May 29, 2018 / 8:25 PM / a year ago

Athenahealth CEO apologizes for assaulting ex-wife years ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Athenahealth Inc said on Tuesday that its Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Bush had issued an apology after the U.K.’s Daily Mail newspaper reported that he had assaulted his former wife 14 years ago.

The Daily Mail said on Saturday that Bush had struck his former wife, Sarah Seldon, and verbally assaulted her more than a decade ago, citing documents from a custody battle in Massachusetts family court.

Athenahealth spokeswoman Holly Springer did not respond to questions about whether the company’s board would meet to discuss the assault, which Bush said occurred while going through a divorce.

Bush founded Athenahealth and is a nephew of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush.

“At that time, I apologized to Sarah and took responsibility for my actions. I have worked very hard since then to demonstrate my remorse, and today, Sarah and I have a strong, co-parenting relationship,” he said in the statement provided by the company.

Seldon confirmed the incident happened but said it should not define Bush.

“Neither of us are proud of the events that occurred during our divorce,” she said in Athenahealth’s statement. “However it should not define Jonathan as a person, or our relationship overall.”

Shares in Athenahealth were off 1 percent, or $1.63, to $151.56 in afternoon trading.

Athenahealth is fighting a takeover by hedge fund Elliott Management, which has offered to buy the company for about $6.9 billion including debt. Elliott has had a stake in the company since last year.

A spokesman for Elliott did not have an immediate comment on the report.

Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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