BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The wife of Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany is defending him against prostitution allegations raised in a new book, describing "false attacks" that she says are aimed at disrupting his bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Louisiana.
In an email sent to supporters Monday, Bridget Boustany suggests her husband's opponents are spreading the information, which she called "lies." Bridget Boustany doesn't use the word prostitution in the email, but she talks of people who have "called his character into question."
"He's a good man, a loving husband, and an incredible father to our two children," Bridget Boustany says in the email.
Boustany's campaign confirmed the email was spurred by the book "Murder In The Bayou."
The book by Ethan Brown — which has been circulated to reporters and others ahead of its Tuesday release — includes a chapter that claims Charles Boustany was involved with prostitutes who were killed in Jefferson Parish. Brown cites multiple anonymous sources. He does not allege the congressman is involved in the slayings.
The Associated Press hasn't been able to independently confirm the allegations. Brown said in a statement Monday: "I stand by what I reported in my book."
The book also says a former Boustany employee was involved in the operations of a hotel allegedly frequented by the prostitutes.
Several news outlets reported the claims late last week, citing the book. Boustany's campaign says the former employee hid the hotel information from the congressman's office, and it denies that the congressman was a client of prostitutes.
"These allegations are completely false and don't even deserve a response. Dr. Boustany has a professional and personal reputation of honor and integrity. We are confident the people of Louisiana will see these lies for the political tabloid fodder they are," campaign spokesman Jack Pandol said in a statement.
Boustany is one of 24 contenders on the Nov. 8 ballot in the U.S. Senate race, a seat that is open because Republican David Vitter — who found his bid for governor derailed in part by a prostitution scandal — isn't running for re-election. The race has already gotten national attention in part because white supremacist David Duke is among the candidates. Several polls have shown Boustany as one of the top competitors in the race, which is expected to be decided in a Dec. 10 runoff.
In her email, Bridget Boustany talked of "false attacks aimed at bringing down a candidate who threatens to take the lead and win the race for U.S. Senate." She also said: "Charles' opponents have resorted to lies about him."
Treasurer John Kennedy, the Republican front-runner in the Senate race, objected to that suggestion. Until Monday's email from Boustany's wife, nearly all his opponents had publicly kept quiet about the book's claims.
"I want to be very clear that my campaign played absolutely no role in creating this story alleging Congressman Boustany's sexual relationships with prostitutes that were later murdered, his staff's alleged involvement in running the bar and hotel where this illicit behavior took place, or publishing the book," Kennedy said in a statement that said the treasurer and his wife were keeping Boustany and his family "in our prayers as they deal with this."
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