July 8th, 2009
10:31 PM ET
12 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. Vic

    Just like crooked politicians. Guess where the $1 million to buy them a new home would have come from?

    Liars, crooks, themes, deviates and degenerates...American politicians are losers.

    We need a true democracy – not a republic (people need to pay attention to what they're saying when they so-call "pledge their allegiance" to the flag).

    Heavy term limits – we already know you don't have to be a career politician or even an intellect (think Palin and Bush and Quayle) to be a governor, president or vice president. Let's get rid of the losers who continue to suck at the public trough without end and without results.

    Let's get people into office who care...not those who are just padding their pockets...or seeking money to buy their mistresses and their hubbies new homes!

    July 8, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  2. Ted R.

    Ummm..." Hey Mr. Politician, we know you're having an affair with my wife. I think you should give me millions of dollars to make this all go away."

    Sounds like hush money to me.

    July 8, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  3. Murf

    Yet again another example that modern politics and religion don't mix. It just shows how disingenuous the religious right can be, offering hush money to the mistress and her hubby to disappear. Disgusting!


    July 8, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  4. Cubetap

    From Las Vegas-–This is the kind of sleaze-bag stuff that we hear about around here every day. First it was our Governor Gibbons who was secretly videoed hustling his mistress through a Las Vegas parking garage. Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Gibbons filed for divorice. Now our illustrious Jr. Senator Ensign is caught red handed because Doug Hampton decided to blab. What this article doesn't say, but what our TV news stations have been talking about all day, is that both the Ensign and Hampton families were both living together under the same roof when this all began. Ensign even adminted to Hampton that "I am in love with your wife." Sounds really "Las Vegas", no? Then all of a sudden Hampton decides to spill the beans and Oklahoma Senator Tom Colburn suggests a $-Million payoff to shut Hampton up and save Ensign's career. Does sound like a B-rated movie script? Ensign should "get out of Dodge" (DC) post-haste and retire somewhere far out in the Nevada desert.

    July 8, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  5. Edward James

    ..so the Christian group got involved & tried to "SHAKE-HIM-DOWN" for a million bucks.. Americans thats how things work in DC, everthing is a shake -down, even religious groups become corrupt there...

    July 8, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  6. Lee

    A group of powerful Republicans tells Senator Ensign he needs to give his mistress and her husband millions of dollars so they can "move...to a new life away from Ensign." If that doesn't sound like hush money, I don't know what does.

    July 8, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  7. Emi

    John Ensign and Cynthia Hampton had an affair so why was Ensign "confronted and suggested that the Hamptons needed to be given financial assistance-in the million of dollars-......." ??? Doesn't it take two to tango? Why is Ensign the only one to be blamed??

    July 8, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |

    I guess the Dem's cheat on their taxes and the Repubs cheat on their spouses.
    There is not any INTEGITY left and of course the people in politics , NEVER HAD ANY INTEGRITY.

    VOTE THEM ALL OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 8, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  9. slkwly

    Good 'ol conservative christian folks--oh, did I mention patriotic too? Just trying to get all the names they wrap themselves in. Ensign, Sanford, Larry Craig–need I go on? Sanford is the total epitome of these fools-not spend a dime of money to fix the dilapidated schools in his state (already among the nation's worst) but didn't have a problem with cheating on his wife and just snuck away (or left the U.S. I should say) to do so...where is the Christ-like behavior in these christian folk?

    July 8, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  10. Moe, NY

    These Republicans and right wing neocons are a joke, crooked as they come, glad I never swallowed any of their family values BS. At this point in time, I really believe they are morally bankrupt. However, I did get quite a chuckle from reading this article.

    July 8, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  11. David in San Diego

    Another Republican't failure!!! So what else is new??

    July 8, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  12. Donald Reif, Jr.

    I wouldn't subscribe noble motives to Sen. Coburn. Looks more like an attempt at a payoff to get the Hampton's out of the way and to buy their silence.

    July 8, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  13. Holierthanthou

    What is going on? Repubs are turning into Dems. Their holier than thou attitude seem to bite them in their back..

    July 8, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  14. Political Science Major

    Save this kind of stuff for the tabloids. Nothing to do with American Politics.

    July 8, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  15. TracieGoethe

    Tried to end the affair? Try? You either end it or you don't, there is no "try". This is just an attempt at making excuses. How pathetic. At least Ensign needs to be man enough to take full responsibility for his actions and not "try" to make excuses.

    Also, his affair with an employee constitutes sexual harassment. I strongly feel there is a case for this that the Hamptons need to pursue.

    July 8, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  16. Terry from West Texas

    I do enjoy the continuous embarrassment of Conservative leaders. It is always fun to see a hypocrite tarred with his own brush. I think we all enjoy that.

    Mostly though, it is good for Conservative voters to see that they have been flim-flammed by con-artists in thousand dollar suits. Conservative leaders don't give a crap about the middle class in America – except on election day. Good Conservative Americans need to realize they have been made fools by their own leadership.

    July 8, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  17. MikeinNC

    'Financial assistance of millions of dollars"....hmmmm, those good Christian boys wouldn't have been thinking about buying someone's silence, would they?

    July 8, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  18. Parlophone

    This whole thing makes me want to puke all over the GOP. Enjoy the watching from the sidelines "Christians" you earned it!

    July 8, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  19. Evan Lehman

    Hey! Wouldn't we all like to have millions of dollars to pay off our mortgage! If that works, although I'm unmarried, I'll go out and have an affair just to have somebody give me money to break it off.

    That's just another form of bail-out!

    July 8, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  20. Abraham L

    If they all knew, then why did it take so long to come out???

    If you are a man, and this geek came to you and told you to end an affair with your sexy mistress........

    July 8, 2009 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  21. Brad

    That's a far different story than the one floated by Senator Ensign's staff that somebody was trying to blackmail Ensigbn about his affair. Apparently, the idea about paying off the mortgage of Ensign's mistress and her husband originated from fellow Christian conservative senators. Hmmm...and the plot thickens...

    July 8, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  22. to pay off their $1 million-plus mortgage

    do they live on Mars

    how can they live this life that just is so sick, so alien from what I see and live and my neighbors see and live

    politicians cannot be allowed to continue to live like this, cut them off, vote them out, do not support behavior that is against what you believe in

    it is not for the 'greater good', it is not 'human behavior', EXPECT MORE, DEMAND MORE, demand role models

    July 8, 2009 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  23. Steve

    That these freaks refer to themselves as Christians makes me sick. Christians don't have affairs to begin with. Hypocritical cretins do.

    July 8, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  24. NO Means NO

    That's right Pubiclans – pay 'em off... everyone has their price

    July 8, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  25. Dan

    I'm confused. Was Coburn part of the group that pushed for $1 million for the Hamptons? Did Dough Hampton reference Coburn? The two episodes should not be part of the same story. They should be published because both are newsworthy, but separated.

    July 8, 2009 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
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