Warnock’s ex-wife calls him ‘great actor’ in police footage of dispute’s aftermath

Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock’s ex-wife told Atlanta police officers that her husband was a “great actor” after he denied her claims that he ran over her foot with his car, according to body cam footage of the March 2020 incident that aired late Tuesday on Fox News.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in March that Warnock wasn’t charged with a crime and an officer said in a police report that medical officials didn’t find visible signs of injury in the foot. The Democrat disputed Ouleye Warnock’s allegations, telling the AJC on March 7 that “it didn’t happen.”

The footage aired on Tucker Carlson Tonight two weeks before a Jan. 5 runoff against U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, one of two races that will decide control of the U.S. Senate. It does not raise any new allegations against Warnock, but it was amplified by Republicans who used the video to remind a broader audience of the dispute.

Loeffler said in a statement late Tuesday the footage was “deeply troubling.” Warnock spokesman Michael Brewer called it a “desperate and shameful” attempt by the Republican to gain traction in the high-stakes race.

Warnock, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, and Ouleye were amid divorce negotiations when the incident occurred and finalized their split about two months later. Ouleye Warnock has declined to be interviewed about the incident and court records indicate the divorce case has been sealed.

The video confirmed details in the police report, which documented an argument between the two over whether Raphael Warnock would allow his wife to apply for passports so that she could take their two children to West Africa for her grandfather’s funeral.

He told police that his wife refused to close the right rear passenger door of his car so that he could leave. He told authorities he began to “slowly” drive forward — and then heard his wife accuse him of driving over her foot.

The report said Ouleye Warnock was able to wiggle her toes and that Grady Hospital first-responders were “not able to locate any swelling, redness, or bruising or broken bones.”

In the body cam footage, Ouleye Warnock told the officer that she’s been “very quiet about the way that he is for the sake of my kids and his reputation” surrounding his U.S. Senate bid.

“I’ve tried to keep the way that he acts under wraps for a long time and today he crossed the line,” she said. “So that is what is going on here. And he’s a great actor. He is phenomenal at putting on a really good show.”

Warnock told the officers in the body came footage his wife was exaggerating the incident: “I barely move, and all of a sudden she’s screaming that I ran over her foot. I don’t believe it.”

Ouleye Warnock’s divorce lawyer, Randall Kessler, said his client would not comment on the footage.

“Throughout the divorce she did not disparage him and has done what she could to not publicly discuss their private life because they have children who they both dearly love,” said Kessler. “She wants to continue to follow that path.”

Though the dispute has been public since early March, it has rarely surfaced on the campaign trail. An exception came in April, when longshot Democratic candidate Ed Tarver described the allegations as a “dark cloud” over the race as he tried to curry favor with national groups. He finished 15th out of 20 candidates in the November special election.

Since winning a spot in the runoff against Warnock, Loeffler’s attacks have focused on his past remarks and policy stances from years on the pulpit of Ebenezer, which she’s used to try to frame him as a “radical liberal.” In a statement, she suggested she will also highlight the footage of the aftermath of the dispute in the final stretch.

“Domestic abuse is a very serious issue, and this new body cam footage is certainly difficult to watch,” Loeffler said. “Georgians deserve answers to these very serious allegations, and his ex-wife’s voice deserves to be heard.”

In the statement from the Democrat’s campaign, Brewer said Loeffler has “spent her entire campaign attacking Reverend Warnock and has now stooped to a new low of attacking his family.”

“While she continues to wage her pathetic and dishonest campaign, Reverend Warnock will keep fighting for the people of Georgia who Kelly Loeffler left behind,” he said.