Rep. Alan Grayson Denies Pushing Estranged Wife in Weekend Altercation
WASHINGTON - After being slapped with a temporary protective injunction barring him from contact with his estranged wife, Rep. Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat serving his second term in the House, today denied that he battered her during a spat at the couple's home over the weekend.
"It simply isn't the way she described it," Grayson told a small group of reporters as he left the House chamber after casting votes. "She hit me and I retreated. That's what happened."
Asked whether he looked forward to putting the incident behind him once he appears before a judge March 20, Grayson worked to downplay the altercation, saying, "It's not an incident at all."
"There's nothing to put behind," he said. "She's simply lying and I think that our statement makes that clear."
Grayson and an aide directed further inquiries to a statement released by his spokeswoman earlier today.
"It has come to our attention that Ms. Grayson has filed a completely dishonest complaint against Congressman Alan Grayson regarding personal matters that took place last week," Lauren Doney, communications director for Grayson, wrote in an email Tuesday. "These allegations are absolutely false, completely unfounded, and clearly designed to vilify and harm Congressman Grayson."
Still, a judge granted a temporary protective injunction against Grayson after his future ex-wife accused him of causing her injury after he allegedly pushed her during an incident this weekend. Grayson was not arrested and has not been charged with any crime, but the order will remain in effect until both parties appear before a judge on March 20.
Lolita Carson-Grayson, who filed for divorce earlier this year, petitioned for the injunction Monday, alleging that the congressman pushed her against a door, causing her to fall to the ground, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
At least two of Grayson's children witnessed the drama, according to an aide who was also present for the exchange.
"The congressman and I arrived at the house at the same time in separate cars," Juan Lopez, the congressman's director of constituent services, recalled in an email. "We exited the cars at the same time. The two youngest kids were playing outside and told Ms. Grayson that [Rep. Alan Grayson] was there. We both walked towards the front door, without going in."
Lopez claims Carson-Grayson then launched an attack on Grayson, who he said never entered the house and left in less than five minutes. He says he regularly accompanies the Congressman "because [Grayson] does not want to visit the house without a witness."
"She came out and started yelling profanities. As the Congressman moved toward the door to retrieve a bundle of his mail, she charged toward the door. Before he even got in the house, she began striking the Congressman repeatedly and shoving him," Lopez wrote. "The entire time, he remained in a defensive posture and at no point in time did he lay a hand on her. He never made it inside the house. The moment after she hit him, he turned to me and said, 'Let's go, let's go.' And then we left."
An Orange County circuit judge on Monday granted Carson-Grayson temporary custody of their children and possession of the home, and ordered the congressman not to contact her.
Orange County Sheriff's Office Capt. Angelo Nieves said the investigation is "an open and active case."
"We will refrain from any speculation and will await the findings and conclusions of our investigation," Nieves told ABC News this evening.
A heavily redacted report provided by the Sheriff's Office identified Lolita Carson-Grayson as the victim. The congressman's name was apparently redacted from the suspect field on the document.
A spokesman for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi did not immediately answer a request for comment.