A video reportedly shows Bridget Ziegler, co-founder of the right-wing Moms for Liberty, engaging in sex with an unidentified woman.
According to the Florida Trident, the video was recovered by police as part of the ongoing criminal investigation of a rape allegation made against Bridget’s husband, Christian Ziegler, chairman of the Florida Republican Party.
Police uncovered the video while executing a search warrant on Christian Ziegler’s cell phone and a Google account to recover evidence in connection with the alleged rape.
The accuser, whose name is being kept confidential, claimed to have had a sexual tryst with the Zieglers over a year ago. Bridget Ziegler confirmed to investigators that she and her husband had engaged in a sexual encounter with the woman.
On October 2, the woman claims that she arranged to have another sexual encounter with the Zieglers, only to have Bridget cancel at the last minute. The woman then called off the encounter, saying, “Sorry I was mostly in for her.”
The woman told police that Christian Ziegler came to her house alone and forced her to engage in sexual acts against her will.
According to an affidavit filed by Sarasota Police Detective Angela Cox, Christian Ziegler told police he recorded video of the sexual encounter with his accuser that led to the rape allegation, which police recovered earlier this month.
Since then, a second video, reportedly depicting Bridget Ziegler engaged in sex with another woman, has also been recovered. It is unclear whether the other woman in the video is the woman accusing Christian Ziegler of rape, or another woman with whom the couple may have had a separate sexual liaison.
In response to a public record request for the video, the Sarasota Police Department claimed the video is exempt from disclosure, citing the ongoing criminal investigation against Christian Ziegler.
No criminal charges have officially been filed against Christian Ziegler. His lawyer previously predicted that the embattled GOP chairman would be exonerated once the police investigation concluded.
In response to the allegations against Ziegler, Florida Republican Party leaders recently voted to strip the chairman of most of his powers, meaning he can no longer speak on the party’s behalf, make hiring decisions for the party, or raise funds for the party, and reduced his $12,000-per-year salary to $1, according to CNN.
He has resisted calls for his resignation from both sides of the political aisle, including prominent Republican leaders in Florida like Gov. Ron DeSantis, U.S. Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz.
Bridget Ziegler has also been urged to resign from her position on the Sarasota County School Board, with her four colleagues voting for a non-binding resolution calling for her to step down. Ziegler, who did not publicly address the accusations against her, remains on the school board and will continue to serve unless she is removed by DeSantis.
Bridget Ziegler also retains her position on the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board, formed by DeSantis to oversee the tax district containing much of Walt Disney World’s Florida properties. Critics of the move cast the creation of the new board as an attempt to retaliate against Disney for speaking out against the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
Critics of the Zieglers have accused them of hypocrisy, especially in light of their vocal defense of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.
Bridget Ziegler, one of DeSantis’s staunchest allies, has been outspoken about her support of the law. The organization she co-founded, Moms for Liberty, bills itself as a “parental rights” organization. The group advocates for greater parental control over curriculum, the erasure of lessons or removal of books that conservatives deem controversial, and opposition to affirming LGBTQ students’ identities.
Despite resigning from the organization shortly after its founding, Bridget Ziegler has sought to impose similar policies in Sarasota County Public Schools, and has frequently authored and shared social media posts attacking LGBTQ rights and visibility.
Christian Ziegler has also defended the law, calling opponents of it “perverted” and suggesting people who disagree with it should leave Florida.
“Bridget and Christian Ziegler have stepped on the backs of marginalized communities across Florida,” Nicholas Mechuka, donor engagement coordinator of Equality Florida, said during a public comment period at a recent Sarasota County School Board meeting. “They have demonized people. Bridget Ziegler is an architect of Moms for Liberty. It is not a grassroots movement. It is a cynical, sick tool hatched by the Zieglers to sell fear and division for political gain.”
The Human Rights Campaign also criticized the Zieglers for their role in founding Moms for Liberty.
“Moms for Liberty is not and has never been an organic movement with parents’ best interests in mind. They are a MAGA political operation, fueled by hypocrisy, manipulation, and lies, that terrorizes LGBTQ+ children and their families,” HRC National Press Secretary Brandon Wolf said in a statement.
“The latest scandal involving their architects, Bridget Ziegler and her husband Christian, demonstrates that they never cared about the values they espoused — only their own political power. The American people deserve to see these dangerous extremists for who they are: power-hungry peddlers of hate who have done immeasurable harm to communities across the country.”
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