GOP lawmaker in Tennessee admits to prescribing opioids to his second cousin — who was also his lover

The good doctor is a pro-life, anti-gay “family values’ politician. 

The nurse with whom Hensley had a romantic relationship with is identified as his second cousin in case records and courtroom testimony from a separate proceeding. On Monday, a Tennessee Department of Health investigator testified Hensley wrote this woman at least 47 prescriptions for controlled substances from 2011 to 2018, which includes the time period of their romantic relationship.

Hensley, a staunchly conservative lawmaker, serves on the Tennessee Senate’s Health and Welfare Committee, where he considers legislation that regulates opioids. Hensley also made headlines in 2012 when he unsuccessfully introduced legislation, widely known as the “Don’t Say Gay bill,” that would have forbidden Tennessee teachers from mentioning the existence of homosexuality.

Cousin Lori Barber

Lori Barber, the wife of then-Hohenwald Vice Mayor Don Barber, testified under oath she had an affair with Hensley, who both employed her at his medical practice and was her second cousin, according to a Scene article that became a foundational record in the state’s case against Hensley. Lori Barber also testified Hensley wrote her regular prescriptions for an opioid pain killer for “chronic back pain,” the Scene reported.

The Tennessean

  • Hensley’s attorney David Steed said “Half of the county are Hensleys.”
  • Hensley was married to Gina at the time of the affair. It was his fourth marriage. They have divorced.
  • As a parting gift, Gina gave  Hohenwald Vice Mayor Don Barber, a flash drive with evidence of her ex-husband’s affair with Barber’s wife Lori.
  • AS a result of the affair the Barbers were in the process of divorcing.
  • Lori Barber’s Licensed Practical Nurse state license was expired while working under Dr. Hensley.
  • Lori Barber also received Botox injections from Hensley.

Nashville Scene

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