EXCLUSIVE: The ex-husband of California Democrat Senate candidate Rep. Katie Porter said he does “not recant” his domestic abuse allegations against the congresswoman after her campaign said that he did.
The allegations against Porter include claims that she dumped hot potatoes on her then-husband’s head and smashed a glass that led to him being cut by flying shards. Porter has separately faced accusations of running a toxic, emotionally abusive workplace by former staffers.
According to divorce documents received by Fox News Digital, Porter and her ex-husband, Matt Hoffman, both filed domestic violence restraining orders against each other after an April 2013 altercation at the home they shared while legally separated.
Hoffman alleged that Porter hit him “in the arm, causing a large bruise,” dumped boiling potatoes on his head and ridiculed him as “too dumb” to have a cellphone. He said that the congresswoman “waited all day, then called the police” and “made false allegations” against him 11 hours after a confrontation while brushing their teeth the day the police were called to their residence.
According to divorce documents received by Fox News Digital, California Democrat Rep. Katie Porter, shown, and her ex-husband, Matt Hoffman, not pictured, both filed domestic violence restraining orders against each other after an April 2013 altercation at the home they shared while legally separated. (Mario Tama / Getty Images / File)
Police arrested Hoffman on battery charges at the residence after the confrontation in April 2013. Porter requested the temporary restraining order the next day.
Documents obtained by Fox News Digital state that Hoffman regretted making the allegations against Porter in a court-ordered child custody evaluation, but it doesn’t specify whether his regret was due to a lack of veracity or another reason.
Porter’s campaign told Fox News Digital that Hoffman had “retracted” his statement, but Hoffman said he did “not recant” his allegations against the congresswoman.
Hoffman said he did not “recall stating I regretted making the allegations but, again, it’s been a long time.”
“I do not recant the allegations,” Hoffman added.
Porter’s spokesperson, Lindsay Reilly, told Fox News Digital that on “the morning of the hearing on Porter’s request for a temporary restraining order following documented violence by her then-husband, her then-husband’s lawyer filed a reciprocal request for protection.”
“This common defensive tactic is designed to intimidate a victim. Her then-husband later admitted, as evidenced by the attached document, that ‘he regretted making these allegations,’” Reilly said.
“Porter’s then-husband’s allegation was not supported by any evidence, other than his false and later retracted statement,” she continued.
Porter’s campaign told Fox News Digital that Hoffman had “retracted” his statement, but Hoffman said he did “not recant” his allegations against the congresswoman. (Apu Gomes / Getty Images / File)
“Porter’s account was supported by police accounts, a doctor’s recommendation after a child custody evaluation, her sole request for a move-out order and property control, and ultimately a judge’s decision granting her majority physical custody,” Reilly added.
Porter has repeatedly denied the abuse allegations, which Hoffman made amid a contentious separation and divorce process in 2012 and 2013. But the accusations bubbled back to the surface after multiple former Porter staffers blew the whistle on what they described as Porter’s toxic, emotionally abusive management style.
Porter and Hoffman separated in March 2013 and continued to live with each other until their divorce was finalized in December of that year, but the two alleged abuse from each other while living together during their separation.
Divorce filings obtained by Fox News Digital included 2012 allegations from Hoffman that Porter shattered a glass coffee pot after becoming angry over their dirty house, causing him to cut his hands and arms.
Hoffman also alleged that, while married, the congresswoman frequently berated him as a “f—ing idiot” and “f—ing incompetent” and dumped “steaming hot potatoes” on his head during a 2006 confrontation.
“She would not let me have a cellphone because she said, ‘You’re too f—ing dumb to operate it,” Hoffman said in comments first resurfaced by the Daily Mail this week.
In her restraining order, Porter alleged Hoffman swore at her and called her names and “grabbed both [of her] hands and squeezed” during the April 2013 confrontation that led to his arrest.
The congresswoman also alleged that Hoffman had used his elbow to push her aside after rushing toward her, causing her to stumble and catch herself on a nearby bookshelf.
Porter said she went to find her daughter during the altercation and that Hoffman had yelled at her that she “was ruining” their family with the divorce.
In her restraining order, Porter alleged Hoffman swore at her and called her names and “grabbed both [of her] hands and squeezed” during the April 2013 confrontation that led to his arrest. (Emma McIntyre / Getty Images for The Makers Conference / File)
“He would not let me leave. It seemed like five minutes or more that I was trapped in the laundry room with him,” Porter said in the divorce documents.
“He told me that I better not call the police, because if I did, our children would go to foster care,” Porter said. “More terrifying, respondent then said, ‘Do you want me to kill myself? Is that what you are trying to make happen here?'”
Hoffman was the primary caretaker of the couple’s three children while Porter was the breadwinner for the family.
On April 30, 2013, Hoffman filed a restraining order with Orange County Superior Court the day before Porter’s temporary order was set to expire.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.