[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/30/mccain.times/art.vicki.iseman.gi.jpg caption=" Vicki Iseman is suing editors and reporters at the New York Times who worked on a story about her and Sen. McCain."]
(CNN) - A lobbyist who was romantically linked to Sen. John McCain in a New York Times article has sued the paper for $27 million, saying the story has damaged her career and "sense of personal self-worth."
Vicki Iseman sued the New York Times Company and writers and editors who worked on the front-page story, which she said falsely intimated she had an affair with the senator and used their relationship to gain perks for her clients.
"The damage to Ms. Iseman caused by the story has continued to the present and has not abated," the lawsuit said. "The article destroyed the heart and soul of Ms. Iseman's professional identity and sense of personal self-worth."
The Times issued a statement saying it stands by the story, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The lawsuit charges that The New York Times acted with negligence and malice in publishing the article, having "utterly failed to find evidence supporting their preconceived hypothesis that Sen. McCain and Ms. Iseman had a romantic relationship."
The lengthy report, which ran February 21, said McCain aides became so concerned about the relationship between the two that they blocked her access to the senator during his first campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
The lawsuit details comments that reporters and editors from other media outlets made about the story in which they said the Times implied an inappropriate or romantic relationship.