In his first extensive remarks since the release of a court transcript from his 14-year-old divorce, the Jasper Republican conceded that he often used "very poor judgment" during his first marriage and the lengthy separation that followed.
But DesJarlais said he is not the same man who supported his first wife's decision to have two abortions. The physician-turned-congressman said he also deeply regrets sexual relationships with multiple women, including two patients, three co-workers and a drug company representative while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper.
DesJarlais, re-elected to a second term just two weeks ago, said he hopes voters will look at the job he has done while in office and will not judge him on his past.
"I am human," he said during an hour-long interview with the News Sentinel. "I don't think I ever put myself out there to be somebody that was perfect. I put myself out there as somebody who wanted to serve the public."