Inside Madison Cawthorn's relationship with ex-wife Cristina Bayardelle as nude vid of controversial congressman leaked

MADISON Cawthorn has recently found himself at the center of a growing number of scandals threatening to overshadow his meteoric rise in the Republican party.

The young Congressman, 26, was on Wednesday forced to address a "crass" leaked nude video released by an opposition group campaigning against him.

That came after footage obtained by apparently showed the embattled lawmaker grabbing the crotch of close aide Stephen Smith, 23.

He is now under investigation by the House Office of Congressional Ethics for an alleged improper relationship with Smith, according to the outlet.

Photos of the congressman wearing a lacy top and bra were also published, which he explained were taken during a cruise ship game "well before" he ran for Congress.

Cawthorn appears to have addressed the recent footage, tweeting: "Many of my colleagues would be nowhere near politics if they had grown up with a cell phone in their hands."


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All of this comes just months after he announced he would be separating from his wife of less than a year, Cristina Bayardelle.

The rising political star cited "irreconcilable differences" in a statement in December last year.

Announcing their split, Madison said the pressures of his new job in politics had changed their lives "overnight."

It was then alleged earlier this month that close aide Smith had joined the couple on their honeymoon and that he had lived with them during their short marriage.

Cawthorn says Smith is his cousin.

He described his fiancée as an anesthesiologist assistant and a CrossFit athlete.

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Bayardelle said that the couple met through a mutual friend and “hit it off,” and after four months “knew he was the one.” 

Cawthorn asked Bayardelle to marry him in 2019.

"Man, I feel like that diamond was created just for her. So joy-filled and in love," Cawthorn wrote on Instagram.


The couple got hitched in April, sharing pictures of the day online.

After their marriage Cawthorn wrote online: "On April 3rd of 2014 my life changed. A car accident put me in a wheelchair and dashed my hopes for the future.

"On April 3rd of 2021, my life has once again changed.

"Marrying Cristina Bayardelle, now Cristina Cawthorn is the greatest honor, privilege, and adventure of my life."

In December Cawthorn announced he was divorcing his wife of less than a year and blamed his role in Congress for the split.

He said in a statement that "overnight their lives changed" following his election win.

He added: "When my wife Cristina and I were engaged, I was not a member of Congress.

"I felt called to serve and we both agreed that I should run. Our victory was unprecedented.

"But overnight, our lives changed.

"That change has been both hectic and difficult. It's neither the pace nor the lifestyle we had planned for."


He cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for their split and added: "While it was an enormously difficult decision, Cristina and I have mutually decided to divorce.

"We ask for privacy as we work through this privately."

Cawthorn became one of the youngest people ever elected to serve in the US Congress at the age of just 25 in 2022.

The Republican had already faced incredible challenges in his life after he was paralyzed in a 2014 car crash.


In 2020 Cawthorn found himself in hot water over an Instagram post celebrating his "bucket list" visit to Adolf Hitler's HQ. He would later remove the post.

The GOP representative from North Carolina recently made headlines when a loaded handgun was found in his bag at a security checkpoint at the Charlotte airport.

And in March, Cawthorn's interview on the Warrior Poet Society podcast also caused controversy when he made claims about “sexual perversion” in Washington, DC.

He alleged that DC lawmakers invited him to orgies and did drugs in front of him, claims that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy noted at the time "got a lot of members upset."

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"I just told him he's lost my trust, he's gonna have to earn it back, and I laid out everything I find is unbecoming. And, you can't just say, 'You can't do this again,'" McCarthy told Axios.

The Sun has reached out to a representative for Madison and to Cristina for comment.

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