Former senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has… (Gerry Broome / Associates…)
Reporting from Washington — Former senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has been connected by a New York online news site to Anna Gristina, the "Millionaire Madam," a claim that Edwards has swiftly denied.
According to DNAinfo, a New York City crime news site, a call girl working for Gristina divulged to the Manhattan district attorney's office that she was paid to service Edwards in 2007, while he was in the city to raise money for his presidential bid.
Allison Van Laningham, a lawyer for Edwards, released a statement on the allegations, and has requested that the story be retracted.
"Mr. Edwards categorically denies that he was involved with any prostitute or service," the statement says. "These allegations are false, defamatory, and he puts those who would publish or repeat them on notice that they are acting with actual malice by reporting or repeating them."
According to DNAinfo's sources, the incident was arranged by an Edwards aide and an individual with knowledge of Gristina's now-infamous business.
Edwards is the first public figure attached to Gristina's "black book," which sits at the heart of her alleged $15-million prostitution ring. Gristina, also dubbed the "Soccer Mom Madam," has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of promoting prostitution.
John Edwards denies link to New York prostitution ring