Video: Vitter makes public apology

updated 7/17/2007 1:02:08 PM ET 2007-07-17T17:02:08

Sen. David Vitter on Monday denied having relationships with New Orleans prostitutes, a week after admitting links to a Washington escort service that federal prosecutors allege was a prostitution ring.

Vitter, emerging from a week of seclusion by appearing at a news conference in suburban Metairie with his wife, Wendy, at his side, denied the prostitution allegations and offered no indication that he would resign. He said he planned to fly Monday night to Washington to resume work in the Senate.

“I want to again offer my deep, sincere apologies to all those I have let down and disappointed with actions from my past,” Vitter said. “I am completely responsible and I am so very, very sorry.”

On July 9, Vitter apologized for committing a “very serious sin in my past,” acknowledging that his Washington phone number was among those called several years ago by an escort service that prosecutors say was a prostitution operation.

Telephone records show that the service called Vitter’s number five times from 1999 to 2001, while he was a U.S. representative.

The first-term Republican said he has worked hard on his marriage and on living by the values he has long espoused as a politician.

“I believe I received forgiveness from God. I know I did from Wendy,” he said. “Unfortunately, my admission has incurred some longtime political enemies and those hoping to profit from this situation.”

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