WASHINGTON — A Connecticut state senator announced her resignation Tuesday and attributed her decision to a lengthy, bitter divorce battle with her husband, an executive at Morgan Stanley.
“For nearly three years, I’ve been trying to divorce Seth Bergstein. As all survivors of domestic abuse know, emancipating ourselves is an epic struggle that takes years, requires unflinching courage and all our resources — mental, physical, and financial,” Democrat Alex Kasser announced in a post shared on Medium.
She continued, “Seth uses his powerful position at Morgan Stanley to enable his conduct, so I must work even harder to fight for my freedom. Because of the enormous time and energy this consumes, I can no longer serve my constituents to my fullest ability.”
Bergstein is the managing director and head of the global services group in investment banking at Morgan Stanley.
Kasser, who has been deputy majority leader in the state Senate where she’s served since 2019, said that she can no longer live or work in Greenwich, Conn., because it’s “loaded with memories of the 20 years I spent raising my children here.”
“It is too painful to be in Greenwich now that I’ve been erased from their lives, just as their father promised would happen if I ever left him,” she wrote. “My partner, Nichola Samponaro, also grew up in Greenwich and her family have been respected members of this community for over 40 years.”
Requests for comment from Bergstein and Morgan Stanley were not immediately returned.
Last fall, Kasser said in an op-ed in The Stamford Advocate that she told Bergstein ten years earlier that she was gay and asked for a divorce.
“He said if I divorced him, he’d take full custody of our kids and use my sexuality against me in court,” she wrote. “His words paralyzed me, which is exactly the power of coercive control. We do not “choose” to stay. We think we have no choice. I stayed for eight more years.”
In her Medium post Tuesday, Kasser said that Bergstein has tried to destroy her partner’s life with lies about their relationship, but did not mention specific examples.
“I will not stay silent as a homophobic, entitled man attacks my partner,” Kasser wrote. “Going forward, I will continue to fight against bullying and bigotry in all its forms. Now that I’ve found my voice, I will never stop using it.