Video: Former page shares Foley messages

By Senior Investigative Producer
NBC News
updated 10/4/2006 8:25:48 PM ET 2006-10-05T00:25:48

Tyson Vivyan was a congressional page from 1996 to 1997. Now 26, he tells NBC News that he knew Fla. Rep. Mark Foley somewhat during his brief Washington stay, but not well. It wasn't until after he finished the congressional program and returned home to Tennessee, he says, that Foley began reaching out to him. Vivyan says that he began receiving instant messages in 1997 from someone with the moniker "maf54," and that the messages were almost immediately sexual in nature.

Vivyan says he soon deduced that the mystery writer was Foley, and got the congressman to concede this online. Vivyan says he was 17 at the time, and not at all interested in a sexual relationship with the much older Foley. He says that every time he tried to turn the conversation away from sex that Foley would go back to the topic, asking him to discuss what he was wearing, and which sexual acts he enjoyed.

"I was completely shocked that someone of his position would conduct himself that way with someone my age," Vivyan says.

He never reported Foley to the authorities or told anyone, Vivyan says, because he didn't think anyone would believe him. Vivyan says he did not save any of those early instant messages.

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Vivyan continued communicating with Foley by instant message for the next eight years. He says he didn't want to ruin his connection to a powerful Washington personality, and thus never cut off the correspondence. Vivyan says he never had any sexual contact with the Republican congressman, and is speaking out now to make the public aware that this scandal is about a lawmaker's inappropriate behavior, and shouldn't reflect poorly on the page program.

NBC News has confirmed that FBI special agents in Atlanta interviewed Vivyan Tuesday morning at his home. He provided the FBI with the following instant message exchange, in which Foley allegedly says he's looking for a boyfriend. The messages, sexual in nature, are from 2004 and 2005, when Vivyan was 24 years old. Foley's lawyer did not return a call to NBC seeking comment on the messages and Vivyan's claims.

While NBC News has verified much of Vivyan's story, NBC cannot independently confirm that the online messages were sent by Foley.

Session Start (AIM - Tyson:maf54): Thu Aug 19 22:56:23 2004
Tyson: hey, Mark.
maf54: hey tyson
Tyson: i've got a quick question, if you don't mind.
maf54: ok
Tyson: what do you think about Zach Wamp (TN-3)?
maf54: why
Tyson: i ran into him at the Atlanta airport about 2 weeks ago. i introduced myself and recalled that we sat next to one another during the President of Chile's address to a joint session of Congress when i was a page. he asked what i was doing now and i told him about being in training with AirTran, but that i desire to return to the Hill one day, despite my lack of a degree. he seemed interested and asked if i could send "Pauline" in his Chattanooga office some info... saying that he could try to get me into an entry level position in his DC office. given that i'm quite liberal, i'm just curious just how conservative an environment i could expect... and if trying is even worth it.
maf54: of course it would be worth it
Tyson: well, i'm not ignorant to the fact that getting back to DC would be a dream come true, but i just don't know how well i could function in his office if he's a bible-thumping, gay-hating, bomb-dropping republican. while i'm confident i can remain focused on serving the people of the third district, i don't know if betraying my own political and social beliefs are worth achieving my dream of getting back on the Hill.
Tyson: plus, who's to say that he was even being genuine in his offer. he could have just said that to get me off his back so he could drink his Starbucks.
maf54: well thats a consideration
Tyson: i don't know much about him.
Tyson: hence why i'm asking you.
maf54: hes a trip
Tyson: a good trip or a bad trip?
maf54: a trip
Tyson: lol
Tyson: :-p
Tyson: well, that doesn't help me much
maf54: so are you single now
maf54: no ties that bind
Tyson: the divorce should be final in the next two weeks.
Tyson: why do you ask?
maf54: cool
maf54: cause
Tyson: you lookin' for a boyfriend?
maf54: yup
Tyson: are you ever gonna come out or are you happy in the closet?
maf54: with a nice d***
maf54: i love the closet like you do
Tyson: WHATEVER! :-p
maf54: oh ok
Tyson: i've been so flaming at training the past four weeks. (i graduate tomorrow by the way)
maf54: cool congrats
Tyson: thanks. i don't have to do my operating experience until Thursday, so that gives me 5 days with no work and free flight bennies... i'm trying to decide what to do...
maf54: cool
*** maf54 signed off at Thu Aug 19 23:13:21 2004.

Session Start (Tyson:maf54): Tue Jan 18 15:47:06 2005
Tyson: well, i no longer work for AirTran, so i don't think i'll be seducing in Palm Beach anytime soon. :-(
Session Close (maf54): Tue Jan 18 15:50:10 2005

Session Start (Tyson:maf54): Tue Jan 18 16:19:20 2005
maf54: what happened
Tyson: passenger turned in a complaint. i wasn't given any details, so i couldn't defend myself. since i was still on probation, they just let me go.
maf54: reslly
maf54: when do you thimk this happened
Tyson: i don't have a clue. i wasn't given any information. i was just told that someone complained. that's it.
Session Close (maf54): Tue Jan 18 16:42:24 2005

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