to unseat Representative Liz Cheney in the GOP House Representative election primary next year—went on Facebook Live on Thursday to get ahead of a story about his marriage to a minor 40 years ago.
He downplayed the relationshp as "a story when I was young, two teenagers, girl gets pregnant. You've heard those stories before."
"She was a little younger than me, so it's like the Romeo and Juliet story."
He said the girl eventually gave birth to their son after there was "a lot of pressure" for her to get an abortion.
"And there was pressure to have her banished from their family. Just pressure. Pressure to go hide somewhere. And the only thing I could see as the right thing to do was to get married and take care of him."
The video was also shared on YouTube.
Bouchard said they were able to legally marry in Florida at the time since the state allowed people of any age to marry as long as pregnancy was involved and a parent—in this case, Bouchard's mother—gave consent.
He confirmed their ages with the Casper Star-Tribune, saying the girl was 15 and he was 19 by the time they were wed. Bouchard told the paper they got a divorce three years later.
By the time she was 20, the girl—whose name was withheld—committed suicide. He added the girl's policeman father had previously taken his life and she was laid to rest next to her father.
Twitter had a different word describing Bouchard's interpretation of his relationship.
People had plenty to say about his Romeo & Juliet analogy.
On January 20, Bouchard announced he would challenge Cheney in the 2022 primary after she voted for the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump for his role in the Capitol insurrection on January 6.
Cheney—who is considered a neoconservative and a critic of Trump—has served as Representative for Wyoming's at-large congressional district since 2017 and was recently ousted as Chair of the House Republican Conference by her party for speaking out against Trump and his big lie.
Bouchard disclosed the story due to "dirty politics" after he suspected an unnamed reporter and a "political opposition research company" were driving the effort to expose him to give Cheney an advantage in winning reelection next year.
In spite of his testimonial video, Bouchard is determined not to drop out of the race.
"This is really a message about how dirty politics is. They'll stop at nothing, man, when you get in the lead, when you get in the lead and when you're somebody that can't be controlled, you're somebody who works for the people."
"They'll come after you. That's why good people don't run for office."
He asserted he was not intimidated and political bullying towards him "doesn't work."
"Bring it on. I'm going to stay in this race. We're going to continue to raise money because my record stands on its own."
Towards the end of the video, Bouchard commented on his relationship with his son and said it was "complicated."
"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."