Locals React to Pickering Lawsuit

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Local political watchers react to a lawsuit filed against a woman who allegedly broke up the marriage of former congressman Chip Pickering.

Leisha Pickering, Chip's estranged wife, is suing Elizabeth Creekmore Byrd for alienation of affection, claiming her affair with the congressman led to the break-up of the Pickerings' marriage.

Chip Pickering issued a statement in response to the lawsuit:
"I still believe it is in the best interest of our five boys if our differences are resolved privately and before the appropriate court and not in the media. For that reason, I will not comment further."

During his years in office, the Republican lawmaker turned lobbyist had a squeaky clean image. He was considered a rising star in the GOP.

Newscenter 11 talked to Meridian attorney and fellow Republican Rick Barry, a longtime friend. Barry said he hasn't had a conversation with Pickering about the alleged affair, but for now he's giving him the benefit of the doubt.

As for what this does to Pickering's reputation, Barry said the former lawmaker's record while serving will stand regardless of a possible affair.

Political analyst Dr. Kathy Baxter said she believes this story is a sign of the times. She said politicians are held to such a high standard that they can rarely live up to it.

Baxter said she doesn't approve of extra-marital affairs, but simply saying that this is nothing new in the political world, just more heavily reported.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Annie Location: Los Angeles on Sep 2, 2009 at 07:35 PM
    A lawsuit against the mistress should be done in EVERY adultous situation. There should also be jail time mandatory for the one cheating. marriage is not only a promise..it is a legal, binding contract with benefits. Evasion of commitment while receiving benefits is criminal. If more people had serious consequences to face, they may think twice before ruining the lives of others and stealing from other people's life-long work. IDIOTS!
  • by Mary Location: New Jersey on Jul 20, 2009 at 12:25 PM
    My husband is 53 and is having an affair with a 29 year old he works with. I am going to file the same suit against her. When will these women learn to leave other wife's husbands alone?
  • by CJ on Jul 19, 2009 at 12:45 AM
    I think it should be kept private and between the two of them. The public does not need to know every detail! Their boys are the ones who are going to be hurt! Not only did their dad let them down, now their Mother is sinking to lower levels also. The other woman will get what she deserves, don't belittle yourself by this so public lawsuit!
  • by c. Location: meridian on Jul 18, 2009 at 05:51 PM
    The only part of this story relevant to us as the public, and completely missing from this news piece, is that the affair is alleged to have happened at a residence owned by a tax-exempt religious organization, and the leader of this organization teaches his flock of elected officials that the biblical rules are for 'the little people' and don't apply to them, because they have been chosen by God (please see Gov. Sanford's remarks about parallels between himself and King David). People with these beliefs (or weak enough to fall for it) should not be in any position of leadership.
  • by Sara on Jul 18, 2009 at 08:35 AM
    I don't have a problem believing these claims are true. But in all fairness, nothing has yet been proven in court. However, for anyone who doesn't want their spouse anymore, the only right thing to do is to divorce FIRST and THEN you find someone else. Any other way is inviting trouble because it's just the wrong way to live. If Mrs. Pickering is correct in this information, then she's standing up for herself and her children, saying I won't be lied to and trodden by someone who thinks he can make his own rules with impunity. And more power to her, if that's the case.
  • by D-Train Location: Meridian on Jul 17, 2009 at 10:55 PM
    What proof does Rick Barry need?? I tell ya, these Republicans strut around like they can walk on water, proclaiming that they're for family values, truth and the american way...and then try to get away with murder. It ain't rocket science, if you're unhappy with your marriage...get a divorce and go on with your life, don't try to have your cake and eat it too, idiots!!!
  • by Joe Location: Hattiesburg on Jul 17, 2009 at 08:35 PM
    Way to go Chip, hope you go before your church this weekend and confess your sins to let them know how you shafted your wife. What a great politican, if he did this to his family there is not telling what he did to the people he represented.
  • by MIMI Location: Meridian on Jul 17, 2009 at 08:33 PM
    So why are we surprised. I knew there was something going on when he all of a sudden decided to leave office to spend more time with his family and within months he announced his divorce. Now we know what family he was spending more time with. Hats off to you Mrs. Pickering.Make him sing all the verses to,"Cheaper to Keep Her." My advice to you is that of Ivana Trump, don't get mad, get everything.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 17, 2009 at 04:03 PM
    Didn't he make a promise when he got married. Gee everyone knows politicians can not keep a promise.
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