Scandal: Affair with campaign staffer
How he was outed: Press conference
On June 16, 2009, then Nevada Senator John Ensign abruptly admitted to having an affair with a former campaign staffer, Cindy Hampton, from December 2007 to August 2008. Why the frank disclosure? The Las Vegas Sun reported on June 19 that Hampton's husband Doug who was, incidentally, a former administrative aide in Ensign's Senate office had sent a letter to Fox News five days before Ensign's press conference asking for help in laying bare the Senator's "heinous conduct." "Senator Ensign's conduct and relentless pursuit of my wife led to our dismissal in April of 2008," Hampton allegedly wrote. "The actions of Senator Ensign have ruined our lives and careers and left my family in shambles." Fox denied the report, and Ensign's camp said the Senator had come clean because the Hamptons were trying to extort money from him. Either way, the fallout continued: Citizens for Responsibility in Ethics in Washington filed a complaint against the Senator on June 24, alleging that Ensign's actions had violated the Senate's ethics rules and calling for an investigation into the affair.
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