Thursday, July 18, 2019

Alabama U.S. Senate hopeful John Merrill, now a noted TV and cultural critic, admitted in 2015 to "extramarital sexual encounter" but said woman's claim that she provided oral sex was false -- no kidding


John Merrill

The claims of Alabama U.S. Senate hopeful John Merrill that a preoccupation with "homosexual activities" and the "wife swap TV shows" is causing moral rot in America raises a host of discomfiting questions.

Is Merrill's steaming pile of hypocrisy, given his 2015 admission to an "extramarital sexual encounter," the smelliest part of this story? Or maybe it's the Alabama press' willingness to provide cover for a white Republican by failing to mention Merrill's own indiscretions in coverage of his bromide about old-timey television shows? Or is it the explanation Merrill gave to a newspaper's panel of four journalists in 2015 that was so flimsy it stretched credulity to the breaking point?

How did Merrill explain his dalliance with a woman named Millie Brinyark to higher-ups at al.com (The Birmingham News)? We would describe it as "off-the-charts goofy." But the assembled journos, casting inquisitiveness and healthy skepticism aside, seemed to swallow it, as fishermen like to say, "hook, line, and sinker."

After we broke the Merrill-Brinyark story on January 29, 2015 -- he was then, as he is now, Alabama's secretary of state -- Merrill met with members of the al.com staff in an apparent effort to squirm out of trouble. Here is how we described it in a post dated February 5, 2015:

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill admits to having an extramarital sexual encounter but denies it included oral sex, according to an article published yesterday afternoon at al.com.

Merrill, a Republican with solid backing from business and religious organizations, also admitted to recommending the woman, Millie Brinyark, for a school-related job. But Merrill denied making the hiring decision, even though the job apparently was in a program he once managed. . . .

What is Merrill's version of the sexual encounter? Here is how al.com describes it:

Merrill said the woman called him and asked to meet on Sunday, Sept. 12 (2010), at a condo owned by her brother. (In her deposition, the woman said Merrill asked her about getting together that Sunday, but acknowledged that she suggested the location, saying she had to go there anyway to return a parking pass.). That is where the encounter happened that Merrill and the woman describe differently.

Merrill told reporters: "Basically, when I walked in, we started talking. She kissed me, I kissed her back. Then she started unbuttoning my shirt, and after that, she started to become more aggressive, and she actually did some other things in trying to engage me in some physical activity with her, which I declined, and I indicated to her that I was not going to do that.

"I stopped, and I said, 'I need to go, I'm not going to be here anymore'."

How did Merrill skirt Brinyark's graphic description, in a divorce-case deposition (under oath), of their encounter? Given that Merrill is a long-time chum of Birmingham attorney and former Alabama first son Rob Riley, it should be no surprise that his explanation is a tad hard to believe. From our February 2015 post:

The al.com article raises numerous questions, but perhaps the most staggering one is this: Why would a woman admit--under oath and penalty of perjury--to providing a man with oral sex, when she really didn't? Even Merrill can't seem to explain that one, especially considering that Brinyark's deposition reportedly was taken less than two weeks after the sexual encounter. From the al.com article:

Asked why the discrepancy exists between his version and what the woman testified to 10 days after the incident, Merrill said:

"I don't know, I don't know that I ever will know. But I do know this - I'd know if that (oral sex) had happened. I would know that, and I know it didn't."

Raise your hand if you think Millie Brinyark would admit, under oath in a divorce case, that she provided a BJ to a man other than her husband, when she really didn't. I suspect there aren't too many raised hands out there.

Millie Brinyark
As for the journalism on the Merrill story . . . well, it's been dreadful. We wound up breaking the Brinyark story after al.com's Kyle Whitmire admitted he was sitting on it. From a Legal Schnauzer post of January 2015:


Secretary of State John H. Merrill (R-Tuscaloosa) is the Alabama politician whose extramarital affair was revealed in court documents but went unreported in the mainstream press.

Kyle Whitmire, a reporter for al.com, admitted in a column on Tuesday that, prior to the 2014 general election, he had court documents that provided details about an unnamed public official's affair. The quality of the information was not in question because it involved sworn testimony in a deposition. Whitmire said it was "as close as it comes" to having a "story cold," but he "stuck it away," apparently not even consulting an editor about it. Whitmire hinted that other reporters in the mainstream press had received the information and ignored it.

Merrill, a Republican ally of former governor Bob Riley and a friend of Riley's son Rob, went on to handily win the secretary of state race over Democrat Lula Albert-Kaigler. Would Merrill have won if Whitmire had revealed the contents of court documents in his possession? That's hard to say. But multiple sources told Legal Schnauzer yesterday that the documents in question are from a divorce case in Tuscaloosa Circuit Court styled Bryan Scott Brinyark v. Mildred Murphree Brinyark.

Sources sent us copies of Millie Brinyark's deposition in the case, dated September 22, 2010, and Merrill's name is front and center. Ms. Brinyark, a former teacher, admits to allowing the married Merrill to touch her "private parts" and that she performed oral sex on him.

How small a person is John Merrill, this guy who wants to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate? He actually had the audacity to blame his 2015 troubles on a "smear campaign." And al.com journos apparently were dim-witted enough to believe him. From Legal Schnauzer:

According to al.com, Merrill claims to be the victim of a "smear campaign" by unnamed individuals who widely circulated portions of the deposition to the press, politicians, members of his church, and others. How can it be a smear campaign when it involves public documents, about testimony that Merrill largely admits is true? The al.com journalists apparently did not ask Merrill that question.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Our country started going to hell when "American Bandstand" went off the air.

legalschnauzer said...

https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/gop-official-says-fixation-homosexual-activities-harming-u-s-moral-n1030941?fbclid=IwAR39VLuid9r-7IZ24mwwxwSQZcBCpsK0-KNU17uHjRKy_gh_ntGpFLBmeyM

Here is Merrill on the U.S. Women's Soccer Team, World Cup champions:

When sharing an example of what he called Americans' preoccupation with “homosexuality activities,” Merrill cited media coverage of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s World Cup victory earlier this month.

“That’s exactly what I’m talking about,” he said. “What the national media chose to focus on is the fact that these young ladies’ sexual orientation was more significant than what they accomplished on the field of play,” which Merrill said “was to separate themselves from any other team like them in the history of the World Cup.”

“The national narrative began to be one of divisiveness, and if you can’t support these young ladies because they’re gay and because they want to wear the LGBT flag on their uniform, as opposed to just appreciating the great talent that they have, and the unbelievable athletic accomplishments that they produce, that's a problem,” Merrill said. . . .

Merrill said Megan Rapinoe, an out lesbian and co-captain of the World Cup-winning USWNT, is “in a position to represent our country — again you represent the entire country. Not just you and not just the team, but the entire country because you are the U.S. women’s soccer team.”

As for her status as an openly gay person, Merrill said, “A gay person can be gay, a straight person can be straight, that's a decision for each individual to make.”

Anonymous said...

Merrill says one can be gay or straight, "that's a decision for each individual to make."

This dummy, like many other wingers, still thinks people choose their sexual orientation.

Anonymous said...

Question: Why would a woman, in a sworn deposition in her divorce case -- with custody of her children at stake -- lie about giving John Merrill a blow job? How would she benefit from such a lie? Wouldn't she be slitting her own throat, in a legal sense?

Anonymous said...

I think Merrill has a serious character disorder. To discuss morality issues, given his own background, is just asking for trouble.

Anonymous said...

So, Merrill "made a decision" to be a hetero horndog? That must mean he's a latent homo, but he "made the decision" to suppress it.

Anonymous said...

Would Ms. Simpson feel the same way about the World Cup coverage if the straight players had flaunted their straight pride with heterosexual flags and kissed their boyfriends afterwards? The valid point John Merrill made is that the media coverage of the World Cup had about as little to do with soccer as buttered popcorn in the movie theater. Instead, the media coverage made it seem like the World Cup was a contest over gender identity, an international Miss Gay pageant of sorts. And it was a great disservice to the girls of this country that they never mentioned who had the best goalie skills, the best passing skills, and the best fouling skills, too.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'm glad to hear of a politician promoting old timey Westerns. For the leading ladies in the 1950s tv shows are curvy and full of figure - a much healthier body image than the anorexic supermodels of the 1990s and the still too thin to be natural actresses of today.

Anonymous said...

I hope Legal Schnauzer does report on these alleged almost affairs. That way he will hush up these naysayers who are hunting for a log cabin republican in the closet.

Anonymous said...

One of the greatest quotes of all time. Makes me laugh every time I read it:


"I don't know, I don't know that I ever will know. But I do know this - I'd know if that (oral sex) had happened. I would know that, and I know it didn't."

Anonymous said...

Merrill is denying oral sex because, like a lot of evangelical men, he views his d--k as a "magic wand," the source of all his powers. Hell, he even thinks with it. To admit that Ms. Brinyark grabbed it and "gave it a polish" would be to show his lack of control over his own powerful wand -- and that, somehow would lessen his power and deepen his sin.

That's also shy he denies all the sexy talk he initiated because that makes him look a bit like a victim of an aggressive cougar" -- makes him appear a little more innocent.

Unknown said...


I love watching a sweet kiss of a man and woman as well as Rapinoe and her lover when someone wins a world cup or something like it. I always watch for the kiss of victory at the end of the game I am a hopeless romantic what can I say. I love it when Saban at Alabama hugs or kisses Ms Terry as well and says how much he loves her and that is no different than Rapinoe kissing her female lover to me. As far as skill goes there was a lot of conversation about how great of athletes these ladies are I am shocked you did not see that coverage. As for the media coverage they did focus a lot on how this particular team took a stand for equality for the LBGTQ community with the pride flags on their uniform and I think that is beautiful from an activist point of view. Too often athletes don't use their powerful positions to take a stand an I admire those who do. Everyone who has followed the great Athlete Rapinoe knows she does not identify just as an athlete but also as a social justice warrior and she is terrific at both. As for the children and young girls watching I hope they recognize every athlete is an individual that brings who they are as a player to the game and hope these young girls realize it is ok to do that and be an activist for the causes that are important for them. Rapinoe has taught American Girls you can be both an athlete and a great activist on the field and I think that is a good thing. So you know I fully identify myself as an anti corruption and election integrity activist and like social justice warriors our world needs lots of them. Hats off to both the straight and lesbian players who are the World Cup Champions you not only played a great game but taught all the little girls all over the world to be themselves and be proud of it. As for any haters they can go to hell is how I feel with all the other haters.

Unknown said...

As for this concept of straight pride I think it is a silly concept for the most part . Straight people are accepted for who they are and have been for thousands of years. Unlike the LGBTQ community who created this event to take pride in who they are too as they at one time went up against a lot of hate and folks who did not accept their sexuality they were born with. But if you are weak in security of who you are sexually as a straight person fly your flag if it makes you feel better. Scream from your roof tops I am straight and happy wave your straight pride flag because then you are saying we all have a right to be happy how we are born . My belief is everyone should be happy about their sexuality they are born with. I am a straight white female and very happy with who I am and I a social justice ally with LBGTQ bunch being who they were born to be .

Unknown said...


I love watching a sweet kiss of a man and woman as well as Rapinoe and her lover when someone wins a world cup or something like it. I always watch for the kiss of victory at the end of the game I am a hopeless romantic what can I say. I love it when Saban at Alabama hugs or kisses Ms Terry as well and says how much he loves her and that is no different than Rapinoe kissing her female lover to me. As far as skill goes there was a lot of conversation about how great of athletes these ladies are I am shocked you did not see that coverage. As for the media coverage they did focus a lot on how this particular team took a stand for equality for the LBGTQ community with the pride flags on their uniform and I think that is beautiful from an activist point of view. Too often athletes don't use their powerful positions to take a stand an I admire those who do. Everyone who has followed the great Athlete Rapinoe knows she does not identify just as an athlete but also as a social justice warrior and she is terrific at both. As for the children and young girls watching I hope they recognize every athlete is an individual that brings who they are as a player to the game and hope these young girls realize it is ok to do that and be an activist for the causes that are important for them. Rapinoe has taught American Girls you can be both an athlete and a great activist on the field and I think that is a good thing. So you know I fully identify myself as an anti corruption and election integrity activist and like social justice warriors our world needs lots of them. Hats off to both the straight and lesbian players who are the World Cup Champions you not only played a great game but taught all the little girls all over the world to be themselves and be proud of it. As for any haters they can go to hell is how I feel with all the other haters.

Anonymous said...

Give Mr. Merrill the benefit of the doubt on this one. For Ms.Brinyark admits to other affairs with married men in this same deposition. Fidelity to her husband doesn't appear to have been a priority for her.

legalschnauzer said...

@4:47 --

What doubt is there? Merrill has admitted to all of it except the BJ. And he's the one holding public office, not Ms. Brinyark.

legalschnauzer said...

Interesting comment from Jill Simpson at Facebook about Merrill. She says he really hasn't changed much from their college days:

My old college classmate John Merrill is still the same dingbat I knew in college. Not much has changed.He still feels his religion and sexuality threatened watching movies and TV and is a very insecure individual, with a fragile white-male patriarchy-dominated-society ego, which is now on public display. Back then in college, he was smashing Prince albums publicly with a mallet when the "Purple Rain" movie was playing at the local theater on the strip in Tuscaloosa because Prince was looking at different types of sexuality. Now Merrill admits his world is threatened by the World Cup Soccer team as,"Oh my gosh, some of the greatest players are lesbians.( LOL). It is my personal belief, after reading Roger Shuler's article where Merrill it was stated liked to have sex all the time suffers from what so many Breitbart white boys suffer from, which is white man fragility of their masculinity.

legalschnauzer said...

(Cont., from Jill Simpson)


When I was growing up, we had a saying back then about how if a man was threatened by a gay man's sexuality, well, you know what that means? Well folks, Mr Merrill it appears from that deposition Roger put up should work on fixing his own sexual problems before worrying about the terrific female athletes who won the World Cup . I guess it hurts Merrill that they don't want to ever have sex with him, or any man for that matter.


https://www.facebook.com/dana.j.simpson/posts/10214709127781928

legalschnauzer said...

More fascinating stuff from Jill Simpson re: John Merrill, at Facebook:

What John Merrill really appears to be saying, to World Cup Women's Soccer team is that he would like them not to support LBGTQ Community openly, and for members who are not straight, to hide that they are lesbians. He wants to go back to the "if asked if are you from that community, don't tell it days" that were over 14-plus years ago. It appears that would make John feel he was safe and back in the late 1960's and early 1970's which is the era of the TV shows he watched and loved and where John feels safer. John can't stand, it appears, the little pride flag on the soccer team uniform, or that some of the players wrapped themselves in the pride flag when they won to say, "Hey, look what our community did, and we are lesbians and proud of it." That frightened Mr Merrill to death . Nor can he stand that one of the world's greatest female athletes, Rapinoe, kissed her female partner on national TV, and why is that? Because he suffers from having a fragile white-male masculinity ego that feels threatened when two women kiss on national TV, as it means they don't need him or his bullshit or his penis. Roger Shuler hit the nail on the penis head of John Merrill when he wrote and posted the deposition of Merrill having had a woman from another marriage service him with a blow job and proclaiming he liked to have sex with women all the time. Which sounded kind of like a full-blown sex addiction problem that might need treated, and this nut is our secretary of state. I might add everyone in Alabama is getting a good laugh out of Merrill replacing all the former GOP clowns as the most talked about religious zealot in the country, as who knew all Merrill could think about is sex down at the Secretary of State's office? Merrill provides great entertainment to the citizens down here in the South, and we all know in Alabama, politics is a blood sport, and folks like politicians that are rough around the edges, so keep an eye on Merrill as he is practicing the Billy Clinton rule that any attention whether negative or not is good PR as long as folks are talking about you in the press.

legalschnauzer said...

Also I might add John has a history in Alabama as a marriage wrecker, and I suspect -- since he opened the door to talk about sex stories re: lesbians because all he can think about is sex, according to his home-wrecking divorce deposition -- we are going to be hearing all about what John thinks re: all kinds of sex as he runs for Senator. It looks like Legal Schnauzer, Shuler, will be telling all the Merrill sex stories this year, and I personalyl feel for John as Shuler is the best sex-story reporter in the nation. Shuler is, it appears, all over the Merrill story, with more info being leaked to him every day . As for me, I am retired from oppo research, but I still remember at my bar I worked at in Tuscaloosa, some of the guys I worked with usee to have classes with Merrill, and all he could focus on when looking at girls was, "Is she a virgin?" They called him the Virgin Hunter. Well, it appears the Virgin Hunter is upset that famous lesbians want nothing to do with him, and it scares the shit out of him. Looking at Merrill's recent behavior in the press, it appears that he is stuck in the 1970's and 1980's, and well folks, we don't need this backwards-thinking male politician in office. After all, he only has time to think about sex and using women for his pleasure. I might add to me one of the most beautiful moments on TV this year was when Rapinoe won with her team and felt free to kiss her partner on national TV. Plus, it was beautiful as well seeing the pride flag on the field, as it meant those folks no longer had to hide their love for their partners. How dare Merrill, a sex fiend, try to return us to "Gunsmoke," a great show that has been over for nearly 50-plus years. All I can say is that John Merrill is a back-assward Alabama hillbilly.


https://www.facebook.com/dana.j.simpson/posts/10214710623499320

Anonymous said...

Anybody who keeps up with John Merrill's intense schedule of public appearances throughout the state knows that he is deeply committed to the state of Alabama. And if at one point he had to have women "all the time", he certainly doesn't make the time for that now. For he speaks at five different events at opposite ends of the state, all in a single day. And his devotion to his responsibilities as Secretary of State is admirable.

Anonymous said...

@12:43

Ever hear about road head?

legalschnauzer said...

@12:43 --

No. What's the story?

Anonymous said...



The road head comment was directed toward the anonymous Merrill defender who would have us believe that simply because Mr Merrill is running for a statewide political office that he has no time for sexual dalliances of the ungodly sort. Only a fool or a fundajelical would think that making five campaign appearances a day is current proof of purity of the sexual sort.

I have no personal knowledge of Mr Merrill's current or past sexual preferences or practices. The comment posted at 11:53 made no reference to anything other than the existence of that particular practice.

The fact that there are some internet whispers that Mr Merrill may have some sexual skeletons in his closet even though he portrays himself as a holy warrior against all those types of perversions ("perversion" as I understand it for many fundamental evangelicals would be any sexual practice except those intended to impregnate a wife- thus a handjob is pretty much equivalent to TV preacher Ted Haggard allegedly having sex with a male prostitute for years and smoking meth) do not surprise me in the least.

Also Newt Gingrich and oral sex! The Inner Quest Of Newt Gingrich

legalschnauzer said...

@8:50 --

Thanks for the explanation and for a solid counterpoint to @11:53's comment.

Anonymous said...

John Merrill is all about quantity but completely lacks quality. He may encompass what appears to be greatness on the outside, but on the inside, there’s no substance. On the rare occasion he does try to have something genuine to say to you, it’s usually a broken record of circles, riddles, & backtracks. He is a gas-lighter & pretends to never notice his employees talents or will not genuinely compliment anything worthwhile about you unless it benefits him in some way. He will not empathize with your hardships (even if he caused them), anticipate your needs, or participate in your celebrations. The more quality time you try to have with him, the less satisfaction you will receive, & the more disappointed & empty you will feel afterwards. If you stay around long enough to peel away the fake layers that shield his soul, you will begin to see that John is an empty, dark, & sometimes rotten void. No matter what you say or do, you will always fall short of extracting any real fruit from his spirit because he is simply unable to bear any. It is at the point when you begin to feel pity for him instead of sadness & anger, & you will know it’s time to jump ship like all previous employees who got tired of working for the Devil. He pretends to be someone he’s not. A shallow hollow insidious creature stuffed full of lies. His spell can be so deceiving & captivating, but when presented with expectations requiring character & substance, he will fall short every time! BEWARE!!

legalschnauzer said...

@9:22 --

Thanks for sharing. I think you've provided important insights about a man who wants to be U.S. senator from Alabama.

Anonymous said...

I assure you, John doesn’t have much of a magical wand. My experience with it was very disappointing. Not powerful at all! His magical power is preying on vulnerable women, luring them in, using them & throwing them away like trash. Not only is he a bully, but a weak coward!

Anonymous said...

Haha! Trust me, he makes time! It’s usually around 9 to 10 pm. He wanted to know if I was available for him to visit for almost a year.

legalschnauzer said...

@6:06 --

Are you saying John Merrill has other infidelity issues other than the one with Millie Brinyark? If so, that could be a pretty important story for the people of Alabama.

Anonymous said...

Yes, definitely. He’s extremely talented when it comes to picking out his next vulnerable woman & love bombing her with flattery, text & phone calls. Granted, she must meet certain specifications in looks & accessibility, but he keeps about 3 women in rotation along his path of travels at all times. Usually DeKalb county, Autauga, & Montgomery areas. He lured the Montgomery girls in by getting them a job & a place to live. That’s just one reason he has such a high employee turnover rate. It’s all a fun game to him. He pays his abusive chief of staff extremely well to keep his drama going at the office while he’s out running around the state & keep the mess he creates covered up. David Brewer is really the sec. of st. The transparency page showing staff & salaries on alabamavotes.gov changes with the wind.

legalschnauzer said...

@8:44 --

I would be glad to talk with you via phone at some point if you are comfortable with that. As you probably know, I broke the Brinyark story after al.com sat on it, so I have some history with the journalism on Merrill. I've heard of at least one other name mentioned with him, but haven't quite nailed that one down. It sounds like there are quite a few others I'm not familiar with. Sounds like the guy is a total fraud, but I understand he and Rob Riley long have been buddies, so I guess that shouldn't be a surprise.

Anonymous said...

That’s an understatement. Merrill not only routinely cheats on his wife, he even cheats on the women he’s cheating with. He keeps about 3 women in rotation at all times.Usually DeKalb, Tuscaloosa, Autauga, Montgomery areas. It’s all a fun game for him to stalk vulnerable women, granted they must be accessible & meet certain specifications, then he love bombs them with his talented charms, texts & phone calls. He lures some into the Montgomery area by offering them jobs. You can look on Secretary of state’s website under transparency to see how often his staff & their salaries change with the wind. His abusive ch of staff Brewer is really your sec of St. while Merrill runs around all over the state. Brewer earns his money by constantly creating office drama among staff & cleaning up Merrill’s messes.

Anonymous said...

She didn’t lie. He wanted to have sex with her so he took advantage of her emotional state & became her friend & showered her with attention. After He used her he then threw her under the bus when it was exposed. She exposed it because he betrayed her just like he betrays his wife & his employees. He is a professional con artist who sells a fake bill of goods