Wife Says Pickering's Affair Ended Career, Two Marriages | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Wife Says Pickering's Affair Ended Career, Two Marriages

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Chip Pickering's estranged wife, Leisha, filed a lawsuit today against the woman she says ruined her marriage and her husband's political career.

Leisha Jane Pickering, estranged wife of former Republican U.S. Rep. Charles "Chip" Pickering, filed a complaint in Hinds County Circuit Court this morning against Elizabeth Creekmore-Byrd for alienation of affection. Leisha Pickering alleges in the suit that her husband and Creekmore-Byrd had a long-standing relationship that began and ended once before the Pickering marriage, and resumed during Chip Pickering's congressional career in Washington, D.C.

Creekmore-Byrd divorced her husband, Dr. Byrd, in 2007, according to the suit, so that she and Chip Pickering could be together. She then insisted that Pickering not accept former Sen. Trent Lott's Senate seat so that he could divorce his wife and the two of them be together.

"t was always the plan that (Chip) Pickering would assume Lott's Senate position when he retired. ... Creekmore-Byrd insisted that if Pickering accepted the position in the Senate that their relationship would not be able to continue and that Pickering being in public life would have to remain married to Plaintiff, Leisha Jane Pickering. Therefore, they would not be able to continue their relationship. Ultimately, Creekmore-Byrd gave Pickering the option to remain a public servant or become a private citizen and continue relations with her.

"After Pickering's rejection of Governor Haley Barbour's offer to the vacant Lott position, and because Pickering did not want to lose the love and affection of his paramour, Creekmore-Byrd, Pikering made the decision to leave his wife and five children to be with Creekmore-Byrd"

Chip Pickering filed for a divorce from his wife in 2008, which has not been granted. He retired from Congress in January. According to the suit, Pickering rented a house "a short distance" from Creekmore-Byrd, but "over 30 miles away from his family."

Creekmore-Byrd is on the board of Telepak, which owns Cellular South. The wireless carrier, based in Ridgeland, "secured the services" of lobbying firm Capitol Resources, which "employed (Chip) Pickering and has created an office in Washington, D.C. for him."

Read the lawsuit (PDF, 1.7 MB)

Previous Comments

ID
149685
Comment

Ewwww. So why did he have five children with his wife if he couldn't stay out of this affair all those years!?! TPM Muckracker has this: Late Update: The suit says Rep. Pickering and Creekmore-Byrd rekindled their relationship while he was a congressman, before and while living at the C-Street facility. The relationship was "completely unknown" by Leisha Pickering, as it occurred in Washington on weekdays, and the congressman would return home to his wife and five children only on weekends.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-07-16T17:35:23-06:00
ID
149688
Comment

Another scandal for the party of "family values." Not that the Dems are a whole lot better over the long haul. These guys just can't keep it zipped.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-07-16T18:04:08-06:00
ID
149694
Comment

Naw, can we say John Edwards. It's hard to be a bigger cad than that schmuck, but Chip The Family Values Man is giving him a run. Not to mention, he has a a budding congressional baseball problem on his hands today as well, per Wonkette.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-07-16T19:43:29-06:00
ID
149700
Comment

Notice who one of her lawyers is? Oliver Diaz. I'm kind of simple minded. Y'all got some complicated politics down here. Could anyone tie this all up for me in a nice package, with a bow or two on it? Cast (please include roles they are playing) to include: Pickerings( Mr and Mrs.) Trent Lott, Haley Barbour, Bobby DeLaughter, Paul Minor, Oliver Diaz, The Creekmores, C Street, (can I throw in Richard Scruggs for good measure) Capitol Resources (hey are Austin and Henry by any chance related to you know who?). Extra Credit for working in: Betty Ruth Johnson and Chuck Mcrae Just had a thought: Could Chip hire Capitol Resources to lobby for him on this issue? "At CAPITOL RESOURCES, LLC, we strengthen our clients' positions through sound strategic action plans that identify, organize, and activate grassroots-level support; appeal to a broader audience when necessary; and communicate effectively and directly with policy makers." Naw, i guess that might be a conflict of interest. Just thinking out loud but any chance Ms. Johnson got pressured to drop the case? I'm not smart enough to say by who. I'll leave that up to all you experts. Or is it y'all experts?

Author
annyimiss
Date
2009-07-17T00:25:02-06:00
ID
149709
Comment

If you ever aren't sure what republicans are up to, I think it's pretty safe to assume the reverse of whatever they are saying. We need a new political party to replace these hypocrites and swindlers. I didn't think I could get anymore disgusted with them. The baseball story is unbelievable, if we have sent a bigger douche-bag to Washington recently than this guy I don't know who he is.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-07-17T07:33:08-06:00
ID
149716
Comment

The baseball story is unbelievable, if we have sent a bigger douche-bag to Washington recently than this guy I don't know who he is. Well, there is some good competition, WMartin. ;-) Did you see that Barbour only polled 2 percent in a naitonal GOP presidential poll. It's remarkable that some echo-chamber Mississippians think he'd have a shot. He has immense baggage -- just because all of it doesn't matter to Mississippians who turn out to vote doesn't mean it won't matter nationally. It would make for good front-seat journalism, however. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-07-17T08:00:56-06:00
ID
149718
Comment

The C Street Prayer House stuff is creepy. Am I the only getting visions of "Eyes Wide Shut" here?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-07-17T08:07:31-06:00
ID
149720
Comment

And why do they say gays and lesbians shouldn't be able to get married? Gee. The ones I know have a better grip on family values than this... this... I'd better shut up or I'm going to start cussing. Leading by example seems to be a foreign concept to Mr. Pickering.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-07-17T08:10:37-06:00
ID
149722
Comment

C-Street is not an official "residence" but is a part of the far-religious-right's property holdings to indoctrinate their twisted theology into all nonthinking people. The fact that this "religious group" allows adultery to take place in their "house of prayer" only further exposes their duplicity and arrogance. It is time that C-Street and its gaggle of goons lose their tax exampt status.

Author
Dr. Arthur Frederick Ide
Date
2009-07-17T08:11:43-06:00
ID
149726
Comment

You give them/him way too much credit. Chip is no Tom Cruise. Seems more like he'd be an acolyte of Dean Vernon Wormer from Animal House, can't decide if he is Greg Marmalard or Doug Neidermeyer (been so long since I saw the movie). How far is C Street from K Street, metaphorically speaking?

Author
annyimiss
Date
2009-07-17T09:24:01-06:00
ID
149727
Comment

Explain to me how Mrs. P benefits from filing this suit? Maybe I'm the simple one but I wouldn't want to add any more fuel to the mess my husband & his hussy created... Perhaps this is how it goes in the circles of the rich, famous and politically connected

Author
lanier77
Date
2009-07-17T09:43:21-06:00
ID
149728
Comment

Rich people sue each other all the time. They just don't want poor people suing them, or corporations. ;-) True, Le Chip is no Tom Cruise. But that didn't matter, it seems. I read in one article that he's worried about the effect this media coverage will have on his kids. What a dad. Meantime, his mistress rented a chateau or such near his family while they were in Colorado on a ski vacation. On top of everything else, they seem dangerously co-dependent.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-07-17T10:21:54-06:00
ID
149730
Comment

"True, Le Chip is no Tom Cruise. But that didn't matter, it seems." Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Though that may not bode well for the future. Dad in name only.(DINO?) Just asking.

Author
annyimiss
Date
2009-07-17T10:34:09-06:00
ID
149732
Comment

LOL @ Dino. Maybe that's what they mean when they say paleo-conservative.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-07-17T10:51:28-06:00
ID
149736
Comment

All, someone just e-mailed us that this story originally broke yesterday on our friends Matt Eichelberger and Jim Craig's excellent blog. Click over and catch up. I'd assumed it came out of AP or such; we retweeted WAPT on it immediately when it broke into the media yesterday. In Google News, AP showed up as the first outlet that had it, but we want to give credit where it's due. And from the look of their blog, they actually dug it up; so it was "enterprise" rather than just passing on the news everyone has, which most blogs do. Good work, guys! And cheers for having an intelligent blog and ethically using your real names to back up what you write. This is personal blogging at its finest.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-07-17T11:37:18-06:00
ID
149745
Comment

JFP just got mentioned on CNN on this story -- but not for the new story Adam just broke about Leisha's restraining order and the journals! Oh well. We'll take it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-07-17T12:33:47-06:00
ID
149752
Comment

ok now I understand her filing this suit.. she had no choice but to fight her husband in the media after a judge initially ruled that she had to turn those documents over. This suit will help her in her divorce case in regard to information she knew about the affair & making the knowledge of the affair public....I GOT IT

Author
lanier77
Date
2009-07-17T13:05:11-06:00
ID
149753
Comment

It sounds a bit like the scorned wife is taking on the entire machine in this.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-07-17T13:11:30-06:00
ID
149754
Comment

she's tougher than chip thought/that's right girl, putting on your boxing gloves, don't take this lying down... you're right, fury hath no wrath like a woman scorned (is that it?)

Author
lanier77
Date
2009-07-17T13:20:04-06:00
ID
149755
Comment

Hell hath no fury ... ;-) Leisha's Rage Against the Machine ...

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-07-17T13:27:16-06:00
ID
149758
Comment

Creekmore told Chip that he had to choose, either her or an illustrious, tenured career in Congress with possible ascension to the White House or other cushy job... boy she whipped him...

Author
lanier77
Date
2009-07-17T13:33:23-06:00
ID
149760
Comment

Why is this even news worthy? So what if he was having an affair? Who cares if he was banging chimps on the steps of the Capital? Maybe is wife is satan's daughter. Maybe he's just a lying cheating (.)hole. Who cares? He ran as a supporter of "family values" and lied about it, does that surprise anyone?, he's a politician, they all lie. The news media needs to report on stuff that actually effects people's life not the soap opera life former U.S. rep. This is not directed at JFP just the news media in general. Ok my rant for the day is over. Carry on. : )

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-07-17T13:44:22-06:00
ID
149763
Comment

Several reasons, Bubba: 1. Extreme hypocrisy by a former public official. Have you heard his family-values talks? We used to get his press releases. That rhetoric is used to support clampdown on people's rights. 2. The possible intervention by his powerful friends into the situation and against his wife 3. The big question of what in hell is going on in that C Street Prayer House place 4. Not all politicians lie, but this kind of hypocrisy convinces us they do. Those lies, in turn, affect voter apathy and engagement. If we out them enough, perhaps we can get a better calibre of elected official and real family people (like the current president seems to be).

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-07-17T14:13:53-06:00
ID
149767
Comment

Are they alleged to actually have had sex at the C-street facility? And who could a feller bribe to get his hands on those diaries? ;)

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-07-17T15:35:30-06:00
ID
149770
Comment

Jeff Sharlet wrote a book about the C-Street house called The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, in which he infiltrated the organization. More about it on Sharlet's blog.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-07-17T16:26:06-06:00
ID
149772
Comment

Good answer, Donna. Come on now, Bubba, my good buddy, I know you know better than ask that question. And I know it must hurt to put your stock or support behind people who turn out to be mere phonies. I tell you, young men if you're reading this column and desire to have multiple women or girlfriends before getting married, and unfortunately after or during marriage, don't join the army or get a well-paying job, merely become a republican, as they have more women than the National Organization of Women. The problem with them of course is they fall in love so easily or quickly and wound up with wives, mistresses, fiances, et al, at the same time. I just wish they would stop lying about having family values and being a practicing Christian. They should say they're sinners looking to get more or sinners unable to fully comply with the contracts, agreements and vows they make. I would believe that as all mere humans fall short.

Author
Walt
Date
2009-07-17T16:35:51-06:00
ID
149782
Comment

Walt-Didn't put my support behind Chip, didn't vote for him. As you can tell I don't think much of any politicians, they are all phonies in my opinion,no matter which party they are.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-07-17T18:59:42-06:00
ID
149787
Comment

Bubba, doesn't your blanket cynicism wind up letting Pickering off the hook? It is not every politician who makes speeches about family values while cheating on his wife. That was Pickering. Granted that politicians are all political animals, i.e. somewhat phony, but they are not all equally despicable.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2009-07-17T22:08:09-06:00
ID
149791
Comment

I would speculate that filing and winning a suit in Hinds County would give precedence to use the information in Madison County? I know divorce in Madison County is rumored to be horribly stacked against the party with the least power/money. And my heretofore unreceived child support was spent on one of those lawyers up there, so I don't really care to hear anyone talking about the "sake of the kids." Should of thought of that beforehand and it's just a red herring. LOOK! A bad mom! Ignore my shameless philandering severall states away from my children and look away while I take my wife's dignity, because she's a BAD MOM. Whatever. I bet Chip sent her one of those "unclean hands" letters, and those letters are quite obnoxious.

Author
emilyb
Date
2009-07-18T06:51:10-06:00
ID
149798
Comment

And ladies if you want a man who will be faithful and fulfilling to you, go Democrat, because republican males see more tail than a slow running car performing in the Indianapolis 500. They put the ruff ruff in the dog. Sure with a Democrat you'll live modestly and probably have to work, but you won't be weighted down by a man who says one thing and does another routinely. And if he slips and fall down with another woman you won't have to hear that bullcrap about him falling in love with the other woman. A Democrats do their business and go home to their families. That picture of Leisha and the children sitting in or near the middle of the bench and the Chipster sitting at the end by himself showed me in certain terms he was coming home to be with his family. Go Democrat. It's good to and for you!

Author
Walt
Date
2009-07-18T15:14:24-06:00
ID
149801
Comment

Dear Walt: Should I mention the Kennedy's? Or Elliot Spitzer? IG

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-07-18T16:23:52-06:00
ID
149802
Comment

John. Edwards. Cough. Cough.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-07-18T16:40:19-06:00
ID
149804
Comment

And let's not forget William Jefferson Clinton. Yeah, infidelity surely isn't limited to the Republican Party. On the other hand, the Repubs do tend to be the ones with a flag in one hand and a Bible in the other. If I never hear "family values" or "Christian values" again, it will be too soon.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-07-18T19:50:58-06:00
ID
149805
Comment

If the Repub's quit waving the "family values" flag, they'd look like Democrats in a lot of regards. :D

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-07-18T21:11:12-06:00
ID
149807
Comment

Walt sez... And ladies if you want a man who will be faithful and fulfilling to you, go Democrat Yeah. Right. LH, married to a sort-of Repub for almost 12 years and counting, and he still makes me feel beautiful. :)

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-07-18T21:54:43-06:00
ID
149828
Comment

[quote]Dear Walt: Should I mention the Kennedy's? Or Elliot Spitzer?[/quote] Heh, even Democrat NJ Gov. David Patterson, the guy that replaced Spitzer, admitted he AND his wife both have had affairs, but apparently not while in office.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-07-20T06:39:23-06:00
ID
149829
Comment

A short list of other Democrats caught with their pants down: Sen. Gary Hart Gov. James McGreevey Rep. Tim Mahoney Rep. Gary Condit Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Mayor Gavin Newsom Infidelity is a bipartisan failing. But elected Republicans need to quit the holier-than-thou routine trying to deceive folks into believing they have a monopoly on moral values.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-07-20T07:00:25-06:00
ID
149830
Comment

Who was the Republican that was tapping his foot in the men's room as some sort of a signal? That dude is a freak.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-07-20T07:04:20-06:00
ID
149831
Comment

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in 2007 for bathroom homosexual solicitation. I'll bet he wishes now he'd kept his foot in his own stall. Why in the heck would someone solicit sex while on the toilet?

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-07-20T07:28:20-06:00
ID
149839
Comment

"why in the heck would someone solicit sex while on the toilet." Great question, Jeff Lucas. "The Answer is Blowing In The Wind." LOL! I think it was Ladd who talked about "Co-Dependency." This is a perfect assessment of the relationship for Chip and his mistress. They serve as each other's CPR unit and both stay in need of resuscitation. I do understand un-requited love; however, this is not a relationship, in my opinion, that has the flavor-of-love: It has the flavor of narcissism and borderline personality traits. Can anyone say, "Bonnie & Clyde?"

Author
justjess
Date
2009-07-20T10:28:55-06:00
ID
149856
Comment

Indeed a few Democrats have fallen short too. However, the average republican male grabs more behinds than the membership of the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Associations. As a result, they have forever tainted the dating pool for Democrats. A Democrat likes to take it slow and get to know the woman before rushing her to romance. In contrast, those republican males flash money, jewelry, cars, clothes, shoes, falling in love, et al; then, rush the woman into romance. Consider Congressman Foley who couldn't wait until the Pages turned 18 or got off from work, or Senator Wide-legs Craig who couldn't wait until they left the bathroom, or Sanford who couldn't wait until important work in South Carolina was finished before running off to Argentina and falling in love. Clearly there is little comparison between the deeds, predilections and impulses of Democrats and republicans. Again, when Democrats slip and fall down with another woman not their wife they get up before falling in love, and goes home to their wives and children, a clear distinction between the two groups, and a representation of family values although warped and of questionable morality.

Author
Walt
Date
2009-07-20T16:37:30-06:00
ID
149867
Comment

Walt, you're psychotic. That's all.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-07-21T07:07:01-06:00
ID
149869
Comment

Walt, there isn't a dime's worth of difference between the Repubs and Dems in this issue. Both have members who have been less than a rock for their respective families to lean on. If your idea of valuing your family is that you do go home after having the affair. The value you place on your family isn't that high. As far as hypocrisy, I would be willing to wager a lot of money that the scoundrels of both parties who have been caught in scandals like this touted themselves as having "Strong Family Values" or some other catchy little phrase meaning the same thing. Although, Republicans do love to claim that title for their party, all the individual candidates say that about themselves no matter what the party. This isn't a Republican / Democrat thing, it's not a Conservative / Liberal thing, it's an Integrity / douche-bag thing. And people of low integrity deserve our scorn no matter which party they say they belong to. If they lie to the people closest to them they will lie to us much faster. It's a really good thing he is no longer an elected representative of our state.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-07-21T08:17:20-06:00
ID
149871
Comment

Ironghost, I don't think that Walt is psychotic. He seems to be very well in touch with reality. There are enough Democrats to spread around the gossip table; however, I must admit that MOST do not have the flagrant arrogance of the preached/verbalized moral ethical high-ground of Republicans. I never heard Bill Clinton criticize Nute Gingrish(sp) for his immoral acts. I never heard Edward Kennedy or John Edwards dog a Jimmy Swagert or a John Hinson or a Bob Barr. These Republicans were all members of what had the appearance of a hate mob attacking Democrats who committed acts of infidelity. It was Jimmy Carter who said, "I lust in my heart." Yet, it was Ws father,George Bush, who carried his mistress.....Need I say more????

Author
justjess
Date
2009-07-21T08:51:07-06:00
ID
149872
Comment

Is anyone out there old enough to remember the State's history with John Hinson? Just asking.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-07-21T08:54:30-06:00
ID
149899
Comment

Earlier on this thread, ladd wrote: “The C Street Prayer House stuff is creepy”! Creepy does not even begin to describe what is coming to light about these people. Jackson Attorney Jim Craig at ipseblogit.blogspot.com wrote articles here and here pointing out the ethics questions about then-Congressman Pickering steering $156 Million to Ridgeland based Cellular South, of which his reported paramour, Elizabeth Creekmore-Byrd, is a principle share holder. Today, Jeff Sharlet, who wrote "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power" has this article at Salon.com about those involved with the C Street House who consider themselves to be 'the "new chosen." If you're chosen, the normal rules don't apply.' Apparently, Pickering views himself as one of these 'new chosen' to which the rules do not apply, in neither his political nor private lives. With a look at others who are involved with the C Street House, Sharlet begins to paint a very unsettling picture of some of the "theocons" that are at the seat of our nation's government. As annyimiss pointed out, Pickering is currently employed by Capitol Resources, LLC with Henry and Austin Barbour, sons of Governor Haley Barbour's older brother, Jeppie. Capitol Resources is a lobbying firm which includes among its clients, none other than Cellular South. When one considers at the unusual way in which the Pickerings' divorce case is being being handled by courts in both Hinds and Madison counties, how much more is left to be revealed in not only Pickering's story, but in the tale of the "The Family" as well? We all have to start paying attention to these self-appointed "new chosen", among others, whose stated goals are to bring about "God's Kingdom on Earth". It is the thought of their unstated goals that is truly creepy!

Author
Macedonian
Date
2009-07-21T17:34:50-06:00
ID
149902
Comment

Jess: I recall that one!

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-07-21T18:32:57-06:00

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