Flynt Reveals Prostitute Who Had Tryst With Sen. Vitter

Tod Hunter
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Hustler founder Larry Flynt introduced a former prostitute at a press conference Tuesday who said that Sen. David Vitter, R-La., was a client of hers in 1999, when he was a state representative.

Wendy Ellis, a convicted felon and former drug user, passed a lie detector test in August during which she asserted that she conducted a four-month relationship with Vitter in 1999 through a company called the New Orleans Escort Service. Ellis said their meetings ended "abruptly" when she suggested continuing the relationship and told Vitter her real first name, which is the same as his wife.

"When I asked him if he would like to carry this beyond the business, I gave him my name and phone number, and he looked down," Ellis said. "I said, 'My real name is Wendy,' and he said, 'Oh my God.' That was the last time I saw him through the escort service. I did see him a few times at the club where I danced at after that, but he just kind of gave me a look of disbelief."

In July, Vitter admitted a "very serious sin in my past," acknowledging that his telephone number was among those found in the records of a Washington escort service that federal investigators say was a cover for a prostitution ring. In the statement, Vitter denied patronizing prostitutes in Louisiana.

Vitter's involvement with the Washington escort service was first revealed by Flynt, who uncovered the phone records as part of an ongoing investigation into the conduct of Washington officials.

Flynt said his objective is to expose hypocrisy of politicians who espouse conservative values in public while carrying on extramarital affairs in their private lives.

"It is not a question of muckraking and exposing the perverts. It's more than that," Flynt said. "It is trying to maintain some honesty in the government.

"It would be nice if we could bring about his resignation," he added about Vitter.

A spokesman for Vitter declined comment on Flynt's press conference, other than to say the senator is focused on important Louisiana issues. Vitter has previously denied "those New Orleans stories."

In June, Flynt took out a full page ad in the Washington Post that offered up to $1 million to anyone who could "provide documented evidence of illicit sexual or intimate relations with a Congressperson, Senator or other prominent officeholder."

Ellis refused to say whether Flynt had paid her for her statement, saying that money was not a motivating factor in her decision to name Vitter. Ellis will, however, appear in a pictorial in the January issue of Hustler.

"I'm going to take care of Wendy," Flynt said. "We are working on a book deal."

Flynt also said that his staff still is investigating the phone records of Deborah Jean Palfrey — the "D.C. Madam" — for more evidence against top government officials, adding that he still has 3,000 phone numbers among Palfrey's records to check out.

"We've got a lot more coming," Flynt said. "There is one more gay senator or congressman, and he also votes against matters of self-interest all the time … I think he should go; he's at the top of the agenda now."

The phone numbers of two national news anchors were found in the records of the Washington escort service, but Flynt has chosen not to reveal their names because they do not hold public office.