July 9th, 2009
04:17 PM ET
13 years ago

Statement: Senator's parents 'made gifts' to mistress's family

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/09/art.ensignfrown0709.gi.jpg caption="A statement from a lawyer for Sen. John Ensign said that the senator's parents made payments totalling $96,000 to the family of Ensign's former mistress."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The parents of Sen. John Ensign gave a total of $96,000 to the family of Cynthia Hampton, a woman with whom the Nevada Republican had carried on an extra-marital affair, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the Nevada senator's attorney.

"In April 2008, Senator John Ensign's parents each made gifts to Doug Hampton, Cindy Hampton, and two of their children in the form of a check totaling $96,000," said Paul Coggins of Fish & Richardson, who is representing Ensign. "Each gift was limited to $12,000. The payments were made as gifts, accepted as gifts and complied with tax rules governing gifts.

"After the Senator told his parents about the affair, his parents decided to make the gifts out of concern for the well-being of long-time family friends during a difficult time. The gifts are consistent with a pattern of generosity by the Ensign family to the Hamptons and others.

None of the gifts came from campaign or official funds nor were they related to any campaign or official duties. Senator Ensign has complied with all applicable laws and Senate ethics rules."

The revelation comes one day after Doug Hampton, the husband of Ensign's former mistress, told Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston that Ensign paid Cynthia Hampton, who was also an employee of Ensign's political action committee and re-election campaign, more than $25,000 in severance when she stopped working for Ensign's political operation.


Related: Report: Senator tried to stop colleague's affair
Related: I will never reveal what I told Ensign, Colburn says

Filed under: John Ensign
soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Joe, New York City

    Hey you hypocrite liberals...you think the Republican's are the only ones that have done something like this?

    Look at your own party...John Edwards fathering children with mistresses, Ted Kennedy drowning Mary Joe Kopechne
    off the bridge, Bill Clinton carrying on affairs his whole adult life, Barney Frank and his homosexual affair with male pages, etc etc etc.

    If you want to review all the affairs, payoffs, who should be in jail, etc., the dems would win hands down in numbers.

    July 9, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. Todd

    Where I come from, if you pay somebody you've been sleeping with outside of your marriage, you have NOT "complied with all applicable laws and Senate ethics rules."

    July 9, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. Perdue Hinds

    I'll bet this a pattern of Ensign's parents paying off all of the people this guy has used and abused during his life. I don't think Ensign should resign, leave him there as a target. This son of privilege makes laws that concern real people on a day to day level.

    July 9, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. me 2 you

    So he is a Senator, he tries to legislate others behavior. He has an affair and then he runs to hi mom and dad and they pay the girl off. WHAT A MAN>>>>

    July 9, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Colleen

    It's okay folks, he's Republican. That means he can do what he wants, ask God to forgive him, call himself a Christian and then act like nothing ever happend. That is the Republican version of family values. As long as no one who makes millions pays tmore axes or inheritance taxes or has an abortion all is forgiven.

    July 9, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. KM

    Oh Republicans – please tell us what are morals should be??? We want to have as much fun as YOU!!!!!!!!! He should talk to Palin about how to be a QUITTER!!!!!!!!

    July 9, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Victory

    GOP... as got to be the best reality show in America... it should be called HYPOCRISY IN AMERICA!!

    July 9, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. Robert

    A Man’s personal relationship in Marriage has Nothing to do and has no Connection with his Job Performance.

    A very loyal and honest Husband in Marriage could be the Worst Performer in his Job.
    Let us Compare:

    If a Man’s profession is 1) Carpenter 2) Plumber 3) I.T. 4) Doctor 5) Lawyer 6) Policeman 7) Firefighter 8) Teacher, how will it affect or concern his job duties, if these men were cheating on their wives?

    I don’t see any connection whatsoever.

    July 9, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. M. Freeman

    What a great bunch of politicians we have!! Never ceases to amaze me at the number who follow this pattern of life, and at the tax payer's
    expense. Yes, the ones who do this "extra marital affair" should all resign. What on earth has happened to people with a conscience!!!!!
    Wouldn't give you a plugged nickle for the whole bunch of them!!!

    July 9, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Jamie from Riverside

    So is having your parents pay off your mistress is what is known as family vaules?

    July 9, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. Tulsa

    I don't recall President Clinton calling for anyone's resignationor impeachment for being an adulterer WHILE hes was being an adulterer. That's a Republican thing. Do as I say, not as I do.

    Don't you idiots get it? It is the HYPOCRISY of your party that we denounce. You claim the moral highground while cheating on your wives. Sanctimonious twits.

    Want to see a REAL family man? Look at President Obama.

    July 9, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. JQP

    I'd have more respect if he'd be HONEST, and say it was HUSH money. Then resign like DEMANDED of President Clinton..H'e s a two-faced, LIAR. A man not of principles but of greed. He's a cancer in Congress.

    July 9, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. You had your window Repubs, and you blew it!

    @Steve, Columbia SC,

    Maybe, but we don't claim to be the party of "family values" either.

    July 9, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. Joel in Oklahoma

    I think that if every Washington politician who has done anything ethically, morally, or criminally wrong would resign, we'd have the turnover we need to get really fresh, new blood in government. And, IMHO, we desperately need term limits in both the House and Senate: 3 terms for the house and 2 terms for the Senate. Forget about the arguments about "experience": Just remember the old quote "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" (forgive me if I got that slightly wrong). And the longer these pols (of either party) stay in office, the more they gain, in their own little minds, absolute power. They forget about who elected them and why quite easily, if would seem.

    July 9, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Murf

    Like rats from a sinking ship. Interesting to me how the neocons won't touch this story with a 10 ft. pole. How convenient. Where are the repub commenters to this story, don't let us down as you typically are able to convince yourselves that there has to be some territory worth defending. Not in this case!

    July 9, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    This is so much drama, it should be covered on the Lifetime channel.

    July 9, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. John Cocktostan

    This deceptive group is on the same level as those opportunistic televangelists who deceive and exploit the lost sheep that make up their faithful followings. Do these clowns purposely seek office with the intention of obtaining power to leverage and abuse, without regard for their official and personal commitments? Imagine what these guys would be capable of without the fear of God and public scrutiny.

    July 9, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. citizenjane

    Eugene: July 9th, 2009 4:54 pm ET

    Oh, and Bill Clinton was good at discrete affairs…
    Concentrate, Eugene, concentrate. This isn't about Bill Clinton – it's about one of your own. One who had himself gone after Clinton and demanded Clinton resign.

    July 9, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. lexie

    Think these affairs are actually apolitical, regardless of party they think they are above the fray. Not defending the last two Republican by any means but lest we forget John Edwards, and the Kennedy boys it seems have nothing to do with party affiliation..

    July 9, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. Brina

    What happen to personal responsibility.....he had his mommy and daddy take care of things for him....that's how the promisekeepers do it......

    July 9, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. Cedric

    Hush Money.

    enough said.

    cover-up time

    Heard any of this before?
    Ensign-gate, anyone?

    July 9, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. Brad

    Senator Ensign has complied with all applicable laws and Senate ethics rules. No he does not. If he did then he would not have had an affair to begin with!!

    July 9, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. Dennis L

    It is time to send a message to the republican party: no more support for any of you until you make an example out of someone! So much for family values!

    July 9, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. Sean

    Its amazing how we hold our politicians this ideal standard. Infidelity goes on in all walks of life, doesnt make it right, but it is human. he is human. If he didnt break any laws, i dont see an issue w/ him staying in office. That's part of the problem, we worry so much on image, and what people do in their personal lives, instead of what they do in office.

    July 9, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. hjs3

    This sounds like something out of a bad high school affair on Dallas.

    I would like to get Newt and Limbos take on it for maximum giggles.....

    July 9, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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