A Washington lobbyist filed a $27 million defamation lawsuit against the New York Times yesterday, accusing the newspaper of falsely intimating that she had a romantic relationship with Sen. John McCain and used it to benefit her clients.
The lawsuit by Vicki L. Iseman, filed in U.S. District Court in Richmond, focuses on a 3,000-word article the paper published Feb. 21 as the senator from Arizona was leading the race for the Republican presidential nomination. The suit blasts the paper for publishing what it called "gossip and innuendo."
The Times reported that some of McCain's top advisers had become convinced during his first campaign for the White House, in 2000, of a romantic relationship between the two and that they worried that Iseman's clients often had business before the Senate committee McCain led. The article broadly examined McCain's crusade for stricter ethics rules and whether "his confidence in his own integrity has sometimes seemed to blind him to potentially embarrassing conflicts of interest.''