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Richard Nixon Was a Wife Beater, New Memoir Alleges

Former President Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace after a scandal that threatened to remove him from office. As it turned out, the scandals in his political career were only the tip of the iceberg. A new memoir by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh reveals that Nixon also beat his wife.

According to Hersh, just a few weeks after Nixon stepped down from office, he got a phone call. Pat Nixon was in the hospital. She has suffered a beating at the hand of her husband. A source at the hospital confirmed for Hersh that Pat Nixon had been treated for injuries inflicted by her husband.

Hersh called Nixon's former domestic affairs advisor, who confirmed that the two had a violent relationship. He knew of several incidents in which Nixon had beaten his wife in the past.

At the time, Hersh did not believe he should reveal the incident of domestic violence to the public because he didn't see it as a crime, and thought of it as a private family matter. Sadly, this is how spousal abuse was viewed more than 40 years ago.

"She told doctors that her husband had hit her. I can say that the person who talked to me had very precise information on the extent of her injuries and the anger of the emergency room physician who treated her," Hersh reveals in his new memoir, 'Reporter'.

"The issue was the merging of private life and public life, and I explained that I would have written about the attacks if they were an example of why his personal life impinges on policy, but there was no evidence of such a link," Hersh explained his reasoning at the time. "I added that it was not a case where Nixon had gone looking for his wife with an intent to hit her, could not find her, and bombed Cambodia instead."

It's a new age, though, and such behavior is looked at differently now. Hersh says when he shared the story with students, they were horrified-- particularly the female students. They challenged him on why he would help cover up for Nixon's crime, and if he would have also covered up a different type of crime, like a bank robbery.

"I did not comprehend then, as the women who challenged me did, that what Nixon had done was a criminal act," Hersh admits. "I should have reported what I knew at the time or, if my doing so would have compromised a source, have made sure that someone else did."

He's trying to make amends by sharing the story now.

This isn't the first time Nixon has been accused of beating his wife. Anthony Summers authored 'The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon' in 2000, and reported at least 'three alleged wife-beating incidents' he learned from h is sources.

Julie Nixon Eisenhower, Mr. Nixon's daughter, denies the allegations that her father beat her mother. "The salacious charges in a new book regarding the personal relationship between President and Mrs. Nixon, who were married for 53 years, were denied forcefully and emphatically by the Nixon family when they appeared in another book eighteen years ago. They are nothing more than cheap gossip and implausible hearsay, from anonymous or biased sources, repackaged to attract publicity and sell books," she wrote in a statement.

The Richard Nixon Foundation also dismisses the claims.

Source: Daily Mail
Photos: Library of Congress, White House Photo Office,

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