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After GOP sex scandal, Bridget Ziegler attends first Disney meeting

Bridget Ziegler attended her first in-person meeting on Wednesday as a member of Governor Ron DeSantis’ Disney World oversight board since a sex scandal involving her and her husband gained national attention, resulting in his removal as Florida’s GOP chairperson.

When questioned about the speculation surrounding her resignation from the Disney board after the meeting, Ziegler responded with a simple, “I’m here.”

Ziegler, a resident of Sarasota, is one of five Republicans appointed by DeSantis to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District’s Board of Supervisors in February amid his dispute with Disney. Besides her role on the Disney board, Ziegler is a co-founder of the conservative education group Moms for Liberty and serves on the Sarasota County School Board.

Her husband, Christian Ziegler, was recently removed as chairperson of the Florida Republican Party following a police investigation into rape allegations. Sarasota police cleared Ziegler of rape, stating that a cellphone video indicated the Oct. 2 sexual encounter was “likely consensual.” However, police recommended charging Ziegler with illegal video recording of the encounter, as the accuser claimed she was recorded without her knowledge. Ziegler has denied any wrongdoing and has not faced criminal charges.

During the investigation, Bridget Ziegler revealed to police that she had a one-time, three-way sexual encounter with her husband and the woman accusing him of rape about a year ago, according to an affidavit.

Calls for Ziegler’s resignation from both the Disney and school boards have been made. She participated in the Disney board’s Dec. 6 meeting virtually, where Debie McDonald accused her of hypocrisy and urged her to step down, citing her alleged role in “demonizing members of the LGBTQ community” while being part of that group.

Ziegler was a supporter of the Parental Rights in Education bill, also known as “Don’t Say Gay,” a 2022 law that limits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity. This law fueled the dispute between DeSantis and Disney after the company vowed to work towards its repeal.

Ziegler’s term on the board is set to run through February 2025. Although the position is unpaid, board members can claim travel expenses.

In May, another board member, Michael Sasso, resigned shortly after being appointed, coinciding with DeSantis naming his wife, Meredith Sasso, to the Florida Supreme Court. Charbel Barakat, a Tampa lawyer, replaced Michael Sasso on the board.

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