Criminal Justice

Lawyer Defends Phone Revelations

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The civil lawyer for alleged D.C. Madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey says his client has given phone records to 50 individuals or groups following a federal judge’s decision to permit disclosure.

Montgomery Blair Sibley told the Washington Post that Palfrey acted after learning “people were selling the list online and the potential for manipulating it to falsely include numbers was quite real.”

“We wanted an official list up there,” he said. He hopes those who are named as receiving the phone calls can help in the defense of Palfrey, who contends her escort service sold fantasies rather than sex.

Hustler magazine reviewed the phone numbers and contacted Sen. David Vitter, R-La., to find out why his name was on the list. Vitter released a statement Monday night referring to a “very serious sin in my past.” He said he had “asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling.”

A group called Citizens for Legitimate Government is another records recipient. Lori Price, who writes the group’s newsletter, told the Post she had to sign a contract first in which the group promised not to profit from the records or to post phone numbers of Palfrey’s relatives.

Now her review of the records is being aided by Google and lots of coffee, she says. “We’re not here to hurt people,” she said. “The hypocrisies are what we’re exposing.”

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