Ex-Senator Domenici Admits Out-of-Wedlock Child

He had affair 34 years ago with daughter of Senate colleague

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 20, 2013 3:31 PM CST

(Newser) – Pete Domenici retired from the Senate five years ago, but the New Mexico Republican still has to deal with the messy consequences of being a public figure. The 80-year-old tells the Albuquerque Journal that he fathered a child 34 years ago with the daughter of a fellow senator. Domenici was married at the time of his liaison with 24-year-old Michelle Laxalt, daughter of former Nevada senator and governor Paul Laxalt, reports AP. Their son is now a Nevada attorney.

“I have apologized as best as I can to my wife, and we have worked together to strengthen our relationship,” says Domenici's statement. He says he went public after all this time because political enemies were about to get the story published somewhere. Both he and Michelle Laxalt issued statements to the Journal. "Why after more than 30 years, would anyone insinuate pain and ugliness where joy and beauty have presided?" she asks in hers.

Pete Domenici, former senator from New Mexico, speaks in a 2010 file photo.
Pete Domenici, former senator from New Mexico, speaks in a 2010 file photo.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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