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Ensign Accuses Mistress's Husband Seeking Payment

By Paul Kane and James Grimaldi

Three days after revealing an eight-month affair with a former campaign aide, Sen. John Ensign today formally accused his mistress's husband of trying to get a financial payout from the Nevada Republican over the last several weeks.

Ensign's office released a statement today that said Douglas L. Hampton sought a large payment from Ensign, but the senator's office would not say how much money Hampton was seeking and whether there was a protracted negotiation over the payout.

"Within the past month, Doug Hampton's legal counsel made exorbitant demands for cash and other financial benefits on behalf of his client. Doug Hampton's outrageous demand was referred to Senator Ensign's legal counsel, who is handling the matter going forward," Tory Mazzola, Ensign's spokesman, said in a statement provided to several media outlets.

The formal statement from Ensign's office came after a whispering campaign by the senator's allies for the past several days about what prompted his revelation that he had an affair last year with Cynthia L. Hampton, who was treasurer for his political committees.

The Ensign and Hampton families are lifelong friends, living in the same Las Vegas-area neighborhood. Their children attend the same high school.

"I have no comment on anything," Daniel Albregts, the Hamptons' attorney, said in a brief interview. He noted that the Ensign statement did not use the term "extortion" for the legal talks that had been engaged recently. Some GOP sources were initially describing the Hampton demands as an attempted extortion when the news broke Tuesday. The attorney, who specializes in personal injury claims, has said the Hamptons are currently weighing how to respond to the Ensign revelation.

On Tuesday, after flying home to Las Vegas, Ensign announced that he had an affair with an unnamed former campaign staffer whose husband was also a top Senate staffer, while his staff provided enough background information to clearly identify the couple as the Hamptons. Both sides have said the affair began in December 2007.

In April 2008 Ensign and his wife, Darlene, officially separated. At that time Doug and Cynthia Hampton abruptly left Ensign's offices. Last July the Ensigns reconciled, but, according to statements from both families, the senator's affair with Cynthia Hampton continued into August.

According to Ensign's new statement, Doug Hampton's lawyer approached Ensign's lawyer last month about a financial settlement. Mazzola today declined to address several issues left unclear from today's statement, including who Ensign's lawyer is and when precisely the senator rejected the financial request from Hampton. In addition, Ensign's office has declined to answer repeated questions of whether the senator -- hailing from a family of multimillionaires in the casino industry -- ever paid the Hamptons any money from his own personal accounts after they stopped working for him.

According to congressional and Federal Election Commission records, the Hamptons received modest sums from Ensign as they departed. Cynthia Hampton received payments covering her regular work, and Doug Hampton received an additional $6,000 -- which Ensign's office has said was back pay for unused vacation time.

Politico reported today that Ensign helped get Doug Hampton a job with the political consulting firm that runs the senator's campaigns, but Ensign's office declined to comment on what role he played in getting him the job. That work ended earlier this year, and Hampton is now employed by an airline company whose CEO is a major donor to Ensign's campaigns.

Ensign's office, however, said the decision to publicly reveal the affair was not driven by the request for money. That came when Ensign learned that Hampton had written to Fox News with the details of the affair, asking that network to do an investigative report on Ensign's affair with his wife. In the letter Hampton acknowledged that he was seeking legal help for restitution but suggested he wanted to file a lawsuit against the senator.

Mazzola would not say how the senator or his aides came to learn of the Hampton contact with Fox News, only that once they were alerted to it, Ensign quickly returned home and tried to announce the affair on his own terms.

"Doug Hampton first approached the media. He approached a major television news channel before Tuesday. We learned of this fact before the press conference," Mazzola said.

By Paul Volpe  |  June 19, 2009; 6:15 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

Ensign picked the wrong gal. He could have picked Monica Lewinsky. She's Republican now, complaining that the Democrats left her with a bad taste in her mouth.

Posted by: expat2MEX | June 19, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Two lawyers were talking? That doesn't sound like extortion, it sounds like preparation for a lawsuit. I guess with Froomkin gone, we're back to stenography for the powerful.

I didn't think this would amount to anything, but Ensign smearing this guy is going to backfire bigtime. He may be finished.

Posted by: Hopeful9 | June 19, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love those family values....

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | June 19, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

It's a lying, spin control and smear campaign where he is hiding behind the speech and debate clause.

When he stands up, subject to a suit for defamation and makes the same claim about the attorney, and puts his assets at risk, then listen. Until then it is just a political smear orchestrated by an expert.

Shame on the Post for publishing such a smear


Posted by: Vince5 | June 19, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

There's a word for people who have affairs with someone else's wife - adulterer. There's a word for someone demanding money for the sexual activity of another - pimp. What do these two people have in common? They're members of the same party.

Posted by: rob15 | June 19, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Ensign should pay restitution.

Why not?

Posted by: HumanSimpleton | June 19, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

How can he function properly as a senator when it is obvious he cannot keep his own house in order? This affair is turning into a side show and this guy wanted to try and run for president in 2012.

Posted by: Lynn18 | June 19, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Hopeful9, where did you see news of Froomkin leaving? If it's true it must mean the Post is making room for more out-of-work neocons. Aside from Bill Kristol, has the NY Times let anyone else go lately? It seems that the Times' discards are always welcome here at the Neocon Daily.

Posted by: hairguy01 | June 19, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

This is a clever campaign by Ensign to make him seem like a victim.

I am impressed at how rapidly he acted once Fox News tipped him that Hampton was going public, and how Fox held the letter until after he made his announcement.

Posted by: AlanGoldberg54 | June 19, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

You know, having an affair with a subordinate, particularly a married subordinate is against the rules many places and is a pretty clear case of adultery.

Posted by: AlanGoldberg54 | June 19, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

the family values party, should all sit down and stay out of other peoples lives. grandma palin can not tell young people how to conduct their lives, neither can her unwed daughter, wiilow, trig,ding or whatever her name is.bush should clear some brush, and try to duck any flying shoes coming his way.ensign should resign and stop giving tax payer money to his girlfriends and their husbands.all told repugs should shut up or go hunting with dead-eye dick.

Posted by: ninnafaye | June 19, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Ensign is a typical sexual predator and Coburn was his pimp. Like all rapist and sexual predators Ensign and Coburn's job is to blame the victim. Typical senate garbage.

Posted by: seasail | June 19, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

"Two lawyers were talking? That doesn't sound like extortion, it sounds like preparation for a lawsuit. I guess with Froomkin gone, we're back to stenography for the powerful.

I didn't think this would amount to anything, but Ensign smearing this guy is going to backfire bigtime. He may be finished."

Posted by: Hopeful9 | June 19, 2009 6:58 PM
________
Waddaya mean? The Post still has giants like Wolfowitz, Krauthammer, Kristol, Broder, Cilizza, and Kathleen Parker. They never actually report facts or break stories or do journalism, but they do share with us their bull-, er, priceless "analysis."

Bring back, Froomkin. Nothing about this story smells right so far.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | June 19, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

An adulterer complaining about extortion is like a robber complaining about the guy who "fences" his stuff.

Ensign committed adultery; plain and simple.

So he can just forget any sympathy from us.

Too bad he can't stand the heat of the light of day.....

Posted by: abby0802 | June 19, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

trying to extort a sitting senator this could be a federal offense. time to turn on the feds.

Posted by: donaldtucker | June 19, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

While Senator Ensign takes the prize for putting on a holier thou front and giving speeches about family values while carrying on an extra-marital affair, they are sleazy....all of them.

Did he force her to have sex with him? Was Cynthia Hampton a naive,fresh out of high school girl when the affair took place? No, and no. If they needed money
Cynthia Hampton should have placed a price for sexual services before allowing
access to Ensign. Nothing wrong with the
world's oldest profession.

Posted by: probashi | June 19, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Ensign is done, finished. It couldn't happen to a nicer guy--except maybe Dave "Diaper Baby" Vitter.

Posted by: cythera45 | June 19, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

This is a perfect example of why those who condemned Bill Clinton for his affair while President of the U.S. were right and those who said it was his own private sex life and nobody's business were all wrong. An elected official----and especially a President of the U.S.----places themselves in the position for possible blackmail and extortion that could harm the country. And just because Clinton was lucky and that didn't happen to him, it certainly could have. Maybe now the defending Dems can see why the rest of us were so upset when it happened??

Posted by: txgal | June 19, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

So how is the Republican "Family Values" morality working this one?

Is Ensign innocent because somebody tried to black mail him for his scummy, Newt Gingrich style conduct?

Or is Ensign innocent because "Clinton did it to".

Or are the Republicans simply going to pull a David "Diaper" Vitter and claim that having sordid affairs isn't really wrong when Republicans do it.

Posted by: Ms_Morgan | June 19, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Any man who would hire a husband and wife team, then fires the husband (wrongful termination) and has sex with the man's wife (sexual harassment in the workplace), lack any credibility whatsoever.

If Senator Ensign told me the sky is blue, I'd check.


Posted by: lindalovejones | June 19, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Fair and Balanced???? Okay, do you really think that Fox would hold a letter to let a Democrat Senator start spin control before releasing the info?

Posted by: emant2 | June 19, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't aware there's anything wrong with seeking revenge from a guy who is banging your wife.

Posted by: steelelewis | June 19, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Ensign has been quoted in other media as having stated that he takes "full responsibility for his actions." He also has been quoted in other media as having stated that he will not resign. Oh.

I wonder if it has occurred to Ensign and his friends on the Christian right that "taking full responsibility for his actions" involves more than a mere acknowledgment that he had an extra-marital affair (especially when his paramour's husband, apparently, threatened to go public). The responsible thing to do would be to resign.

The Bible, (the guide to faith which, Ensign, as an evangelical Christian, presumably purports to follow), provides a good example of what happens when a "believer" fails to follow the "rules"; to wit: Moses was excluded from the promised land (the land of milk and honey) for his sin. In this case, perhaps Ensign should resign and return to Vegas, the land of bilk and money.

Posted by: wopsy1 | June 19, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Gee, not a sign of KoZ. Cat got his tongue?

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 19, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, yeah, if you boffed my wife and fired me, I'd want a BIG payout too.

Posted by: arancia12 | June 19, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Hopeful9, where did you see news of Froomkin leaving? If it's true it must mean the Post is making room for more out-of-work neocons. Aside from Bill Kristol, has the NY Times let anyone else go lately? It seems that the Times' discards are always welcome here at the Neocon Daily.


Posted by: hairguy01 |
__________

Very astute. They made room for Paul Wolfowitz of all people.

Posted by: arancia12 | June 19, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

txgal wrote:

"This is a perfect example of why those who condemned Bill Clinton for his affair while President of the U.S. were right and those who said it was his own private sex life and nobody's business were all wrong. An elected official----and especially a President of the U.S.----places themselves in the position for possible blackmail and extortion that could harm the country. And just because Clinton was lucky and that didn't happen to him, it certainly could have. Maybe now the defending Dems can see why the rest of us were so upset when it happened??"


Ummm...just because Clinton wasn't blackmailed doesn't mean that his affairs didn't harm the country. A good year or more of government was tied up thanks to Clinton's affairs, and although the legal proceedings against Clinton do not formally count as blackmail or extortion, they had a similar effect.

What makes me chuckle is that the same people who wanted to look the other way with Clinton's dalliances often seem to be the quickest to condemn Ensign. I guess it's only wrong to drop your trousers at work if you are a Republican, huh?

Posted by: blert | June 19, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Is Cynthia L. Hampton hot?

Posted by: kelargo | June 19, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

The good folks in Nevada have lost their faith and trust in Senator Ensign. Everyone is waiting for others to come forward as they should for their own safety. Now,the people of Nevada that asked the Senator and his staff for help better understand why he was unavailable.
Paul Rupp, Box 125 Silver Peak NV 89047.

Posted by: silverpeakitis | June 19, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Ensign is a slime bucket. But Hampton is little more than a pimp, whoring out his rent-by-the-hour wife. Betcha anything that bozo knew about the diddling.

Jeez, don't these people have any pride? Humiliating themselves in public as they are - wow. Lifetime friends? Unreal. "With friends like that..."

Ensign is history. But I don't understand Hampton doing this dirty dance in public.

Swine.

Posted by: itsagreatday1 | June 19, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Poor guy. Victimized by that horrible cuckholded hubby/staffer. He deserves to be re-elected on a family values platform.

Posted by: BwanaDik | June 19, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

"Ummm...just because Clinton wasn't blackmailed doesn't mean that his affairs didn't harm the country. A good year or more of government was tied up thanks to Clinton's affairs, and although the legal proceedings against Clinton do not formally count as blackmail or extortion, they had a similar effect."

Actually, no. It was the Republican Party's grandstanding and seeking political gain that did the real damage. The Republicans chose to do that, knowing exactly what it would do to the country.

You could argue that Clinton's was an act of stupid passion. The Republican's reaction to it was pure political opportunism, at the expense of the country

Posted by: Hillman1 | June 19, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Some wag here said, "Ensign picked the wrong gal. He could have picked Monica Lewinsky. She's Republican now, complaining that the Democrats left her with a bad taste in her mouth."

A Republican now? Well, it's my understanding she only paid lip service to the Democrats anyway.

Posted by: YondCassius | June 19, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I hear Ensign went to Iowa to explore running for prez in 2012 since he is considered "so telegenic". The Dems should counter with their "so telegenic" John Edwards.
Their wives should also have a cat fight on TV.

Posted by: qualquan | June 19, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

On June 18, 2009, it was widely reported that Froomkin was being let go by the Washington Post. [6][7]

Just weeks before the firing, Dan Froomkin sparred with fellow Washington Post columnist influential neocon Charles Krauthammer on the issue of the Bush administration's use of torture. Mr. Krauthammer specifically mentioned Mr. Froomkin's name in his column and called his analysis 'stupid'. Many believe this spat is the reason why Dan Froomkin, despite being one of the most popular contributors for washintonpost.com, was let go by the Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt, another prominent Washington neocon.

Posted by: davidvak | June 19, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

"Moses was excluded from the promised land (the land of milk and honey) for his sin. "

Seems like Ensign "hung out" in the "promised land" for several months!

Posted by: kelargo | June 19, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, boo hoo hoo, their lives are a shambles and can only be cured by extorting money from the doofus Senator. The three of them should work up a comedy act for a Vegas hotel...it might just work.

Posted by: mosthind | June 19, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

"Their wives should also have a cat fight on TV. "

Premise for Vince McMahon's new TV show!!

Posted by: kelargo | June 19, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

duh duh duh does she have biggibggg biggg breasteses?

Posted by: californicationdude | June 19, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Froomkin will easily find a slot with Huffington or some other lefty site. In print, he might try the NYT.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | June 19, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Ensign is a hypocrite's hypocrite!

An Independent

Posted by: aeaustin | June 19, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

There have been some who commented on the "family values" exhibited by this episode.
I would only like to point to the quality of these people, elected or hired for public service. Some nice people indeed!
What does it say about us, about our democracy, that we elect or tolerate such frauds to lead us?

Posted by: argo | June 19, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

So is it settled law that a husband can recover damages from the sexual partner of his wife?

Posted by: rjma1 | June 19, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

My goodness, the wronged husband and disgraced wife were asking for a bit of compensation after being fired by "Senator" Ensign. My, how scandalous. Who would ever think a Republican would agree to a payoff. After all, they are soley accustomed to taking payoffs, not paying them. Let's just hope "Senator" Ensign and his attorneys keep talking about his moral and sexual depravity. He and they will persuade us to impeach or recall him yet, and America will be a better country for it.

Posted by: dsrobins | June 19, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

and god said ...do not put thy rod in thy staff.....unless of course its nevada with an oklahoma pimp senator coburn after prostitution IS legal in nevada.
cindy honey the rule is your supposed to ask for the money FIRST.

what i wanna know is how many top level republicans knew about this over a YEAR ago and the names of ALL of those people in that room during this so called confrontation

so this was like an intervention??
something like" come-on ensign the sex cant be that great!!
it is?
how great?
............
oh well then go for it buddy.
remember to make her swallow.

Posted by: JudgeAlan | June 19, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Hampton:
Thank you for your letter about Sen. Ensign wrongfully discharging you and your wife because you found out they were having an affair. I'm sorry but Mr. Murdoch will not allow us to expose Repubicians. Furthermore, he ordered us to lie and say we never showed your letter to management because we thought you were a stalker. However, if you have any dirt on Obama and white women call us.

Sincerely,
Megyn Kelly,
Fox News

Posted by: jeesq | June 20, 2009 5:59 AM | Report abuse

did not care when slick willie the socialist wannabe did it,dont care about this one either.
wife forgives him,god forgives,we are not above god,so let it go. i will not cast the first stone. this self righteous attitude prevails to condemn this man, while right under our noses bigger fish swim by.
dont let this become another smoke screen.
the socialist agenda will cost you all over fifty percent of what you make soon,and you are worried about this mans private sex life?

Posted by: silusdogood | June 20, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

John should have offered Doug eight months with Darlene. Apparently John and Darlene were not hitting it off and just got back together for the presidential run anyway.

Posted by: Blivet1 | June 22, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

These holier than thou people who are always quoting the Bible and telling other people how to live still fail to remember the old atage "When you dig a pit for your brother, dig too". I think stepping down from his position on a committee is not enough. According to his requirements for his fellow government officials, he should step down from his office as well. Take a dose of your own advice.

Posted by: calethia_hill10 | June 22, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Ensign is a consummate hypocrite. Pontificate about family values, then violate one of its most basic principles (fidelity) & claim to take responsibility while doing everything possible to blame the victim.
Coburn is an enabler, leading the immoral cover-up & trying to explain why hitting on a subordinate is really OK.
Both the Republican Party & its organ, the Fox Propaganda Network, have once again shown us that nothing they say ever deserves to be taken seriously.

Posted by: DoctorB | June 22, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Ensign is right. A husband attempting to profit from his wife's misconduct is inexcusable, but . . .
Ensign's guilt was the original sin. He is suppose to be the adult in the room. He was hired/elected for his maturity and judgement which I believe he has shown a pure lacking. The second sin, is his willing to judge others for lesser and greater sins while doing the same acts of misconduct.
He has admitted his guilt and we know from the many TV film clip of his judging others.
What more is there to say. Mister Ensign it is time for you to go. You have shown neither judgement or a quality of mature understanding. We deserve better.

Posted by: oren1956 | June 22, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

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