Christine O'Donnell: 'I Dabbled in Witchcraft'

Christine O'Donnell says one of her first dates occurred on a satanic altar.

ByABC News
September 18, 2010, 1:34 PM

Sept. 18, 2010— -- Fresh off her victory in Delaware, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell is riding a wave of campaign cash but also internet infamy, thanks in part to her controversial statements -- most notably on masturbation -- in the late 1990s on Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect."

On Friday, Maher released on his new HBO show, "Real Time," an unaired clip of O'Donnell admitting to a brief dalliance with witchcraft.

"I dabbled into witchcraft -- I never joined a coven. But I did, I did. I dabbled into witchcraft. I hung around people who were doing these things. I'm not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do," she said.

"One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn't know it. I mean, there's little blood there and stuff like that," she said. "We went to a movie and then had a midnight picnic on a satanic altar."

O'Donnell appeared on the political talk show on 22 different episodes, and Maher has said he will air a clip of O'Donnell every week until she agrees to appear on his show.

"It's like a hostage crisis," Maher said. "Every week you don't show up, I'm going to throw another body out."

On Saturday O'Donnell canceled two scheduled appearances on national Sunday news shows "Face the Nation" on CBS and "Fox News Sunday."

Speaking to The Associated Press, campaign spokeswoman Diana Banister said that O'Donnell was returning to Delaware to attend church events in a key county.

"Tomorrow the priorities are back in Delaware. Those are people who supported her, who were very helpful to her in the campaign, and she feels obligated to be there and thank them."

O'Donnell's outspokenness on conservative social values, particularly her support for abstinence and opposition to the use of condoms and masturbation, has set her apart from many prominent Tea Party candidates, who've primarily focused on economic issues.

O'Donnell told TV talk show host Phil Donahue in 2002 that "condoms will not protect you from AIDS." And in a 2006 appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor" she said efforts to promote condom use are "anti-human."

She's also received new attention for comments she made in 1996 on MTV's "Sex in the '90s" in which she likened masturbation and pornography to adultery.

O'Donnell has raised close to $1 million in campaign funds online and won a financial pledge from the National Republican Senatorial Committee of $42,000, the maximum allowed. Aides say the cash keeps coming in.

She appeared on all major TV network morning show programs on Wednesday, and has used attacks by her opponents, including Republican strategist Karl Rove, to win sympathy in many conservative circles.

During her primary campaign, O'Donnell collected just over $376,000, according to Federal Election Commission data analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics. She had just $20,374 left in the bank as of Tuesday.

But now the sudden flood of funds into her campaign coffers puts her on course to compete at least even-handedly with her opponent in the race for the Senate seat, Democrat Chris Coons, who's raised over $1.6 million.

The news appeared to have Democrats scrambling Thursday with the White House dispatching Vice President Joe Biden to Delaware to campaign for Coons, who's been the early favorite in the race.

Coons and O'Donnell are vying for the senate seat Biden held for 36 years. If O'Donnell were to win the seat it would be a huge victory for Republicans, who are trying to regain a majority in the Senate.

ABC News' Devin Dwyer contributed to this report.