September 12th, 2007
04:08 PM ET
16 years ago

Hustler publisher claims senator visited prostitute

CNN's Carol Costello reports Sen. Vitter faces new prostitute allegations.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Sen. David Vitter, who admitted earlier this year to a "very serious sin" after his telephone number appeared in the telephone records of a Washington, DC escort service, faced new allegations Tuesday he had a relationship with a prostitute from his home state of Louisiana.

With Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt at her side, the former prostitute Wendy Ellis told reporters that Vitter employed her services several times a week between July and November of 1999. At the time, Vitter was a new face Capitol Hill, having won a special election only months earlier.

"I want the truth to be known," Ellis said. "It was a pure sexual relationship. He would come in and do his business."

Vitter, who acknowledged in July to contacting an escort service after Hustler reported his number was linked to the alleged 'DC Madam' Deborah Jeanne Palfrey,' has denied any links to Louisiana prostitutes.

"My admission has encouraged long-time political enemies and those hoping to profit from the situation to spread falsehoods, like those New Orleans stories in recent reporting,” Vitter said in July. “Those stories are not true.”

On Tuesday, Flynt said Ellis' passed a polygraph test, but he had no other evidence linking the senator to the former prostitute.

"We don't even like to mix polygraphs into this stuff, because they're not admissible in court," he said. "But you know she's concerned that she be believed as much as Vitter is believed."


Filed under: D.C. Madam • David Vitter
August 28th, 2007
10:42 AM ET
16 years ago

Alleged 'D.C. Madam' wants to fire second defense attorney

Alleged 'DC Madam' Deborah Jeane Palfrey

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The alleged "D.C. madam" who is accused of running a high-dollar prostitution ring around the nation's capital is asking a federal judge to dismiss a prominent attorney the court had appointed to replace a public defender in her criminal case.

Deborah Jeane Palfrey wants to represent herself with the help of a lawyer who is representing her in a civil case but is not licensed to practice criminal law in Washington. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler takes up the request Tuesday at a status hearing.

But prosecutors filed court papers Monday opposing what Palfrey calls "hybrid representation," since the attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, cannot directly defend his client against criminal charges.

A grand jury indicted Palfrey March 1 on money laundering and racketeering charges in connection with her former business - Pamela Martin & Associates escort service. She pleaded not guilty to the charges on March 2.


Filed under: D.C. Madam
July 13th, 2007
01:52 PM ET
12 years ago

Vitter to be back in Senate next week, senator says

Vitter is expected to return to the Senate next week.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Embattled Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana - who has not been seen on Capitol Hill since allegations were raised Monday he used a D.C. prostitution service - will return to the Senate next week, just in time for the first scheduled vote of the week on Tuesday, according to Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina., who has exchanged e-mails with Vitter.

"Obviously, he has a whole lot of remorse and wants to put this behind him. He seems to be handling it in a very responsible way. He is saying he was wrong. He made terrible mistakes. He is not trying to diminish the problem," said DeMint who is the first person CNN has spoken to who has communicated directly with Vitter since the scandal broke.

Vitter admitted Monday that his telephone number turned up in the phone records of an escort service run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the woman dubbed the “D.C. Madam." The records date from before he won his Senate seat in 2004.

"This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible," Vitter said in a statement given to reporters Monday night. "Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and from my wife in confession and marriage counseling."

DeMint said there are no indications that Vitter, a first-term senator who is married with children, will leave the Senate.

"He'll be back next week," said DeMint who is close with Vitter.


Filed under: D.C. Madam • David Vitter
July 11th, 2007
10:16 PM ET
12 years ago

Flynt says he is motivated by hypocrisy

Larry Flynt said Wednesday he doesn’t want Vitter, above, “legislating for me.”

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hustler publisher Larry Flynt took credit Wednesday for exposing Sen. David Vitter as a client of a D.C. prostitute, saying he did so to uncover the Louisiana Republican’s hypocrisy.

“I very seldom get a chance to get a big one, and sometimes I have to go bottom feeding,” Flynt said at a late afternoon news conference. “We have a criteria, and that is if someone is living a life contrary to the way they are advocating - their personal life - than they become fair game.”

Vitter admitted Monday that his telephone number turned up in the phone records of an escort service run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, though he did not say he had sex with a prostitute. The records date from before he won his Senate seat in 2004.

On Tuesday, Hustler magazine claimed credit for exposing Vitter's connection to the "D.C. Madam,” saying he confessed after a journalist reported finding the senator's number in the escort service's phone records.

In Wednesday’s press conference, Flynt said, “I don’t want a man like that legislating for me, especially in the areas of morality.”

Vitter heavily campaigned on social values in his 2004 Senate race and was one of the top backers of a failed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage.

The Louisiana Republican issued a statement Monday night calling his contact with Palfrey a “very serious sin,” but has since not been seen in public.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: D.C. Madam • David Vitter
July 10th, 2007
03:49 PM ET
12 years ago

Giuliani on Vitter: 'Some people disappoint you'

Giuliani, right, and Sen.Vitter in New Orleans on June 30, 2007

Watch Giuliani respond to the news of Vitter's link to the D.C. Madam.

(CNN ) - Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani called Senator David Vitter’s apparent connection to the D.C. Madam “a personal issue”, but admitted that “some people disappoint you.”

Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, has endorsed Giuliani and serves as his southern regional chair. The two appeared together two weeks ago in New Orleans. Vitter admitted in a statement that his phone number was in the records of an escort service run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey.

Giuliani was asked about the admission after a town hall meeting in Concord, New Hampshire on Tuesday morning. He noted he had not spoken to Vitter and that “it’s too early to tell” if he will leave the campaign position. ”I believe it’s a personal issue,” he said. “We’ll have to hear from Senator Vitter.”

Last month, Giuliani’s South Carolina chairman resigned after he was indicted on drug charges. Giuliani insists he should not be judged based on the behavior of certain individuals associated with his campaign or mayoral administration.

“If you look at all the people I’ve appointed, a thousand or so, sure, some of them have problems,“ he said. “The vast majority were outstanding. You couldn’t accomplish the things I’ve accomplished without outstanding people. Some people are flawed, but the percentage is no greater than other people would have encountered. People look at this in the big picture.”

Giuliani said his record “came about by having mostly good people. And some people disappoint you.”

In his statement, Vitter said, “This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible. Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and from my wife in confession and marriage counseling."

- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

Filed under: D.C. Madam • David Vitter • Rudy Giuliani