'WASHINGTON MADAM' CASE

Palfrey to Offer Internet Radio Interviews for Sale on eBay

By Sue Anne Pressley Montes and Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, May 4, 2007

The alleged Washington Madam has "an exclusive interview" to sell.

In the latest marketing ploy by the woman who may or may not hold some of D.C.'s raciest secrets, Deborah Jeane Palfrey is turning to eBay. Next week, five one-hour interviews Palfrey did last month with an Internet-radio host are going up for bid. The starting price: $5,000.

No names connected with Palfrey's former escort service are revealed, but Palfrey hopes that someone will be interested in her "insights" on her ordeal as the object of a federal racketeering and prostitution probe. The auction follows on the heels of ABC's "20/20" airing a much-awaited segment tonight about Palfrey and her voluminous phone records. It could deliver a bombshell or fizzle.

Even before the broadcast, some parties have started reacting, reflecting fraying nerves as almost every day claims another casualty.

A prestigious law firm, Akin Gump Strauss Houer & Feld LLP, placed a legal secretary on administrative leave yesterday after she informed her employers that she moonlighted for Palfrey's escort service for "spa money," according to ABC's Web site.

ABC quoted R. Bruce McLean, the chairman of Akin Gump, as saying the woman told the firm Monday morning of her work for Palfrey, in violation of a policy barring employees from holding second jobs.

"She did not seek approval for that particular job, and would not have been given it," McLean was quoted as saying.

She also told her bosses that she was a government witness in the case, so the law firm hesitated to dismiss her, ABC said.

When contacted about the ABC report, a spokeswoman for Akin Gump said she would not discuss "an internal personnel matter."

The woman's attorney, Athan Tsimpedes, declined to comment, dismissing Palfrey as a woman who is "creating as much havoc as she can."

Last week, a deputy secretary of state abruptly resigned the day after ABC called him to ask about his dealings as a customer of Palfrey's former agency, Pamela Martin & Associates.

Palfrey -- who continues to say she is not talking, but continues to comment on the proceedings nonetheless -- has expressed regret for the troubles faced by escorts and customers who are unmasked. But with her assets frozen, she must raise money for her defense. Plus, she feels she has been mischaracterized.


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