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Yesha Callahan, Who Outed Craigslist Romeo Chris Lee, Is No Longer Anonymous

3 years ago
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Her name is Yesha Callahan, the formerly anonymous single mother whose "women seeking men" Craigslist ad last month inspired married Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.) to tell her he was a divorced lobbyist, send her a topless muscle photo of himself and, on Wednesday, to quit Congress just hours after Gawker.com went public with the story.

Meanwhile House Speaker John Boehner said Lee's lightning-speed resignation was the result of a personal jump, not a leadership shove.

The two-term GOP rising star "made his own decision that he thought was in his best interests and the interests of his family," Boehner said at his regular weekly news conference on Thursday. But he wouldn't discuss whether he spoke with Lee once the story broke. He also wouldn't say whether he warned Lee and a few other very social, younger Republicans last year about their after-hours partying with female lobbyists, as reported by Roll Call (which maintains a paywall for stories).

"My conversations with members are private and they will remain that way," he said. "I believe that members of Congress should be held to the highest ethical standard. That's what the American people expect."

An ethical standard is apparently what Callahan, 34, expected too, when Lee answered her ad last month. What the University of Maryland faculty specialist and mother of preteen son did not expect was the media firestorm once she went namelessly public, she told the Washington Post.

Callahan said she outed Lee -- who asked for a revealing photo of her in return for his shirtless pic -- on the advice of friends after learning via Facebook he was married. "I assumed that other people have probably come across him as well, and he had lied to them. I felt annoyance at just the audacity of people thinking that they're not going to get found out when they are lying."

After sharing her story with Gawker, she continued to bash Lee anonymously on TheLoop.21.com. She doesn't explain why she decided to allow herself to be named in the Post but confesses she frets about its effect on her career, family and personal life.

Callahan, described by TheLoop as a "leggy glamazon," said she got about 30 responses to her personals ad. She requested photos from respondents to weed out the "trolls." But the Lee experience "soured me a bit" on Craigslist dating. In fact, once the Congressman asked her to reveal more of herself in the next photo, "I was kind of like, okay, no, he's just looking for things I'm not interested in."

For his part, Boehner wouldn't take the bait when asked whether the Capitol Hill lifestyle (translation: spouses living back in the home district, members fawned over by staff and lobbyists in D.C.) caused members to stray.

"I wouldn't know," he said.

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34 Comments

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mschen7256

what is a faculty specialist?

March 14 2011 at 9:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cindy

You go girl. You definatly weeded out a Troll!!!!

February 13 2011 at 12:33 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
cearramyst

What is with you people?! This woman is NOT married! All she did was go on line in hopes of meeting a SINGLE, intelligent, attractive man! What does she have to feel guilty about!? some of you people are being ridiculous. She did the right thing by ratting him out too! He LIED!! I would have told about him too once I found out who he really is! This girl should be thanked, not criticized. I feel sorry for his family, but his wife needs to know what a creep she is still married to.

February 13 2011 at 12:26 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jtfee

"Meanwhile House Speaker John Boehner said Lee's lightning-speed resignation was the result of a personal jump, not a leadership shove." If it wasn't a leadership shove, then it should have been. Perhaps Boehner expressed disapproval in other ways--this is just a short item after all. Chris Lee deserves some credit for not prolonging this sordid tale. Let's wish him the best for the rest of his life.

February 11 2011 at 5:47 PM Report abuse -12 rate up rate down Reply
pat

While this man is stupid, and so easily duped its pitiful, this women is no one to admire either. This is an example of a lion waiting to pounce..for profit. Whether he deserves this or not, she is just as guilty. What has happen to Mankind, there is slander, killing, hate, lying, all manner of sick things against each other. Folks you can not gain off the back of another person, oh, you may get something, I can assure you that you will not be happy. This is all against GODS Commandments, ITS WRONG. Care for each other.

February 11 2011 at 5:01 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pat's comment
Cindy

Really! Who is the stupid one here? She is single-he is not. Even right wingers do these things. Am I right to believe if this had been a Democratic Rep. you would only blame him and say the woman was duped?

February 13 2011 at 12:39 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
raeanddick

She's worried about the effect it will have on her and her family!!!! Give me a break - she gets her 15 minutes of fame that she craves or she would not have done it. To say she is doing it because she found out he was married ... baloney. If it had been someone who would not have given her publicity, she would never have given it a second thought!

February 11 2011 at 4:48 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to raeanddick's comment
gehrigfan

Thank you!

February 11 2011 at 4:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dasunx

These Left Wing bloggers who want to beat up on Republicans while ignoring the Liberals who do this sort of thing really believe they are above it all. After all when a Dem does this sort of thing in the mind of the Liberal it is normal and acceptable... No wonder they react they why they do.

February 11 2011 at 4:47 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dasunx's comment
Cindy

Excuse me. That goes both ways!!!!

February 13 2011 at 12:40 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
dxman7

To respect people's private life is a great honor; but only for those who are respectful.

February 11 2011 at 4:39 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
selllutcf

Gee--she played the game just as much as he did now she's worried about the effect it will have on her job and family. That makes two families just about as miserable as you both. Shame on each of you and quit tring to be the innocent victim of this mess.

February 11 2011 at 4:36 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
gehrigfan

The Congressman made a decision he'll likely regret the rest of his life. He is an individual and his actions should be viewed as those of an individual who made a bad choice. To make political hay of it is goofy, Michael Hurley, and if the direction of this nation were left up to the likes of you, we'd all be sorry.

February 11 2011 at 4:33 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

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