September 12th, 2007
04:08 PM ET
7 years ago

Hustler publisher claims senator visited prostitute

CNN's Carol Costello reports Sen. Vitter faces new prostitute allegations.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican Sen. David Vitter, who admitted earlier this year to a "very serious sin" after his telephone number appeared in the telephone records of a Washington, DC escort service, faced new allegations Tuesday he had a relationship with a prostitute from his home state of Louisiana.

With Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt at her side, the former prostitute Wendy Ellis told reporters that Vitter employed her services several times a week between July and November of 1999. At the time, Vitter was a new face Capitol Hill, having won a special election only months earlier.

"I want the truth to be known," Ellis said. "It was a pure sexual relationship. He would come in and do his business."

Vitter, who acknowledged in July to contacting an escort service after Hustler reported his number was linked to the alleged 'DC Madam' Deborah Jeanne Palfrey,' has denied any links to Louisiana prostitutes.

"My admission has encouraged long-time political enemies and those hoping to profit from the situation to spread falsehoods, like those New Orleans stories in recent reporting,” Vitter said in July. “Those stories are not true.”

On Tuesday, Flynt said Ellis' passed a polygraph test, but he had no other evidence linking the senator to the former prostitute.

"We don't even like to mix polygraphs into this stuff, because they're not admissible in court," he said. "But you know she's concerned that she be believed as much as Vitter is believed."

Ellis herself added, "I want the truth to be known, I've been called a liar and a liar I'm not."

Earlier in the year, Flynt launched a campaign to publicize lawmakers who he believed are sexual hypocrites by offering up to $1 million for evidence of impropriety.

Vitter's office did not respond to a request for comment, but his spokesman did issue a statement to the New Orleans Times-Picayune saying, "Sen. Vitter and his wife have addressed all of this very directly. The senator is focused on important Louisiana priorities like the water resources bill and the Iraq debate."

– CNN's Carol Costello contributed to this report


Filed under: D.C. Madam • David Vitter
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Gary, Detroit, Mich.

    What two concensual adults want to do behind their own private closed doors is none of my business nor is it anyone else's for that matter. What is disturbing and downright disgusting however is that Evangelical Repugnant-can hypocrisy that we are subjected to on a daily basis. Let's be thankful for the Larry Flynts of this country for helping to expose another one of those Republican Family Values phonies.
    Did you hear that Shrub?

    September 12, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. Steve Daily (KS)

    They are all crooks in DC, so whats new. One answer- Term Limits.

    September 12, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. Dan San Francisco, CA

    Both parties love to see a member of the other caught with pants down, and neither has a problem justifying making these partisan events. Its pathetic. Lets make a deal: the press will stop leering at the sex lives of politicians, and politicians will stop trying to inject personal morality into politics and law.

    September 12, 2007 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Jason, Atlanta, GA

    So, Gabriel, according to your argument, the highest character trait of value is being transparent, regardless of your actions. Should we all heil Hitler because while he was a mean SOB at least he was open about his hatred for Jews? Or Larry Flynt, he degrades women and exploits people like this poor prostitute for his own gain, but at least we know he's a perverted old man?

    Give me a break! What Vitter admitted to doing was wrong and he and his family moved on, much like Bill & Hillary moved on. Larry Flynt's just mad because he can't believe there are decent human beings in this world who grasp the concept of forgiveness, so he's out fabricating a story. Because Larry Flynt openly portrays himself as a scum bag, I know NOT to trust him.

    September 12, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. DallasNE, Omaha NE

    I would hope that Larry Flint releases the detail of the polygraph then allow a polygraph expert (without political portfolio) report back on the quality of this test. If this review also concludes the test was passed the ball is in Senator Vitter's court, i.e. clear his name by submitting to his own polygraph that is likewise vetted. Not taking this test would further damage Sen. Vitter in the eyes of the public.

    Right now it looks bad for Sen. Vitter but we have nothing conclusive.

    September 12, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    I'm not a fan of Vitter's, but really, who cares what mistakes he makes in his private life? It's his public policy decisions that should be criticized or praised. This is the same thing that Clinton went through in the White House.

    September 12, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. Tracy, Los Angeles, CA

    Nothing will happen to this in the media – despite the hypocricy of Mr. "Family Values" Vitter – because it isn't gay-related. The GOP and the media only really care if the sex-crime has a gay theme, a not-so-subtle form of homophobia.

    September 12, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Smitty, Las Vegas

    At least it wasn't in a bathroom stall in an airport!

    September 12, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. Teri W.. Somerset kentucky

    Let's face it, Our Government is just as corrupt in bed as it is out of bed. It is a known fact thru out history the United States was built on freedom. And our great leaders in all aspects of government has been useing their rights to freedom of sexual desires and preferences to run this country. Billions of Dollars has been spent wisely over many years for these leaders to think clearly with their heads, Now it is just which head are they using to make the dicisions that affect all of us. The Government is trying to go after a Lady that has an escort service. In reality has been the backbone in some important decisions that our lawmakers used in running this country. Most decisions in Goverment is made "BEHIND CLOSED DOORS" Release the phone numbers and let the people really see for themselves how the Government is run!

    September 12, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. leroy, stuart, fl

    I love hypocrites! They make my day. Praise the Lord and send me a love gift!!

    September 12, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. TBS

    It amazes me that anyone would care what scum like Larry Flint says. Our country's moral are all going to hell and these scumballs are the first in line to take us there. I sure hope the God fearing people in this country get on their knees at night, cause God knows we need the prayers.
    Forgive us Lord!

    The so-called God-fearing people DO get on their knees, but it's usually not to do what you're hoping they do.

    Posted By IM4ULORD, Waukesha, WI : September 12, 2007 1:35 pm

    September 12, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Bill Clinton, Chapaqua, NY

    It's just about sex.

    September 12, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. rada, Houston Texas

    all I have to say is thank GOD for Larry Flynt. He is my hero!!!! GOD bless this man.

    September 12, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Toronto, Ontario

    For the posters here who say his private life doesn't matter, think about this: People like him are elected to office based on the images of themselves they project. Most of them don't have the guts to be who they really are. My motto is, do not tell others how to live their lives unless your prepared to have your own scrutinized.

    September 12, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    People, don't you have better things to do? Is this news? Hahaha.

    September 12, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Terry, El Paso, TX

    I can't help being amused at the Republican sex scandals. Conservatives were so indignant about poor Bill Clinton's faux pas and so self-righteous and so superior about the whole incident. And they so loved stomping on him.

    To be fair, if we bust every man in government who has patronized a hooker, there wouldn't be very many straight men left to run things. Ladies, I am referring to your husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons. A pretty girl who is easily had is a temptation that not many men want to even try to resist. Most of their (our) denials are lies, candidly. As the fat man sang, "Texas has a w**re-house in it." How many full-time prostitutes are there? A million? Two million? How many more woman supplement their income by occasionally lending their favors for cash? another million? I have no idea.

    I propose that all presidential candidates be given a polygraph exam on the subject. My speculation (based on no facts whatsoever) is that Romney, Clinton, and Huckaby would pass with flying colors, but I have my doubts about the rest.

    As for all of you who are waxing indignant and huffy on the subject, I suggest that you grill your male relatives about their history with prostitutes and see how shifty-eyed they become.

    And as for all you Conservatives, let me say you can sure dish it out but you can't take it at all.

    September 12, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. Michael Bryson Los Angeles, CA.

    I know Vitter is one of those “anti-abortion” republicans. I wonder what he would think if one of his prostitutes told him that he got her pregnant?

    September 12, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. Gabriel, Cleveland, Ohio

    Jason from Atlanta,

    Are you trying to make me look foolish by oversimplifying what I said?

    This is what you twisted my statement into:

    Larry Flynt is honest about who he is. Adolph Hilter was honest about who he was. I respect Larry Flynt therefore I must respect Adolph Hitler. Do you really read that into my post. I'm the one who needs a break from your "logic". Next you'll copy and paste the third sentence in this paragraph and say "see this everyone, Gabriel respects Hitler."

    The two situations are completely different. One person was responsible for the deaths of many people who did nothing to deserve such treatment based on his irrational hatred. The other person sold magazines with pictures of women who were photographed voluntarily to other people who purchased them of their own free will. The difference seems quite clear to me. How about you?

    Vitter opened himself up to all this criticism he is receiving because he stood in judgment of others while preaching family values and condoning gay marriage. I could care less about his indiscretions with a prostitutes much like I could care less about President Clinton's indiscretions with a White House intern. It is his judgment of others is that really bothers me and many others. Don't tell me you haven't heard the old phrase "those who live in glass houses shouldn't sleep with prostitutes" at least I think that's how it goes. (That last sentence was a joke. Most people would know that, but you never know when you look at some of these posts.)

    September 12, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. E, New Orleans, LA

    If only David Vitter's sexcapades were the most outrageous thing going on here in Louisiana. Those of us that reside down here are confronted by blatant corruption and incompetence on a daily basis right on the front pages. Lord knows what's going on in between the lines. Just check out our choices for State Attorney General.
    http://wecouldbefamous.blogspot.com/2007/09/welcome-to-louisiana.html

    September 12, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Bill, Buffalo, NY

    Wow, I can't believe it!! I believe a prostitute MUCH more than a politician.

    September 12, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. John Kleinpeter

    I dare say he is not the only culprit in the LA Legislature. Keep watching...there's another one out there ...from Baton Rouge.

    September 12, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. louis, Miami Florida

    God bless Larry Flynt!!!! He is my Hero

    September 12, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. Mrs. America

    Never would I have imagined I'd admire Larry Flynt. However, ever since he outed David Vitter the first time around, I have. I suppose Flynt is after Vitter again to out the whole Ethics Committee on their hypocrisy because they never went after Vitter but say they will go after Craig if he doesn't resign. Sleazy Flynt, yes. But no dummy, that's for sure. He's put the Ethics Committee in a place they surely don't want to be right now.

    September 13, 2007 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  24. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    I would think there are more newsworthy stories to report on.

    An attack from Larry Flint on a Political Figure is far from Newsworthy. His public attacks on Prominent Figures are Old Hat. And
    Republican outings on less than moral standards are also Old Hat and Old News. We've heard it all. It's getting monotonous.

    September 13, 2007 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  25. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    OK, here we go... for the 18,000th time... Bill Clinton was not impeached for s*x.

    He was impeached for PERJURY and OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, both of which occurred in the course of an investigation regarding his being named as the defendant in a s*xual harassment lawsuit.

    OK, now please go back to pretending it was "all about s*x."

    September 14, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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