- Kelley Paul, the wife of Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, wrote in a CNN op-ed that the media had victimized her husband a second time after he was attacked earlier in November.
- Rand Paul has six broken ribs and lung damage as a result of the attack; police have charged his neighbor with assault.
- Media outlets have frequently quoted the Pauls’ neighbors as saying Rand Paul was in a landscaping dispute with his neighbor – a narrative Kelley Paul rejected.
The wife of Sen. Rand Paul lambasted the media on Wednesday for “delighting” in spreading rumors about the attack earlier this month that left the Kentucky Republican with six broken ribs and lung damage.
In a CNN op-ed, Kelley Paul described the incident as a “deliberate, blindside attack” perpetrated by the couple’s Bowling Green neighbor and not, as some media outlets have portrayed it, a “scuffle,” “fight,” or “altercation.”
“This has been a terrible experience; made worse by the media’s gleeful attempts to blame Rand for it, ridiculing him for everything from mowing his own lawn to composting,” she wrote.
She continued: “As his wife, I have been distraught over seeing him suffer like this. There have been several nights where I had my hand on my phone ready to call 911 when his breathing became so labored it was terrifying.”
Kelley Paul added that her husband had not taken a single breath without pain since the incident on November 3.
She accused media outlets of victimizing her husband “a second time” as he recovered from his injuries, as well as “concocting theories about an ‘ongoing dispute,’ based on nothing more than speculation from an attention-seeking person with no knowledge of anything to do with us.”
- Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Kelley Paul appeared to be referring to Jim Skaggs, who developed the gated community in which the Pauls live.
Skaggs did not witness the attack but has opined on it to various media outlets, saying Rand Paul and his neighbor had a long-running dispute about the landscaping on their properties.
“I think it was a neighbor-to-neighbor thing,” Skaggs told The New York Times. “They just both had strong opinions, and a little different ones about what property rights mean.”
Kelley Paul shot down that assessment on Wednesday, saying that neither she nor her husband had spoken with his attacker in a decade, “other than a casual wave from the car.”
“The only ‘dispute’ existed solely in the attacker’s troubled mind, until, on a beautiful autumn day, he ran down the hill on our property and slammed his body into Rand’s lower back as he stood facing away, wearing noise-canceling headphones to protect his ears from the lawnmower,” she wrote.
Police have charged Rene Boucher, a 59-year-old retired anesthesiologist, with fourth-degree assault. In a bizarre statement released shortly after the extent of Paul’s injuries were made public, Boucher’s attorney, Matthew Baker, said the incident had nothing to do with either man’s political beliefs.
“It was a very regrettable dispute between two neighbors over a matter that most people would regard as trivial,” Baker said. “We sincerely hope that Senator Paul is doing well and that these two gentlemen can get back to being neighbors as quickly as possible.”
Boucher, who has pleaded not guilty, is due in court on November 30.