Everything We Know About Nikki Haley's Alleged Affairs

The affair allegations against Republican candidate Nikki Haley first arose in 2010 during her South Carolina gubernatorial race. Since then, the unproven details have circulated the internet, often used as ammunition by her political adversaries. The first claim was made by political blogger Will Folks via a May 24 blog post that is still up today.

Folks, who used to work for Nikki as a communications consultant between 2007 and 2008, alleged he'd had an affair with Nikki Haley during her marriage to her husband, Michael Haley. He claimed that he received intel that "a group of political operatives" planned to release some information to take down Nikki and humiliate him and his family. Folks also added that he believed Nikki was the "one S.C. gubernatorial candidate" who would "most consistently advance the ideals" he believed in.

Excerpts from Folks' blog post read: "The truth in this case is what it is. Several years ago, prior to my marriage, I had an inappropriate physical relationship with Nikki. That's it. I will not be discussing the details of that relationship, nor will I be granting any additional interviews about it to members of the media beyond what I have already been compelled to confirm." Although Folks promised multiple times to provide evidence, he never did, but swore an affidavit proclaiming such in October.

A second allegation was made 10 days later

10 days after Will Folks' blog, another man, Larry Marchant, claimed he too had an affair with Nikki Haley during her marriage to Michael Haley. Marchant was a political lobbyist who worked for Nikki's rival, Andre Bauer. Immediately after the allegations, Bauer fired Marchant, who later stated to WCSC that he had "absolutely nothing to gain" (via Politico).

Naturally, there was skepticism concerning Bauer's involvement in the matter, and Haley even publicly accused him of staging the rumors. However, the candidate denied the allegations and offered to take a polygraph test. Larry Marchant also opted to take a polygraph test. Bauer took the test and stated that the results vindicated him — the results of this test are unavailable, making it impossible to confirm or deny Bauer's claims. However, Marchant's results were inconclusive.

In October, Marchant restated the allegations by swearing an affidavit: "Rep. Nikki Haley and I were in Salt Lake City attending a conference together on June 14-15, 2008. We were both staying at the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown. After a night together of dinner and drinks with other participants of the conference, Rep. Haley and I returned to the hotel together. We went back to her room where we had sexual intercourse, and I spent the remainder of the evening. I left her room at approximately 6:00 am" (via FitsNews). He also stated to WCSC that it would be "very hard" to present any proof of the alleged affair.

Nikki Haley's team tore down the claims

When the allegations were made, Nikki Haley firmly denied them, stating that she had been completely faithful during her 13-year marriage. She called the claims sad, false, and an attempt to misdirect attention from her campaign. Nikki's team also pointed out that the allegations only came out after her ratings increased. They alleged the claims were part of a desperate attempt to hold on to power and stop Nikki from winning.

Nikki's team additionally noted that there was no proof beyond the affidavits. They further signaled to Folks' guilty plea to domestic assault and Marchant's DUI charge to paint her alleged affair partners in untrustworthy lights. Eventually, Nikki won the 2010 elections and became the governor of South Carolina.

As the Republican primaries boil down to Haley and Donald Trump, the alleged affairs have become a favorite weapon of the MAGA team. One article written by a Washington Examiner writer (with a history of pro-Trump articles) states that Nikki's "high infidelity" serves to "taint her image." The article also states that "the same standards used to judge Trump should also apply to Haley since rumors of her affairs appear to be true." Considering that Donald Trump made history as the first president to be arrested due to allegedly misrepresenting costs related to his proven extramarital affairs, the GOP should have no problem electing Nikki Haley, whose alleged affairs remain unproven.