David Vitter, whose telephone number was disclosed by the so-called "D. Madam" accused of running a prostitution ring, says he is sorry for a "serious sin" and that he has already made peace with his wife."This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible," Vitter said Monday in a printed statement.
It said his telephone number was on old phone records of Pamela Martin and Associates before he ran for the Senate.
Deborah Jeane Palfrey is accused by federal prosecutors of racketeering by running a prostitution ring that netted more than million over 13 years, beginning in 1993.
She contends that her escort service, Pamela Martin and Associates, was a legitimate business.
Louisiana's Democratic governor, Kathleen Blanco, issued a statement saying she was "disappointed" over the revelation and hoped it wouldn't hurt the state's efforts to secure federal funding for rebuilding homes damaged by hurricanes Katrina and Rita."I will travel to Washington in the coming weeks to continue my conversations with congressional leaders, and I hope this scandal will not lessen their critical support of our recovery," Blanco said.
A Harvard graduate and Rhodes scholar, the 46-year-old Vitter was elected to his current office in 2004, becoming the first Republican from Louisiana elected to the Senate since Reconstruction.
He represented Louisiana's 1st Congressional District in the House from 1999 to 2004. Robert Livingston, who was in line to replace Newt Gingrich as speaker until Livingston admitted to extramarital affairs and quit Congress.
Livingston had been a critic of President Clinton, calling on him to resign over his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Vitter and his wife, Wendy, live in Metairie, La., with their four children.
Vitter said his wife has forgiven him, but CBS News correspondent Bob Fuss reports she seemed less forgiving in an interview in 2000 when President Clinton's adultery was in the news."I'm a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary," she said.
"If he does something like that, I'm walking away with one thing, and it's not alimony, trust me."Lorena Bobbitt, in a 1993 case that drew worldwide attention, cut-off her husband's penis during an argument.
Vitter, a first-term senator, has a prominent role in the campaign of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is leading the Republican field in national polls.