'Washingtonienne's' New Chapter: Defendant

By Richard Leiby
Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Jessica Cutler, the Senate aide whose kinky sexual exploits scandalized Washington a year ago, has been sued in federal court here by one of her former lovers, Robert Steinbuch, a staff attorney for Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio). In a graphically detailed invasion-of-privacy lawsuit, Steinbuch says Cutler posted an intimate account of their brief relationship on her "Washingtonienne" blog, on which she chronicled trysts with six different men.

 Steinbuch, 37, who lives in Bethesda and says he has never been married, identifies himself in the suit as the man Cutler's postings referred to as "RS" (and on one occasion as "Rob"). Her blog said she and "RS" were introduced through a colleague in DeWine's office, where she sorted mail before the senator fired her when the blog became public.

In the suit, Steinbuch confirms steamy details of Cutler's online diary of their fling -- even citing "spanking and hair pulling during their sexual activity," which he claims Cutler, 27, requested. He also quibbles with his ex-paramour's assertion that he said he liked "submissive women." (He says he actually told her: "I don't mind passive." )

The suit, filed Monday and picked up first by the ever-salacious Wonkette.com, argues that such matters should never have been made public. "It is one thing to be manipulated and used by a lover, it is another thing to be cruelly exposed to the world," Steinbuch's suit says. He alleges that Cutler's blog subjected him to "humiliation and anguish beyond that which any reasonable person should be expected to bear in a decent and civilized society."

The complaint seeks unspecified monetary damages. Steinbuch, who retained his job as counsel for the Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee, which DeWine chairs, did not return our call yesterday. A spokeswoman for the senator had no comment.

Cutler leveraged her notoriety into a book deal that reportedly earned her $300,000; "The Washingtonienne: A Novel" will be published June 1. Reached in New York, she told us she had not seen the lawsuit and "I don't know anything about it." We read a few passages in which Steinbuch accuses Cutler of exposing "descriptions of his naked body" and "details of the sexual positions [they] assumed."

She paused, then said: "Wow. It's been, like, my personal policy not to confirm or deny any of the people in the blog, and I'm sticking to that."

He's Not the President; He Just Plays One on DVD

What senator doesn't dream of ascending to the presidency? Finally, former lawmaker Fred Thompson has succeeded, but only on film.

He plays the POTUS in "Last Best Chance," a docudrama about the potential for a nuclear attack by terrorists. The 45-minute film is headed straight to DVD but will premiere at an invitation-only screening in Washington at the Motion Picture Association of America tonight. Attendees will include Hollywood Fred himself -- a co-star of NBC's "Law & Order" -- and CNN founder Ted Turner, who co-chairs the Nuclear Threat Initiative, which supported the film.

Thompson has paid his cinematic dues on his rise to the Oval Office: He played the CIA director in 1987's "No Way Out" and the White House chief of staff in 1993's "In the Line of Fire." With a résumé like that, it's no wonder he sounds presidential in this statement he issued about "Last Best Chance": "We need an all-out global effort to lock down nuclear weapons and materials so that the line I deliver in the film about al Qaeda becoming a nuclear power never comes to pass."


Ted Koppel has put his spectacular Potomac home -- it includes a sauna, indoor pool, maid's quarters and even a photo lab -- up for sale. Asking price: $4.1 million. Though the longtime ABC "Nightline" host is leaving that gig -- his contract expires in early December -- he is not leaving the area. "It is just coincidence," an ABC News spokeswoman told us. "He's moving 2 1/2 miles away into a house he's been building for about three years."

Duplicate ticketing caused a bit of a hassle at the Nats-Cubs game Saturday night, but several fans retained their primo seats behind the visitors' dugout when a VIP group showed up, also holding tickets. Accompanied by a security squad, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson and wife Suzanne were among the guests of Cubs management who decided to relocate -- apparently after stubborn resistance from a couple of seat-holders. A spokeswoman for Nicholson told us yesterday: "In the end he was content to leave and move as opposed to having this incident escalate. "

The Avalon Theatre celebrates the DVD release of Washington filmmaker Aviva Kempner's 1986 documentary "Partisans of Vilna," which explores the Jewish resistance in Lithuania during World War II, with a 7:30 screening tonight. Proceeds support the Avalon and the Ciesla Foundation, which takes its name from Kempner's grandparents and aunt, who died in Auschwitz.

With Chris Richards

© 2005 The Washington Post Company