GOP Senator’s admission of extramarital affair was prompted by an ‘extortion threat’

June 17th, 2009 - 5:09 pm ICT by ANI  

Tehran, June 17 (ANI): A public admission by Republican Senator John Ensign-that he had an extramarital affair with a member of his campaign staff-was prompted by a blackmail threat, Fox News claimed.

“Last year, I had an affair. I violated the vows of my marriage. It is the worst thing I have ever done in my life. If there was ever anything in my life that I could take back, this would be it,” Ensign said, addressing a press conference on Tuesday.

According to sources close to the Senator from Nevada, a former employee had asked Ensign for money, and it was a case of “extortion.”

The employee, Doug Hampton, worked in Ensign’s Senate office, and his wife, Cindy Hampton, worked for Ensign’s re-election campaign. Both ceased working for the senator shortly after the affair ended, the sources said, with Cindy Hampton receiving a severance package.

Ensign said he would not mention the name of the campaign aide involved in the affair. He described the woman and her husband as good friends.

“Our families were close. That closeness put me into situations which led to my inappropriate behaviour. We caused deep pain to both families, and for that, I am sorry,” he said.

Ensign’s wife Darlene also released a statement about the affair.

“Since we found out last year, we have worked through the situation and we have come to a reconciliation. This has been difficult on both families. With the help of our family and close friends, our marriage has become stronger,” she said.

The Ensigns have three children.

Ensign is only the latest member of Congress to acknowledge infidelity. Senator David Vitter’s name was also linked to a prostitute. (ANI)

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