John Edwards denies link to alleged Upper East Side prostitution ring run by Anna Gristina
Lawyers for former U.S. Senator John Edwards are now strongly denying a claim in DNAinfo that he slept with a prostitute who was part of an Upper East Side sex ring.
The high-end hooker allegedly worked for Anna Gristina, the so-called “Millionaire Madam.” She said she was paid to have sex with Edwards during his 2007-2008 campaign for U.S. president, DNAinfo reported earlier today.
The two hooked up back in 2007, the call girl claims, when Edwards came to New York City to try and drum up donations.
The two allegedly had one rendezvous at an unnamed Upper East Side hotel, sources told DNAinfo. An aide based in Manhattan who was familiar with Gristina’s alleged prostitution ring arranged the encounter, according to the report.
Edwards’ lawyer, Allison Van Laningham, told ABC News today the report was “false and defamatory.”
“Mr. Edwards categorically denies that he was involved with any prostitute or service. These allegations are false, defamatory, and he puts those who would publish or repeat them on notice that they acting with actual malice by reporting or repeating them. He has demanded a complete retraction from the only source being quoted,” Van Laningham said in a statement.
Edwards’ lawyer, Abbe Lowell, also called DNAinfo today and demanded a retraction, the website reports, to which they refused.
The call girl provided detailed accounts of their hook-up to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office back in 2008, sources told DNAinfo. That’s when the Manhattan DA first began investigating Gristina’s alleged sex ring.
According to records obtained by DNA, Edwards would stay almost once a month at the Loews Hotels Regency on Park Ave., as well as at a Comfort Inn on West 39th Street.
That same Hotel Regency is also where Edwards met with now-infamous videographer Rielle Hunter, the site claims. That’s the woman who followed him on the campaign trail and with whom he carried out an ongoing affair while his wife, Elizabeth, was battling cancer.
Edwards also strongly denied fathering a love child with Hunter, but he later admitted the baby girl was his.
The former U.S. Senator is currently the subject of a looming federal trial in North Carolina. Prosecutors say he used about $1 million in campaign donations to cover up the admitted affair with Hunter. Edwards is facing charges for breaking federal campaign finance laws, to which he has pleaded not guilty.