Pudzer, the CEO of the fast food chain that owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardees, was to face his first confirmation committee hearing on Thursday.
Four Republican senators said they would withdraw their support of Pudzer — combined with 48 Democratic nays, Pudzer would fall short of the votes needed to be confirmed.
Pudzer’s personal life had come under scrutiny ever since he was announced as Trump’s cabinet pick. He employed an undocumented housekeeper and was involved in a bitter divorce battle with his ex-wife, Lisa Fierstein, whom he divorced in 1987.
Fierstein had appeared incognito on an episode of “Oprah” back in 1990 as part of a “High Class Battered Women” segment. On the talk show, Fierstein said, “once I made [the abuse] public, he vowed revenge. He said, ‘I will see you in the gutter. You will pay for this.'” “I had nothing,” she added.
Fierstein later retracted the claims she made on-air, reportedly as part of a child custody agreement, Politico reported.
Oprah Winfrey provided the video to senators on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which may have changed their opinion of Pudzer.
“Approximately 20 episodes were made available for the committee members to view in confidence,” an Oprah Winfrey Network spokeswoman told the Chicago Tribune.
Pudzer’s policies — which in the past favored immigrant workers — and his company’s poor record on sexual harassment were also flags.
Pudzer’s withdrawal follows the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on Monday, after it was discovered he lied about communicating with Russian officials.
Trump’s Secretary of Education nominee, Betsy DeVos, only was confirmed after Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie-breaker.
In a statement provided to AP following his withdrawal, Pulzer wrote he “honored to have been considered by President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Labor and put America’s workers and businesses back on a path to sustainable prosperity.”