Papers: Ryan Pressured Wife for Public Sex
CHICAGO – The former wife of Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan (search) claimed in divorce documents released Monday that he pressured her to perform sex acts in clubs while others watched.
Jeri Lynn Ryan (search), an actress best known for roles on TV's "Boston Public" and "Star Trek: Voyager," said in the documents that she angered Ryan by refusing. She did acknowledge infidelity on her part, which she said took place after their marriage was irretrievably broken.
In the documents, Jack Ryan denied the allegations, saying he had been "faithful and loyal" to his wife.
In a news conference Monday, Ryan refused to comment further on the allegations, saying his response in the court papers spoke for itself.
"I am sticking by the exact things I said five years ago," he said.
Jeri Lynn Ryan charged during a custody hearing that Ryan took her on surprise trips to New Orleans, New York and Paris in 1998, and that he insisted she go to sex clubs with him on each trip.
She said that after going to dinner with Ryan in New York, he demanded she go to a club with him.
"It was a bizarre club with cages, whips and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling," she said. She said she refused when Ryan asked her to perform a sexual act while others watched.
She said Ryan apologized after they left. But then, she said, he took her to Paris and again took her to a sex club.
"I did arrange romantic getaways for us, but that did not include the type of activity she described," Ryan said in the papers. "We did go to one avant-garde nightclub in Paris which was more than either one of us felt comfortable with. We left and vowed never to return."
He said he felt bad for their son that she would falsely accuse him.
In a statement released Monday, Jeri Lynn Ryan made no mention of the allegations, but said she now considers Ryan a good man and loving father.
A Los Angeles judge on Friday ordered parts of the records unsealed.
The two vigorously fought the public disclosure of the files since before Jack Ryan's win in the March 16 Republican primary. They have argued that making them public would be harmful to their 9-year-old son, Alex.
The Ryans said they were "disturbed and angered" by the order, but decided not to appeal.
In recent days, Ryan has tried to shore up support from Republican leaders, but one GOP member of the Illinois congressional delegation, Rep. Ray LaHood (search), called Monday for Ryan to withdraw as a candidate.
"There's no way the people of Illinois are going to countenance this behavior from a Senate candidate from the Republican Party," LaHood said.
Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, R-Ill., who is retiring and whom Ryan is hoping to replace, remained supportive of Ryan.
"Divorce cases and child custody cases are by nature acrimonious and allegations on all sides are often unreliable or sensationalized. The Jack Ryan that I know very well is a good and decent man," Fitzgerald said.
Ryan, who said he had no plans to withdraw, had repeatedly assured GOP leaders the files contained nothing embarrassing enough to torpedo his bid for the Senate against Democrat Barack Obama (search).
Rumors about the documents' contents have been circulating since before the March 16 primary. Some of his GOP opponents raised them as an issue in that campaign, but Ryan won the primary handily.
The judge said making the records public could harm the Ryans' son and embarrass the candidate. But he said the public deserved to know the contents.
The Chicago Tribune and Chicago TV station WLS sued to have the documents released.