‘Hustler’ Call May Have Prompted Vitter Admission

By Justin Rood

Jul 10, 2007 1:26pm

A call from Hustler magazine may have prompted a Louisiana Republican senator to expose his past with an escort service run by the so-called "D.C. Madam," the Blotter on ABCNews.com has learned. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., sent a statement to the New Orleans bureau of the Associated Press late yesterday confirming that he had used the now-defunct Washington, D.C. escort service Pamela Martin and Associates, whose former proprietress, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, has come to be known as the D.C. Madam, thanks to her high-profile federal prosecution. Last week, immediately following a judge’s order, Palfrey turned over phone records for her service from 1993 to 2006 to Washington, D.C. investigative reporter and author Dan Moldea, with whom she is writing a book, Moldea told ABCNews.com. According to Palfrey’s lawyer, Vitter’s number appeared on a February 2001 phone record, which his client had not previously shared with other news outlets, including ABC News. Photos D.C. Madam Affair Unfolds The next day, Moldea told ABCNews.com, he discovered a phone number connected to Vitter in the records. Moldea, who also works as an investigator for Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, contacted Flynt with the information, he said.  Flynt did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABCNews.com. Yesterday afternoon, a Hustler editor contacted Vitter’s office to ask his connection to Palfrey’s service. Soon after, Vitter’s office released its statement. Vitter’s office did not respond to requests for comment. Earlier this year ABC News received and analyzed a portion of Palfrey’s phone records that included calls between 2002 and 2006 but found no indication of Vitter having used the service.  A new search of the records previously provided to ABC News against several numbers that have belonged to Vitter returned no matches. Palfrey could not immediately be reached for comment. The revelation of Hustler’s involvement is not without irony. Vitter joined Congress by winning a House seat vacated by former Rep. Bob Livingston, R-La., in 1999. Livingston, a chief accuser of former President Bill Clinton during his Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, was forced to step down after Hustler magazine threatened to publish evidence of his own marital infidelity, which he admitted upon his resignation. Flynt has announced he will hold a press conference Wednesday.  According to a Flynt spokeswoman, the publisher is not planning to release any more names of former Palfrey clients, but she promised "more stuff" would come out then. Z. Byron Wolf contributed to this report. This post has been updated. Do you have a tip for Brian Ross and the Investigative Team?

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