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Former justice minister's ex wife says she did not write emails withdrawing accusations

CALGARY — A dispute between a former Alberta politician and his ex-wife that erupted during last year's provincial election campaign has flared up again following their divorce.

Former justice minister Jonathan Denis — accused by his former spouse of kneeing her in the face, tampering with brakes on her car and throwing temper tantrums — released emails on the weekend that he said came from the woman and finally clear his name.

The two identical emails released by Denis, sent last month with Palmer's name and email address, said she regrets the steps she took against her former husband.

"Jonathan Denis has never intentionally harmed me and I have never known him to use or possess illegal drugs,'' said the emails. "I withdraw all allegations that I have made against Jonathan Denis about abuse or otherwise.''

Breanna Palmer said Monday that she did not write the emails.

"These are fabricated documents,'' Palmer wrote in an email to The Canadian Press. Her message came from the same email address indicated on the documents released by Denis.

A spokesman for Denis, who was never charged with a crime in the dispute, said Denis was not going to comment on Palmer's denial.

"He's just going to let those statements stand,'' said Morten Paulsen.

The scandal started last May, days before the election, when former premier Jim Prentice asked Denis to resign from cabinet because of a legal dispute with his wife.

A judge later lifted a publication ban that had kept details of the dispute under wraps.

Palmer, a model and former beauty queen, had complained that Denis ripped a TV out of a wall and a seat off a toilet as their relationship eroded.

She also alleged that he kneed her in the nose when she went to kiss him in bed. She said her car was broken into twice and her clutch and brakes were damaged. She further said Denis's mother once locked her in the couple's home.

Palmer also claimed Denis used the drug lithium for mental-health issues.

The judge ruled that while Palmer had real anxieties, there was no reasonable fear of family violence. He removed an emergency protection order she had previously been granted against Denis and his mother.

The next day, the Progressive Conservatives lost the election and Denis lost his seat in Calgary.

Their marital squabble remained out of the public eye until this year.

In arguing over legal costs related to the emergency protection order, Denis and his mother claimed Palmer's allegations were meant to hurt him during the election campaign and make Palmer money.

Denis and his mother argued that "Palmer sought an extremely large payment of money from Denis to make the matter 'go away,''' a judge summed up in January.

"They claim that a tentative settlement was reached, but that Palmer changed her mind and rejected it, refusing to entertain other offers.''

The judge ruled that he couldn't speculate on Palmer's motives and ordered both sides to pay their own costs.

On Sunday, public relations firm Paulsen Group released a statement from Denis that said the couple's divorce was finalized on April 1 and he was finally able to release two emails from her retracting last year's allegations.

"These allegations were serious, and they caused me harm. I am glad that the truth has prevailed,'' Denis wrote.

Palmer said in an email that she may have more to say in the future.

 

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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