By Richard Leiby
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Sunday, May 23, 2004; Page D03
Jessica Cutler was fired from her Senate job, after being "outed" by the Wonkette blogger, Anna Marie Cox. (Bill O'Leary - The Washington Post)
Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) on Friday fired a young staffer for "unacceptable use of Senate computers" after she posted her sex diaries on the Internet and raised a hubbub of speculation last week: Who is this wicked woman that calls herself "Washingtonienne"? Was she really bedding six different men or making it all up? And who is the married, high-level federal employee she claims paid her $400 for a lunch-hour tryst?
First off, her name is Jessica Cutler. She's 24, holds a bachelor's degree in international relations from Syracuse University, once aspired to be a journalist and says she is not ashamed in the least of her behavior. "Everything is true," Cutler told us in an interview. "It's so cliched. It's like, 'There's a slutty girl on the Hill?' There's millions of 'em," she said, laughing. "A lot of my friends are way worse than me."
On Tuesday, Cutler was suspended from a staff assistant's position that paid $25,000 a year. Without identifying Cutler by name, DeWine said in a statement Friday afternoon that she had used Senate "resources and work time to post unsuitable and offensive material to an Internet Web log." Cutler admits she did. And a few hours after being sacked, she happily accepted our invitation to explain why she bared her intimate encounters for the world to see.
"If you don't like or care about your job, what's the big deal?" she said, explaining that her blog was a time-saving substitute for e-mailing friends. "I am so over it."
Sipping a strawberry Nesquik, she expressed amusement that her explicit diaries gripped the imaginations of Hill staffers and Web surfers all week. "It's amazing to me that people have any interest in such a low-level sex scandal. If I were sleeping with a congressman, maybe, but I'm a nobody and the people I'm writing about are nobodies."
A former intern in Sen. Joe Lieberman's office, Cutler said she had worked in DeWine's office since late February, routing mail and occasionally taking constituent calls. She started her blog May 10, posting such musings as: "Most of my living expenses are thankfully subsidized by a few generous older gentlemen. I'm sure I am not the only one who makes money on the side this way: How can anybody live on $25K/year??" She seemed blase about having six regular partners, telling us: "You know, there's seven days a week."
One diary entry described a "married man who pays me for sex" as "chief of staff at one of the gov agencies, appointed by Bush." That man, she claimed, paid her $400 on Tuesday for sex, but she declined to provide his name to The Post, saying, "I'm not trying to ruin his life." (On her blog she identified all the men by initials.)
In the interview, she described the $400 payment as "more like a gift than it was paying for a service" and wouldn't say how much money she has made for sex. "I don't want the IRS banging down my door."
Slim and 5 feet 2, she primped herself for photos ("I have good cheekbones. . . . I have good teeth") and said she would probably move to New York to find work because of her notoriety in Washington. She's setting her sights on the book publishing industry: "They'll totally hire me if I say I got fired from my job on the Hill because of a sex scandal."