Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

N.J. senator calls prostitution allegations 'smears'

WASHINGTON — Sen. Robert Menendez said Monday that allegations that he engaged with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic are false "smears." He said he has done nothing wrong and that allegations otherwise are "totally unsubstantiated."

"It's amazing to me that anonymous, nameless, faceless individuals on a website can drive that type of story into the mainstream," Menendez, D-N.J., told reporters, his voice rising with anger. "But that's what they've done successfully. Now nobody can find them, no one ever met them, no one can talk to them, but that's where we're at."

"The bottom line is all of those smears are absolutely false," he added in his first public remarks since the allegations started spreading on Wednesday.

That was after the FBI conducted a search of the West Palm Beach offices of a Florida ophthalmologist who also was the senator's biggest political donor in his re-election campaign last year. A week before the November election, the Daily Caller, a conservative website, reported that Menendez had used a business jet owned by Dr. Salomon Melgen to fly to the Dominican Republic for trysts with prostitutes. None of the allegations have been substantiated.

The events have engulfed Menendez, 59, just as he assumed the chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, succeeding former Sen. John Kerry, who resigned last week to become secretary of state. The Senate Ethics Committee is investigating the case.

Separately, a prominent lawyer in the Dominican Republic on Monday denied hosting outings on his yacht involving Menendez and prostitutes. Attorney Vinicio Castillo Seman said in Santo Domingo that he would seek a criminal investigation into the source of the reports. He called the reports "absurd."

N.J. senator calls prostitution allegations 'smears' 02/04/13 [Last modified: Monday, February 4, 2013 11:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Me too': Alyssa Milano urged assault victims to tweet in solidarity. The response was massive.

    Human Interest

    Actor Alyssa Milano took to Twitter on Sunday with an idea, suggested by a friend, she said.

    Within hours of Alyssa Milano’s tweet, tweets with the words “me too” began appearing. By 3 a.m. Monday, almost 200,000 metoo tweets were published by Twitter’s count.
  2. Tampa tax shelter schemer too fat for his prison term, attorney says

    Criminal

    TAMPA — A federal judge sentenced two Bay area men to prison terms last week for peddling an offshore tax shelter scheme that cost the IRS an estimated $10 million.

    Duane Crithfield and Stephen Donaldson Sr. were sentenced to prison after marketing a fraudulent offshore tax strategy known as a "Business Protection Plan" to medical practices, offering doctors and others coverage against unlikely events such as a kidnapping.

  3. Weinstein Co., overwhelmed by backlash, may be up for sale

    Corporate

    NEW YORK — The Weinstein Co., besieged by sexual harassment allegations against its namesake and co-founder, may be putting itself up for sale.

    Weinstein
  4. Trial begins in 2014 death of 19-month-old Tampa girl

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Even before his trial officially began, Deandre Gilmore had planted his gaze on the floor of Judge Samantha Ward's courtroom Monday, taking a deep breath and shifting in his seat as a pool of 60 potential jurors learned of his charges.

    Gilmore
  5. Rick Pitino officially fired by Louisville amid federal corruption probe

    College

    In an expected move, the University of Louisville Athletic Association's Board of Directors on Monday voted unanimously to fire men's basketball coach Rick Pitino. The decision came 19 days after Louisville acknowledged that its men's basketball program was being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe and …

    In this Oct. 20, 2016, file photo, Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino reacts to a question during a press conference in Louisville, Ky. Louisville's Athletic Association on Monday officially fired Pitino, nearly three weeks after the school acknowledged that its men's basketball program is being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe. [AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File]