One of the ex-boyfriends of Rep. George Santos (R-NY) claimed that he dangled promises of a green card to try to persuade him into marriage, and that he felt trapped and manipulated by the whole situation, according to a report by ABC News.
This comes amid a torrent of ongoing scandals in which Santos was revealed to have fabricated everything from his education to his work background to a fake Jewish heritage, and as he comes under criminal investigation over his campaign finance irregularities.
"Leonardo Bris said he was 19 years old when he met Santos at a bar in Manhattan in 2013, when Bris was in town from Brazil. Bris told ABC News in an interview that he knew the now-embattled congressman as Anthony Zabrovski, one of a handful of aliases that Santos has reportedly used over the years," reported Will Steakin. "Bris said that over the next few weeks, he began a romantic relationship with Santos, who was 25 at the time. Bris recalled Santos telling him tales of dating supermodels and how they still begged him to become a model himself."
Bris said that he soon realized that Santos was lying, and the relationship became "toxic" — and that Santos tried to use promises of U.S. residency to get him to stay. "He promised me, 'Don't worry,' and that he will get me a green card if I marry him and stay under his 'wings,'" he told ABC. He added that this made him feel trapped, since, "If you get a green card from him, you will be in his hands forever ... If you divorce, you had the leave the country."
Ultimately, Bris declined and moved back to Brazil.
Bris is not the only ex-boyfriend of Santos to come forward with stories of lies and manipulation. Pedro Vilarva, who started dating then-26-year-old Santos while he was still in high school and while Santos was still married to a woman, recalled how Santos started out "sweet and caring," but later began to steal from everyone.
Today, faced with mounting pressure even within his own party — but not yet any push by higher GOP leadership to resign — Santos announced he would be voluntarily forgoing his committee assignments while the scandals continue to sort out.
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