It’s currently unknown who leaked the video of freshman Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La., passionately making out with a now-former member of his staff in a classic “whodunit” tale. The “kissing congressman,” who portrayed himself as a religious family man during his campaign, has now admitted to cheating on his wife two days before Christmas, and now several people have been blamed for the leaked footage that made national headlines on Monday.
According to local Louisiana paper The News Star, a pastor is blaming one of McAllister’s female staff members for releasing the secret footage. Danny Chance, pastor of Christian Life Church in Monroe, pointed to Monroe District Office manager Leah Gordon. Gordon has denied being the leaker.
[Click here to see the snogging surveillance footage published by The Ouachita Citizen of West Monroe.]
“I’m not taking up for the congressman; what he did was wrong,” Chance said. “But I just feel like there is a conspiracy to bring Vance down and destroy him. For someone on his staff to do that is wrong.”
He implied that fellow Republican opponents of McAllister, who was voted in in a special election just five months ago, could be responsible.
Gordon hasn’t publicly denied leaking the video, but there are two people who vehemently deny being involved in the scandal: state Sen. Mike Walsworth and Jonathan Johnson, who worked for McAllister’s opponent during the fall 2013 campaign, state Sen. Neil Riser. Riser and McAllister were competing to succeed Rep. Rodney Alexander, who quit Congress for a post in the state government.
“It’s an absolute lie,” Walsworth told the News-Star. “He knows it’s not true,” he said about the pastor.
Johnson also responded: “It’s the craziest thing I’ve heard in my life. The bottom line is it’s ridiculous.”
The landlord of McAllister's district office, Bill Land, told Politico neither he nor his employees were responsible for the footage leaking.
Adam Terry, McAllister's chief of staff, is reportedly aware that Gordon has been blamed for exposing the affair and he told the News Star that she, the building’s landlord and the landlord’s employees were the only ones who had access to the video. Terry said McAllister’s office is trying to determine if any federal laws were broken when the video was taken. As of now, Gordon remains on McAllister’s payroll, unlike Melissa Peacock, the woman who he apparently had the affair with.
Like McAllister, 40, who is married with five children, Peacock, 33, is married and has a child. Her husband Heath Peacock is devastated over the affair, he revealed during an interview with CNN. He said the two married couples were close friends and that he can’t believe this is happening.
“I’m just freaking devastated by the whole deal, man. I loved my wife so much. I cannot believe this. I cannot freaking believe it. I feel like I’m going to wake up here in a minute and this is all going to be a bad nightmare,” Heath Peacock told CNN on Tuesday.
“He has wrecked my life,” Peacock, 34, said of McAllister. “We’re headed for divorce.”
He and his wife have been married for six years and have a 6-year-old son.
“It was just a kiss, that was all it was, but it embarrassed me and my family,” Heath Peacock said. He helped finance McAllister's 2013 campaign. “This guy has turned my life upside down.”
McAllister hasn't reportedly apologized to Heath Peacock directly, but in a text message he told a stranger that his former friend didn't want to talk to him. On Monday night, after the politician had publicly apologized and asked for forgiveness, Gawker received screenshots of a text message conversation from someone who called himself “Teflon Man." The spy claimed to have found McAllister’s cell phone number online and proceeded to talk to the politician as if he knew him.
The message from the stranger supposedly started out with, "Hey bro. How's your day goin.” And the congressman apparently wrote “rotten” and told the stranger to “Google” to find out why.
Gawker received a call from McAllister’s chief of staff. He didn’t confirm the conversation but he said the congressman’s staff was very busy dealing with local and national scrutiny.
McAllister has not resigned at this writing. While some news sites have said Melissa Heacock quit his staff, others said she was fired.
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