What started as a simple office affair might put a right-wing politician in serious legal trouble.
You might remember Hensley as one of the more radically right-wing politicians in our country: he notoriously introduced a bill that would prohibit schools from even mentioning that homosexuality exists, and wants it to be legal for college counselors to turn away troubled students (even suicidal ones) for religious reasons. He's worked on bills that would make it harder for LGBTQ parents to adopt and has championed laws that would deem children created from sperm donors illegitimate. He is also behind the "Milo Bill," aimed at curtailing liberalism on college campuses. Jezebel notes that Hensley is anti-abortion and has been married and divorced four times.
The details of Hensley's undoing are a bit hard to follow, so pay attention: According to The Nashville Scene, Hensley, who is also a local family physician, allegedly began an affair with Lori Barber, a nurse that he'd hired. Hensley's ex-wife let Barber's husband know what was going on, but the affair continued. Hensley was eventually subpoenaed when Barber's husband filed for divorce. Hensley refused to show up in court, citing laws that keep physicians and politicians away from such proceedings.
Nonetheless, sordid details emerged from the trial. Barber had been hired at $15 an hour to work one day a week in Hensley's office. It's unclear when, exactly, their affair began. After one of Dr. Hensley's exes, Gina Hensley, became aware of the lovers and handed over a flash-drive filled with incriminating details to Barber's husband, the good Doctor was accused of attacking Gina with his car. She filed an order of protection at the time but later withdrew the accusations.
Here's the real kicker though: Lori Barber is not just an employee of Dr. Joey Hensley, she's also his patient and his second cousin. Throughout the affair, Hensley had been providing Barber with botox injections and pain pills.
“I’ve been practicing 30 years,” says Hensley. “I have thousands of patients. It’s a small town, and I have a lot of family. A lot of family. Cousins, uncles, aunts. … And I don’t treat anyone any different.”
Somehow Hensley has avoided criminal charges, and it's not likely he'll actually face any punishment for his actions unless the Board of Medical Examiners goes forward with an investigation.
So much for family values, though.