In 2007, Senator David Vitter’s phone number was connected to a company called Pamela Martin and Associates, an escort service operated by Deborah Jeane Palfrey (a.k.a. the D.C. Madam). Vitter immediately took responsibility in a written statement the following day and called a press conference the next week, where he expressed remorse and asked for forgiveness.
Key Apologia Strategies:
Mortification, Corrective Action, Bolstering, Attacking the Accuser
Written Press Release
This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible. Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling. Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way.
Video of Press Conference
Transcript of Vitter’s Press Conference
SEN. VITTER: Good afternoon.
Last week, Wendy and I thought it was very important to have some time alone with our children, so that’s what we did for a few days. We want to thank the countless friends and fellow citizens who have offered their encouragement and prayers. Those have meant the world to us.
I want to, again, offer my deep, sincere apologies to all those I have let down and disappointed with these actions from my past. I am completely responsible. And I am so very, very sorry. No matter how long ago it was, I know this has hurt the relationship of trust I’ve enjoyed with so many of you, and that I have a lot of work to do to rebuild that. I will work every day to rebuild that trust.
Wendy and I dealt with this personally several years ago. I confronted it in confession and marriage counseling. I believe I received forgiveness from God. I know I did from Wendy, and we put it behind us.
Since then, I’ve gotten up every morning, committed to trying to live up to the important values we believe in. If continuing to believe in and acknowledge those values causes some to attack me because of my past failings, well, so be it.
Unfortunately, my admission has encouraged some long-time political enemies and those hoping to profit from the situation to spread falsehoods too, like those New Orleans stories in recent reporting. Those stories are not true.
Now, having said all of this, I’m not going to answer endless questions about it all over again and again and again and again. That might sell newspapers, but it wouldn’t serve my family or my constituents well at all because we all have a lot of important work to do for Louisiana.
For my part, I’ll be helping finalize a crucial water resources bill to provide much better hurricane and flood protection. I’ll be following up on our important defeat of a bad immigration bill by working for good border and workplace security.
I’ll be fighting the complete I-49 and LA-28 and LA-1 and much more.
From here, I’ll go directly to the airport and to Washington for votes, because I’m eager to continue my work in the U.S. Senate to help move Louisiana forward. Thank you.
WENDY VITTER: To those of you who know me, are you surprised that I have something to say? You know, in most any other marriage, this would have been a private issue between a husband and a wife — very private. Obviously, it is not here.
Like all marriages, ours is not perfect. None of us are. But we choose to work together as a family. When David and I dealt with this privately years ago, I forgave David. I made the decision to love him and to recommit to our marriage. To forgive is not always the easy choice, but it was and is the right choice for me. David is my best friend.
Last week, some people very sympathetically said to me, “I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes right now.” I stand before you to tell you very proudly, I am proud to be Wendy Vitter.
That’s not to say that last week wasn’t incredibly trying and very sad, not for our marriage — our marriage is stronger every day — but for our children.
And now I’m going to speak to you as a mother and I hope you will understand. It’s been terribly hard to have the media parked on our front lawn and following us every day. And yesterday, the media was camped at our church — at our home, and at our church every day.
As David returns to work in Washington, we’re going to return to our life here. I would ask you very respectfully to let us continue our summer and our lives as we had planned.
Thank you very much.
SEN. VITTER: Thank you.
Budoff, B. (2007, July 9). GOP senator admits link to escort service. Politico. Retrieved from: http://www.politico.com/story/2007/07/gop-senator-admits-link-to-escort-service-004850
McCulley, R. (2007, July 16). U.S. senator apologizes for sex scandal. Reuters. Retrieved from: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-senator-prostitution-idUSN1634565120070716
New Orleans’ madam says Senator David Vitter used her brothel (2007, July 11). Fox News. Retrieved from: http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/07/11/new-orleans-madam-says-sen-david-vitter-used-her-brothel.html
Scandal-linked senator breaks a week of silence (2007, July 17). CNN. Retrieved from: http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/16/vitter/index.html?eref=onion