The Trident, a publication of the Florida Center for Government Accountability, acquired and Friday released a recording of the Oct. 4 call from an unidentified friend, reporting to police that her friend was beyond her help and police were needed.
“She sounds drunk and I know she has pain medication on her and she doesn’t think she can do it anymore,” the unidentified caller says during the 7-minute, 911 call.
The friend tells the dispatcher that she was so concerned about her friend’s mental health that she had looked into having her “Baker-Acted,” which is how loved ones get emergency help for people experiencing a mental health crisis.
The woman, who has children, hadn’t shown up for work for two days and won’t answer anyone from work except for her, the woman told the dispatcher.
“She told me she was raped yesterday and that she’s scared to leave her house,” the unidentified friend on the tape tells the dispatcher.
The dispatcher asks for identifying information such as the woman’s address, cell number and car description — all redacted according to state law from the recording the Trident acquired.
The Trident reported Thursday that the alleged victim of the crime was involved in a long-running three-way tryst, involving Ziegler and his wife, Bridget Ziegler, also a prominent figure in the state’s political scene.
Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Bridget Ziegler to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, which replaced the board that had control over the former Reedy Creek Improvement District. She was also part of a group that started Moms for Liberty in 2021. Calling themselves a parental rights group, their mission turned from lobbying against COVID-19 masking restrictions to stopping what they called “indoctrination” in schools involving LGBTQ issues. They had the Governor’s ear in targeting School Board members they thought should be ousted and drafting the Parental Rights in Education Law, which critics dubbed “Don’t Say Gay.”
Christian Ziegler’s lawyer has stated he expects his client to be fully exonerated from the charges. But the allegations have prompted both Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried and DeSantis to call for Ziegler to resign from his position leading the state Republican Party.
DeSantis, a candidate for President, was asked by ABC News Thursday whether Ziegler should step down. The Governor did not hesitate in saying yes.
“I don’t see how he can continue with that investigation ongoing given the gravity of those situations,” DeSantis said.
Florida Politics writer Jacob Ogles contributed to this report.