July 8th, 2009
10:31 PM ET
13 years ago

Report: Senator tried to stop colleague's affair

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/08/art.ensignsad0708.gi.jpg caption="The husband of Sen. John Ensign's former mistress says another senator tried to intervene to stop Ensign's extra-marital affair, the Las Vegas Sun reported."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn was part of a group of Washington-based intermediaries that confronted fellow Sen. John Ensign in an effort to convince him to end an extra-marital affair, according to a report published on the Web site of the Las Vegas Sun.

Doug Hampton, the husband of Ensign’s former mistress, spoke publicly for the first time about the affair in an on-camera interview with Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston to be broadcast on his show on LasVegasOne.

Doug Hampton worked in Ensign’s Senate office, while his wife, Cynthia, was an employee of Ensign’s political action committee and reelection campaign.

In an effort to try to end the affair, Hampton told Ralston he reached out to a group of “intermediaries involved in a Christian fellowship home in Washington, D.C.,” the Sun reported. The group “confronted Ensign and suggested that the Hamptons needed to be given financial assistance – in the millions of dollars – to pay off their $1 million-plus mortgage and move them to a new life away from Ensign,” according to the Sun’s report.

In a statement given to CNN and the Sun, Coburn spokesman Jon Hart said the Oklahoma Republican tried to intercede to put an end to the affair.

“Dr. Coburn did everything he could to encourage Senator Ensign to end his affair and to persuade Senator Ensign to repair the damage he had caused to his own marriage and the Hampton’s marriage,” Hart said in the statement. “Had Senator Ensign followed Dr. Coburn’s advice, this episode would have ended, and been made public, long ago.”

When he was confronted, Ensign agreed to write a letter to Cynthia Hampton that expressed remorse for his behavior, the Sun reported.

Doug Hampton also told Ralston that he discovered the affair through an incriminating text message; that even after Hampton confronted Ensign, the Nevada Republican continued to pursue Hampton’s wife with text messages and phone calls; and that Ensign paid Cynthia Hampton more than $25,000 in severance after she stopped working for him. 

Sen. Ensign’s office has not responded to CNN’s request for comment about the Sun report.

Filed under: John Ensign • Popular Posts • Tom Coburn
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Randall in Torrance - Desert Storm Veteran

    Let me get this straight. Newt GetRich Gingrich or somebody in the GOP led the way to have President Clinton impeached for not being able to keep it in his pants. Now, Republican after Republican is getting busted for fooling around with hotties and naughties. So where are the Republicans now, who were throwing stones at Clinton? Hello - anybody there???? I can't hear you. There is no mass outcry of protest from the Army of the Right. Frickin' two-faced losers.

    July 9, 2009 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  2. Robert Hermanson

    If Sen. Ensign makes selfish,terrible decisions that ruin two families, he certainly doesn't have the character and judgement to making national decisions as a senator. He must resign!

    July 9, 2009 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  3. Las Vegas is home

    And the republican infidelity beat goes on with Senator John Ensign (R-NV) back in the news to replace Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC).

    Expressions of remorse in February 2008 – and the affair was pursued by Sen. Ensign until August 2008 – and the Hamptons received pay raises and their 19 year-old son became a paid consultant to the republican party and finally a severance package of $25,000. All this reads like Sen. Ensign paid for sex with a subordinate and that Sen. Coburn suggested to Sen. Ensign he bribe the Hamptons to go away.

    (Is it any wonder that the republicans last 8 Senatorial seats in the 2008 election with Senator John "I'm too busy having an affair with a member of my staff to focus on the election" Ensign leading the way.)

    Excuse me Sen. John Ensign, but you demanded that President Bill Clinton resign over the affair (not the lying under oath) and that Senator Larry Craig resign over the wide stance in a bathroom airport issue.

    Shouldn't you have already drafted your resignation letter about now?

    July 9, 2009 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
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