Sun, May 06, 2007 - Page 7 News List

ABC News report calls `DC Madam' revelations `dull'


The woman accused of running an upscale prostitution agency for officials, military brass and executives in the US capital, appeared on television late on Friday, vowing to defend herself against all charges but not revealing any new big names among her clients.

"I think I ran a very nice operation," Deborah Jeane Palfrey, also know as the "DC Madam," said of her escort service -- Pamela Martin & Associates.

"I think I empowered a lot of women. I got a lot of women through graduate school," she told ABC News, which called her revelations "dull."

She said the women she employed included a college professor, a medical researcher, a Navy officer, a legal secretary and a suburban realtor, who just wanted to make extra money.

Dubbed the "DC Madam" by news reports, Palfrey denies doing anything illegal through her business which she ran for 13 years, but has said she has a record of the phone numbers of more than 10,000 customers that could embarrass some of the US capital's high-fliers.

Last week, the head of the US Agency for International Development, Randall Tobias, resigned for personal reasons, but ABC news said he stepped down after the network contacted him about using the service.

"Tobias was a customer of my previous business, Pamela Martin & Associates," Palfrey confirmed on Monday.

"Allow me to say how genuinely sorry I am for Mr. Tobias, his family and his friends," Palfrey told reporters outside court.

Palfrey has promised that her phone records -- all 21kg of them -- would be revealed unless the charges against her were dropped.

She has pleaded with journalists to seek details of her clients, so she can call them as witnesses in her attempt to prove she was not running a prostitution ring.

But the only other client to be revealed thus far has been Harlan Ullman, a renowned military analyst and columnist for the Washington Times newspaper.

Ullman was quoted as telling reporters that the allegation he used Palfrey's service was "beneath the dignity of comment."

ABC News said the client list also includes a career justice department prosecutor, NASA officials and five military officials, including a commander of an Air Force intelligence squadron.

Officials from the World Bank, the IMF and both Republican and Democratic lobbyists also figured on the phone records.

None of these names were disclosed, however. But, overall, the network called the list "dull."

"There were no members of Congress that we could find in these phone records, no White House officials," it said. "Quite frankly, but for the few exceptions, most of the men of this list just are not newsworthy."

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