Monday 11 December 2017

US Secret Service prostitution scandal: Woman met agent in Copper Face Jacks

Images of the woman known only as 'Dania' show her posing for the camera
Images of the woman known only as 'Dania' show her posing for the camera
Copper Face Jacks nightclub at the Jackson Court Hotel in Dublin
US President Barack Obama is presented with a hurley from Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Farmleigh, Dublin 2011
President Obama and Michelle raise a toast. Photo: Getty Images
First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr Martin McAleese, US President Barack Obama and President Mary McAleese, meet school children, Onyedita Ukachukwu 8, Colm Dunne 9 and Margaret McDonagh 10, at Aras an Uachtarain. Photo: PA
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama take to the stage at College Green in Dublin. Photo: Getty Images

Breda Heffernan and reporters

A WOMAN claims she had an affair with a married US Secret Service agent she met in a Dublin nightclub during President Barack Obama's Irish visit last year.

The 42-year-old Canadian woman named agent and father-of-two Arthur Huntington (41) as the man she met in Copper Face Jacks on Harcourt Street.

Mr Huntington was placed on administrative leave along with 10 others last month after allegations were made that he hired a prostitute, known only as Dania, while on an advance mission to Colombia ahead of a presidential visit.

The Canadian woman claims Mr Huntington lied about being single when he met her in the Dublin nightclub last May.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to the 'New York Daily News', she said that following the Irish encounter they also spent two days together in New York.

She said she was shocked to discover, in the wake of the Colombian scandal, that he was married.

"I was in disbelief. I couldn't sleep that night. Then I started to read stuff that he was married, living in Maryland with his kids. You have no idea how I felt. I felt sick," she said.

She alleged the secret service agent approached her with the opening line: "You're not getting away from me tonight."

The pair talked and later shared a taxi and a good night kiss.

The woman claimed they then arranged to meet in New York where they continued the affair.

However, she said the alleged encounter had left her feeling "used."

"I feel used. He actively pursued me while he was married -- and not only me. How many more others?," she asked.

"Why is it the president is the only one that should have morals? The people that are protecting him should be mindful of what they are doing," she added.

The US Secret Service is currently investigating the Colombian allegations.

A spokesman did not return calls enquiring whether it will now be reviewing the actions of agents during the Irish trip.

Assistant director Paul Morrissey said: "The nature of the allegations, coupled with a zero-tolerance policy on personal misconduct, resulted in the Secret Service taking the decisive action to relieve these individuals of their assignment, return them to their place of duty and replace them with additional Secret Service personnel.

"The Secret Service demands more from its employees. This incident is not reflective of the behaviour of our personnel as they travel every day throughout the country and the world performing their duties in a dedicated, professional manner," he added.

So far, six agents have lost their jobs. They were among agents pulled from duty in Cartagena, Colombia, after allegations that the men brought prostitutes back to their hotel. The incident occurred this month shortly before Barack Obama arrived for a meeting of regional presidents.

Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said the allegations were disturbing, but that the misdeeds of a few individuals should not tarnish the overall work and reputation of the service.

Mr Axelrod told CNN's "State of the Union" that he always felt the agents were willing to do anything to protect the president and the people around him. He called the agents' conduct in Colombia "really disappointing."

"I was surprised by it," he said, adding, "You know, people being what they are, you're never totally surprised. In any organisation, things can go wrong." Mr Axelrod worked at the White House before leaving last year to work full time in Mr Obama's re-election campaign headquarters in Chicago.

He later told NBC that "on the whole, the Secret Service does heroic work. This is quite disturbing. We have to get to the bottom of this, and I'm sure we will."

The scandal includes 12 Secret Service employees and 11 military members.

Irish Independent

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