June 16th, 2009
07:29 PM ET
13 years ago

Nevada Republican senator admits affair

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/16/art.ensignfrown0616.gi.jpg caption="Sen. John Ensign is admitting an extramarital affair, CNN has learned."](CNN) - Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada Tuesday admitted an extramarital affair with a woman who had worked for him.

Ensign would not identify the woman, but said both she and her husband had been "close friends." Her husband, he said, also worked for him.

"Last year I had an affair," the senator told reporters outside his office in Las Vegas. "I violated the vows of marriage. It's absolutely the worse thing I've done in my life."

"I take full responsibility for my actions. I know I have deeply hurt and disappointed my wife Darlene, my children, my family, friends, my staff and those who believed in me. And to all of them, especially my wife, I'm truly sorry."

The senator's office also released a statement from Ensign's wife, saying, "Since we found out last year we have worked through the situation and we have come to a reconciliation. This has been difficult on both families. With the help of our family and close friends our marriage has become stronger. I love my husband."

Ensign's spokesman, Tory Mazzola, told CNN that Ensign and a campaign staff member carried on the affair from December 2007 through August 2008. Her husband was an official Senate staff member for the senator.

Neither remained in Ensign's employ as of May 2008.

Updated: 7:29 p.m.

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Filed under: John Ensign
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