Former FBI agent Robert Hanssen may have sold secrets to the Russians, gone to a Catholic Mass, and rendezvoused with an exotic dancer all in the same day.
Former prostitute and stripper Priscilla Sue Galey says that between 1990 and 1991 she carried on a platonic relationship with Hanssen and received close to $80,000 in gifts from the accused spy.
When Galey first met Hanssen, she was a 33-year-old exotic dancer at Joanna's 1819 Club, only minutes from the FBI headquarters.
One afternoon in 1990, while she was performing, she recalls catching Hanssen's eye. After she left the stage she says the then-46-year-old FBI agent gave her a tip with a note saying that he "had never expected to see such grace and beauty in a strip club." It was "the most beautiful compliment I had ever heard in my entire life," she says.
A few weeks later, Galey says, Hanssen returned to the club and presented her with a sapphire and diamond necklace.
But Hanssen did not seem interested in romance. He told her he was a happily married father of six. His exact intentions were unclear, but Galey says she expected that eventually he would come on to her sexually.
Such overtures never came, however, though Hanssen continued to frequent Joanna's 1819 Club.
Sugar Daddy Talks of God
When holidays approached, Galey says he bestowed another generous gift: $2,000 in cash for her to pay for dental work. Galey says there was also a letter explaining she should not feel in any way indebted to him.
"He was happily married," she says. "He didn't expect anything out of me."
Hanssen was a devout Roman Catholic and Galey says he talked about religion, "every time he got the chance." He even urged her to come to his family's church.
"He would just tell me things, you know, that I did need to change my life," Galey says. "It always revolved around being closer to God."
As the relationship progressed, she says Hanssen told her he was going to Hong Kong on business and she begged him to bring her back a souvenir from the East. To her surprise, Hanssen decided instead to bring her along — though they flew on separate planes and stayed in separate rooms.
The stripper recalls fond memories of dining and listening to music together during their 2 ½ weeks abroad. "I attempted to get him to dance once … I don't think he ever danced," she remembers.
At no point did he touch her, "nor would he allow me to hug and be affectionate toward him," she says.
A Minor Confession
Although she knew Hanssen worked with the FBI, Galey never suspected him of doing anything but official business. "I didn't even think he was capable of doing anything wrong," she says.
At one point, she asked him if he had ever done anything wrong in his entire life. "He had to think for a few minutes, and he said, 'Yes, I changed some test scores in college.'"
After returning to Washington, Hanssen and Galey had a lunch date that she will never forget.
"'I have three surprises for you,'" she recalls him saying before giving her $1,000 in cash, an American Express card and keys to a what she calls a "beautiful little Mercedes."
Galey was flabbergasted: "I looked out [of] my apartment for two weeks after I got it home, just to see if it was still there."
In the same year that Hanssen allegedly spent an estimated $80,000 on Galey, the FBI says he made repeated drops of classified information for his Russian contacts at a neighborhood park in Virginia. According to the agency, Hanssen got about $100,000 from the Russians for his his spying during that period.
She says she knew nothing of Hanssen's alleged treason, nor did he ever ask her to abet his alleged crimes.
The End of the Relationship
Galey says her relationship with Hanssen soured after she left Washington for Columbus, Ohio, and then misused the AmEx card he'd given her.
"The credit card, which I was to use only for car purposes," she says, "I used for — not only like cigarettes and things — but to buy my nieces Easter dresses."
In Columbus, Galey's life began a downward spiral. She became addicted to drugs. In no time, all the gifts that Hanssen had given her were gone. Her only memento is a receipt with Hanssen's signature on it for the Mercedes she had so adored.
Eventually she was arrested for selling drugs and turned to Hanssen for help. He refused and she spent a year in jail. Galey says she never heard from him again.
She was shocked to hear that Hanssen had been arrested. "I just about died," she says. "I was very disappointed and devastated. I thought it had been a huge mistake."
But the charges against Hanssen became very real to Galey when the FBI summoned her to Washington for questioning.
She testified before the grand jury about the money and gifts Hanssen gave her, but she has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Today, Galey lives with her 3-year-old son and her mother in a crime-ridden neighborhood in Columbus. Even now, she feels Hanssen is helping her: She hopes the notoriety she is receiving will help turn her life around.
She also says she wants his family to know the nature of their relationship — that it was platonic and "respectable."