September 12th, 2007
04:08 PM ET
11 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. roger, conway sc

    Good job Larry keep up the good work and rid congress of all hypocrites that will mean most of the GOP seats will be vacant...We dems are not perfect but we are diverse and whether we agree agree with someone elses lifestyle or not we do not preach or judge them as the republicans do...

    September 12, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. John

    Very Funny, (As a law-abiding God-fearing Christian American I do NOT want scum like this to represent me in my government.)Are you serious?? Then there will be nobody in office... Wake UP!!!!! They're all scum!!!

    September 12, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. Ayveel, Dallas, Tx

    When things like this come out. I always wonder what is the motivation behind it. It happened in 1999, why wait 8 years. Are people doing things to use them as political bullets at a later date?

    This bothers me greatly. This isn't Republican hypocrisy. Just because you stand for something doesn't mean you can't fall into that same thing in which you say you stand for. Any Christian is vulnerable to having a sexual relationship outside of marriage or sex with the same gender. Does it make it right? Of course not.

    It is like a guy who says I will never kill another human being. But if a person breaks in the house in the middle of the night, here comes Smith & Wesson. He will not aim to hit and injure, but aim to kill for the preservation of his and his families' life.

    Everybody is becoming really greedy for power and influence. And most of them don't care whose lives they wreck in the process of it.

    September 12, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. jackson smith ny

    The Republican party is in such a shambles, it amazes me that ANYbody wants to run for office with that designation. These men are the ultimate in hypocrisy. While spouting their mantra of family values, morals, judgment and intolerance, they are living lives lacking in integrity, responsibility, or honesty. The fact that their wives are foolish enough to stand next to them in their photo ops and gaze adoringly at them disgusts me. January 2009 cannot come quickly enough. Sweep all those war-mongering, hateful, pious, bigots out of office.

    September 12, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. John Atlanta, GA

    Larry Flyntt!!! Mr. Exploitation of young women...comes to the rescue of a poor "FORMER? PROSTITUTE" who wants to come clean (after 8 years) about some dirty politician? Give me a break! I bet in a couple of months she will be on the COVER of Hustler! This would not make her a "FORMER PROSTITUTE" anymore because she is still being pimped... It’s actually worst now because it’s in front of the world. Very sad!

    September 12, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. Don Rankin, Torrington, Wy


    So when is someone going to actually stand up and represent the people of the United States?? As a People, we continually vote for persons we trust, but they eventually end up serving themselves and special interests. When are the American people, as a whole, going to be heard??
    Don Rankin
    4717 Rd 70Y
    Torrington, Wy. 82240

    September 12, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. Paul, Orlando, Florida

    He needs to resign. His behavior discredits our nation and the Republican family values he purports to represent. He's another Larry Craig this nation does not need. We expect and need these guys to focus on caring for this nation.

    September 12, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. Joe V. Tilley, Carroll, IA.

    Why would these people get involved in this instance if it wasn't for money. I was ill hearing the muckrakeing of the Clinton sex scandle in the 1990's and turned off at the Rep and now the Dems are doing are doing it. I'm sorry, If your attacking the person it means you cant attack their position on the issues. This is depressing.

    September 12, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. BCNU purple state, usa

    The country is going down the tubes! Larry Flynt, America's last bastion of political integrity.


    September 12, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  10. Gabriel, Cleveland, Ohio

    Ayveel in Dallas,

    So what your saying is a prostitute broke into Sen. Vitter's home and he had to have relations with her to save his family? Well, I feel like a fool for criticizing him now. Here I thought he was a hypocrite. Reality is he's a guy protecting his family.

    September 12, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. James, Phoenix AZ

    Spraynardkruger and John – Kansas City, MO

    Unless you're a Republican living in Louisiana – your outrage has little value. Democrats living in LA wouldn't vote for Vitter regardless.

    I'm a conservative and certainly do not condone his choices – but they are HIS choices. The GOP didn't have anything to do with Vitters personal choices, so anyone blaming the GOP obviously has an ax to grind with Republicans to being with.

    Louisiana Republicans will deal with this issue at the next election. Just as Barny Frank's constituents, just as Gary Condit's constituents, just as....

    September 12, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. Sunny, Southampton, NY

    Absolutely hilarious!

    September 12, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. Bruce, harpers Ferry, WV

    Larry Flynt the last bastion of American integrity? Now I KNOW the country is lost.

    September 12, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. mark,lowell, mass

    Now we want to grant you permission to go and do what what you want to do but not with our tax dollars, Goodbyeeee...

    September 12, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Lyons Steve

    Mr Vitter must answer to his family and his constituents (just as Mr Craig). Unless Mr Vitter has been called into court and lied under oath about this matter – nothing else to discuss.

    Um,prostitution is illegal. If this turns out to be true, Vitter, already another hypocrite who rails about "family values" while living the opposite.

    Oh, it matters, and you know it.

    September 12, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |


    September 12, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. James, Phoenix AZ

    Wyatt, OK City

    You said, "Yeah, I bet that's what you were saying when they were all over Clinton, right James?"

    Wyatt – if you were to READ my original post you'll note my statement, "UNLESS MR VITTER HAS BEEN CALLED INTO COURT AND LIED UNDER OATH". Bill Clinton lied, under oath, about his affair with Monica to a Judge in Arkansas.

    If prosecutors in Louisiana want to go after Mr Vitters – have at it. Ms Ellis even admits there is no evidence – simply "he said" – "she said".

    Yall have fun with this non-issue. As I said... unless you're a Republican in Louisiana... your outrage won't change a thing.

    PS – Josey/Tucson AZ that wants to critize everyone living in Phoenix... How old are you? 12? What a silly statement you made.

    September 12, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. LJ, Denver CO

    It sounds like most of you that wrote in are more in favor of someone who is the scum of the earth but are open about it than you are for someone who tries to do what's right but has failed. You are a sorry bunch of people. I feel sorry for you because of the hate that is filling these pages. And you complain about the politian being a hypocrite.

    September 12, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. matt

    The Republicans are loving this... And what if Craig stays in the Senate and fights his plea? Disaster.

    September 12, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. Tom Cunningham, Jupiter, Florida

    I case people haven't caught on, those who scream the loudest about their cause (family values, etc) are doing it to hide their hypocracy. Do you suppose Mr. Family Values (Gingrich) will dare to show his face in presidential list with the way he's treated his wives, etc.??

    September 12, 2007 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  21. Joseph /emphis TN

    I applaud Larry Flynt, American polictics consist of so much hipocrosy, there is the covert homosexuls,corporate welfare programs(taxbreaks),no bid lucrative contracts(Halliburton) and the so called high morals. Senator Vitter should tender his resignation.How can he legislate anything other than a dog fight.

    September 12, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  22. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    Larry Flynt should know you don't go to a prostitute for truth.
    Probably true, but nasty, and she'll be in Hustler showing off her Vitter trap next month.
    Ah, Vitter, you mad impetuous lad, cavorting merrily across Louisiana while your wife sits home watching the soaps. Will there ever be another politician so amusing?

    September 12, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  23. Michael, New Orleans, Louisiana

    It's a pretty sad day in America when a career pornographer provides more truth than an elected U.S. Senator.

    September 12, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. Gabriel, Cleveland, Ohio

    Say what you want about Larry Flynt, at least he doesn't pretend to be something he's not, unlike some of those among us who preach family values and claim to be of high moral standing. Who can blame Mr. Flynt for wanting to out those who attempt to push their personal morals upon the whole of society yet don't meet their very own standards for decency. He fought numerous legal battles because those with no regard for the First Amendment thought his material was obscene. Never mind the fact that it is one's own personal choice whether they wish purchase Hustler Magazine or any like it. He is in that wheelchair is because someone thought a photo shoot in one of his magazines was immoral and obscene (it was interracial), so they tried to kill him and his attorney. Mr. Flynt earns more of my respect than any politician the likes David Vitter that preach morals and family values.

    September 12, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  25. wanda

    yes im sure the story is true and im sure vitter will pay professionally or privately. i feel saddened for his family and the pain that they have to endure yet again,but for ellis to talk about her encounters with vitter to atone for the sins of her past..come on!! stop selling your body, do good for someone everyday.make a donation to a charity,do volunteer work....but really truly ruin a family based on your experiences to make up for your sins??? pathetic!! for ellis it was all about the money and publicity. imagine she didnt want to be called a liar,but she doesnt mind being labelled a s–t!!!! tsk tsk tsk

    September 12, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
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