John Ensign, Republican Senator from Nevada, and a member of a devoutly Christian group of legislators who live and meet together in Washington, began screwing his best friend's (and chief legislative assistant's) wife, Cynthia Hampton, leading to her ruination. But, until the end, Ensign planned to tough it out.


The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, May 13, 2011. This blog post also appeared on Stanton's Addiction in Society blog at

Sex Lives of Republicans, II: John Ensign in Love and Heat

This post is a response to The New Newt Hates Sex -- and He's Got the Wife to Prove It! by Stanton Peele


I know Democrats "date" women other than their wives, notably Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Eliot Spitzer, the Kennedy's en masse and Ted Kennedy in particular, et al.

But, jeez, Republicans have a way about them.

Consider recently-resigned Nevada Senator, John Ensign (who is 53), a fundamentalist Christian who backs the Defense of Marriage Act et al. He was screwing his best friend's wife, Cynthia (Cindy) Hampton (47), while he employed both husband and wife - which is not only kinky, but reeks of sexual harassment.

The Senate Ethics Committee released its report on the Ensign "affair," as described here by Laura Myers , of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, on Thursday after 22 months of work. Especially interesting was Cynthia's perspective, which "portrays Ensign as a sexual predator who took advantage of Hampton and would not leave her alone until she agreed to cheat on her husband, and keep cheating after they were caught several times."

Here's how he got started (for Good Christians at home who want to learn how it's done):

The affair began in November 2007 after the Hamptons' home was burglarized. The Ensigns, close friends of the couple who lived three minutes away, invited them to stay in their house while the damage from the break-in was repaired. Darlene Ensign and Cindy Hampton had gone to high school together. The couples had vacationed together. . .When Ensign first asked Hampton to see him, she asked if he had "lost (his) mind."

"Yes," Ensign replied, and she soon yielded, meeting him "periodically on the weekends."

As for spiritual advisers, here's what you're up against:

Two days after John Ensign promised a fellow Christian senator and advisers he would stop sleeping with one of his staffers -- the wife of his top aide and close friend -- the betrayed husband caught the lovers at a Las Vegas hotel.

The husband, Doug Hampton, called Ensign's spiritual counselor, who had intervened before. He reported seeing the cars of his wife, Cindy, and Ensign in a hotel parking lot not far from their Summerlin neighborhood. The adviser told Hampton to go home. He'd take care of it -- again.

"I know exactly where you are," the adviser, Tim Coe, told Ensign when he called him at the hotel. "I know exactly what you are doing. Put your pants on and go home." (emphasis added)

Ensign refused.

"I can't. I love her," he told Coe.

Cynthia Hampton begged him to stop contacting her, saying her "life and family is in a shambles." The report said, "She felt that she was not a healthy person at that time, and her attitude during these meetings was that 'my life is ruined, so whatever.'"

Now that's what I call a good Christian basis for love!

The full families became involved, especially around Christmas:

Ensign wept, apologized and promised the affair would stop. The couples then met with their children -- three in each family who were friends as well -- before celebrating Christmas together.

The affair resumed in January 2008 after Ensign began texting her again. . . .

Hampton sought assistance to end the affair from Ensign's spiritual adviser, Coe of the International Foundation. The religious group is associated with a Christian boarding house known as the "C Street" residence in the capital where the Nevada senator lived. Coe recommended involving Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., another resident and a "higher authority."

Coburn, Coe, other advisers and Doug Hampton together confronted Ensign during an "intervention" after the senator returned to Washington on Feb. 14, Valentine's Day. Ensign "started to lie" but was told "we know the truth," so he confessed. Hampton "was very emotional" and "at one point got very close to a physical confrontation with Ensign," so Coburn asked him to leave.

"We'll take it from here," Coburn told him. "We'll take care of this."

They made Ensign write an apologetic letter to Cindy Hampton, breaking off the affair. Ensign did, but immediately called her to tell her to ignore the missive, sent overnight via Federal Express.

Two days later, Doug Hampton stood unbelieving in the Las Vegas hotel parking lot, looking at the cars of his wife and employer and calling Coe to complain the intervention hadn't worked.

This provoked the call by Coe to the motel described above.

Of course, all of this isn't why Ensign resigned just before the report was due. He had his parents pay off the Hamptons when it became necessary to fire the couple. Ensign then leaned heavily on constituent companies to hire Doug Hampton, in effect to lobby Ensign, and he retaliated against companies which refused to do so. He then repeatedly lied about these events and further covered them up.

All of which is illegal.

But this is what's great about politicians - especially the virtuous Christian ones: Ensign toughed it out, insisting he had done nothing wrong, and he would never have resigned if the Ethics Committee investigation hadn't hired an incorruptible private investigator, former federal prosecutor Carol Elder Bruce, who wouldn't let go.  (How the Republicans let this happen is the most amazing aspect of this story.)

Well, all good things come to an end. When they do, how does a good Christian deal with a former piece of ass?

According to Myers:

Cindy Hampton has left Las Vegas, Ensign and her old life behind. She filed for bankruptcy, is filing for divorce and "is moving out of California to work for a Christian organization," the report said.