The Map of Shame
A guided tour of Washington's sex-scandal locales.
Read more of Slate's coverage of the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal.
Eliot Spitzer's adventure as "Client-9" at Washington's Mayflower Hotel was only the latest in a long line of sexual indiscretions committed in Washington by the political elite. Double-click on the map's landscape below to zoom in, and double-right-click to zoom out. Click on the headshots to read about other politicos ensnared by the city's favorite temptation.
President Bill Clinton, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
In 1995, Clinton and White House intern Monica Lewinsky began to have sexual relations in the Oval Office, infamously recorded on that blue dress. The affair eventually led to Clinton's impeachment and censure.
Rep. Gary Condit, 2600 block of Adams Mill Road NW
Condit still denies that he had an affair with intern Chandra Levy, who went missing in 2001 and was found dead in 2002. Levy's mother says Levy told her she was having an affair with Condit. Condit avoided direct questions about the affair, but passed a lie-detector test in which he denied knowing any details about her disappearance.
Rep. Mark Foley, 137 D St. SE
Foley admitted to sending sexually explicit instant messages to congressional pages and resigned from the House in 2006. Foley was said to have told one page that he was "well hung." Multiple pages claim that Foley had sex with them in his home but that he waited until they turned 18.
Rep. Barney Frank, 8th Street SE *
Frank's personal assistant, Stephen Gobie, was charged with a felony for running a prostitution business out of Frank's apartment. After the charges were made public, Frank disclosed that he had paid Gobie for sex in the past. * In 1990, he was reprimanded by the House for abetting the dismissal of Gobie's parking tickets but was cleared of more serious sex-related allegations.
Rep. Newt Gingrich, Rayburn House Office Building
While House Speaker Gingrich was denouncing Bill Clinton for his affair with Lewinsky, he was himself conducting an affair with Callista Bisek, a congressional aide. Eventually Gingrich divorced his wife and married Bisek.
Sen. Gary Hart, 517 Sixth St. SE
Immediately after announcing his 1988 bid for the presidency, Hart was besieged by rumors that he was having extramarital affairs. Eventually, Miami Herald reporters staked out Hart's residence and caught Donna Rice going in and emerging the next morning. The revelation killed Hart's chances of winning the Democratic nomination and ended his political career.
Rep. Wayne Hays, Longworth House Office Building
In 1976, the Washington Post broke the story that Hays' office clerk, Elisabeth Ray, was actually his mistress in disguise. Hays denied the story for two days, then finally admitted to the affair, but he continued to deny that Ray was hired purely for her sexual prowess. Meanwhile, Ray told the Post, "I can't type, I can't file, I can't even answer the phone."
Rep. John Jenrette, steps of the U.S. Capitol
Jenrette and his wife, Rita, had sex on the Capitol steps, giving new meaning to the word filibuster.
Sen. Ted Kennedy (featuring Chris Dodd), La Brasserie, 239 Massachusetts Ave. NE
In 1985, Kennedy straddled a waitress who was sitting on Dodd's lap, rubbing his crotch against hers. Two years later, he came back for seconds: A different waitress walked in on Kennedy and a lobbyist having sex in a private room upstairs.
Rep. Wilbur Mills, Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial
In 1974, Mills' political career cratered when a stripper jumped out of his car and dove into Washington's murky Tidal Basin after police pulled Mills over. The married Mills had been cavorting with the "Argentine Firecracker" for more than a year. He would later leave Congress after being spotted in a Boston strip club.
Strategist Dick Morris, Jefferson Hotel, 1200 16th St. NW
Morris discussed White House affairs while sucking on a prostitute's toes at the Jefferson. Morris resigned the same day Clinton was renominated at the Democratic Convention.
Sen. Robert Packwood, Senate side of the Capitol
In 1992, nearly a dozen of Packwood's staffers claimed he made unwanted sexual advances while they worked for him in the Senate. After first denying the allegations, he blamed it on a tendency to drown his sorrows in booze. Packwood stepped down in 1995.
Rep. Don Sherwood, 110 D St. SE
Sherwood enjoyed a fling with Cynthia Ore, a Peruvian immigrant, and arranged an internship for her on the Hill. The affair was exposed when Ore called the police on Sherwood, alleging domestic abuse. The two settled out of court, and Sherwood lost his re-election.
Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave. NW
Our newest entry, Spitzer paid $4,300 to bed a prostitute going by the name "Kristen." Spitzer was reputed to be a difficult customer who sometimes asked the women to do things that (in the secondhand account of one FBI witness) "you might not think were safe."
Sen. David Vitter, location unknown
By scrutinizing phone records of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, "the D.C. Madam," Hustler magazine was able to force Vitter to admit in 2007 that he was a past customer. Vitter phoned Palfrey five times and was also alleged to be a frequent customer of a brothel in New Orleans.
Know of sex scandal in D.C. that we didn't include? Send submissions our way.
Scandal inevitably leads to confession. Slate V looks at the peculiar art of the political confession.
Correction, March 12, 2008: This sentence originally misstated that Frank announced he was gay after it was revealed Gobie was running a prostitution business from Frank's home. Frank had come out publicly before then. Also, Frank lived at 8th Street SE at the time, not Corcoran Street NW, as the article originally asserted. ( Return to the corrected sentence.)