Ensign Strikes Back at Ex-Mistress’s Husband
Sen. John Ensign’s (R-Nev.) office on Friday charged that the husband of the Senator’s ex-mistress sought cash in exchange for his silence about the affair, according to a statement released by his office. The statement did not say how much money was sought but said the proposed payment was rejected.On Tuesday, Ensign acknowledged having an affair with a former campaign aide, subsequently revealed to be Cynthia Hampton. Her husband, Doug Hampton, was Ensign’s former administrative assistant.Sources close to the Senator said Ensign decided to publicize the affair after learning that Doug Hampton was shopping the story to the media.The Las Vegas Sun reported Thursday that Doug Hampton had written to a Fox News anchorwoman asking her to publicize Ensign’s affair with Cynthia Hampton. The network has acknowledged it did not follow up on the story.Late Friday, Ensign’s office went on the offensive.“Within the past month, Doug Hampton’s legal counsel made exorbitant demands for cash and other financial benefits on behalf of his client,— Tory Mazzola, Ensign’s spokesman, said in a statement. “Doug Hampton’s outrageous demand was referred to Senator Ensign’s legal counsel, who is handling the matter going forward.—The Washington Post and the Las Vegas Sun reported that Daniel Albregts, attorney for Doug and Cynthia Hampton, declined to comment late Friday.“Doug Hampton first approached the media,— Mazzola said. “He approached a major television news channel before Tuesday. We learned of this fact before the press conference.—Ensign has remained in Nevada since announcing his involvement in the affair. His office said this week that he would not return to Washington, D.C., prior to the July Fourth recess.