|Former Missouri Rep. Don Gosen|
Don Gosen (R-Ballwin) was serving his third term in the House of Representatives, but abruptly resigned his position last Wednesday. Tony Messenger, of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reported two days later that Gosen stepped down because rumors were swirling around the state capitol in Jefferson City about an extramarital affair. Gosen admitted to the affair in Messenger's column last Friday, but the former legislator denied published reports of multiple other affairs.
Should the public take Gosen's word about that? It seems iffy, given that his name appears on a list of Missouri customers for Ashley Madison, the Web site with the motto: "Life is short, have an affair."
Gosen, who has a conservative "family values" voting record, apparently took that suggestion literally. A State Farm insurance agent in Wildwood, Missouri, Gosen said the affair started in 2014. From Tony Messenger's report at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
The day of his fall, former state Rep. Don Gosen sat in his empty insurance office in the Wildwood Town Center and had a good cry. . . .
Starting in 2014, Gosen says, he had an affair. He betrayed his wife and three daughters. He betrayed his faith. Now he’s paying the price. Gosen blames only himself for his bad behavior. On Thursday, Gosen said that on the advice of his attorney, he wouldn’t publicly outline the events that led to his resignation.
Gosen is tight-lipped about details of the affair, but reports have surfaced that racy text messages, and maybe even a video, are part of the picture. Reports Messenger:
Two sources with knowledge of Gosen’s actions, including one whom the former state representative confided to before he resigned, say the downfall started with an event outside the Capitol in 2014.
Gosen met the woman, who is from southeastern Missouri, and they hit it off. She is not a Capitol employee and hasn’t ever worked there. At some point, the sources say, the relationship became sexual. Gosen, following the path made famous by former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner and to a lesser extent former Missouri Speaker of the House John Diehl, sent the woman at least one text that included a photo of a sexual nature. The Post-Dispatch has obtained one of these texts. The couple also made a video of some sort, the sources confirmed.
Gosen lied to the woman, sources say, about many things, including his ultimate intentions, and that led to a bad breakup. It’s unclear when that breakup took place.
It’s the sexts and video — or at least the rumor of their existence — that led to his rapid fall from grace. Those rumors made their way to Speaker of the House Todd Richardson on Monday. He called Gosen into his office and asked for his resignation.
Gosen said he had already made that decision, after telling his wife and daughters what had happened.
Yes, Gosen and his wife have three daughters, but multiple reports say the legislator's actions might be far worse than has been reported so far in the mainstream press. Reports Danny Wicentowski at the Riverfront Times:
Additional details of Gosen's wandering libido can be found in a newsletter published today from former reporter/cop/ John Hoffmann. Citing several anonymous sources, Hoffmann claims that Gosen has juggled "multiple girlfriends" since he joined the legislature in 2010, and that one of those girlfriends was an unnamed "elected state representative."
Just how seedy was Gosen's behavior? Consider these details from a post at johnhoffman.net:
The story begins to unfold, that Gosen, 53, who lives in Ballwin on Clayton Road west of Kehrs Mill Road has multiple girlfriends. He is married and has been married for some time. He has been a State Farm Insurance agent for a long time with an office on Taylor Road in Wildwood. He was elected to the 101st District of Missouri House of Representatives in 2010. He apparently quickly joined the Jefferson City Legislature fraternity party club.
We were told that he was sending photos of him "Donald Ducking" which would have him like Donald wearing just a shirt and nothing else. . . .
We were also told by two independent sources that there was a video of Gosen having sex inside the capital.
Wow, a legislator engaging in sex inside the capital, with video running? You can't get much more "conservative" than that. And Gosen's record at votesmart.org indicates he voted like a staunch "values" conservative. Gosen describes himself as "pro life" and says that marriage should between "one man and one woman." He is against state funding for stem-cell research, against affirmative action, and against including sexual orientation under Missouri's anti-discrimination laws.
What about Ashley Madison's role in Gosen's seamy story? Did any of his affairs start via the AM Web site? Is he still an active user of the site? How much money did he spend there?
Answers to those questions remain unknown, but we are seeking comment from Gosen.