WASHINGTON – The so-called "D.C. madam" on Monday apologized to a top State Department official who resigned after revealing he had been a client of her alleged escort service, but she also called on the media to probe why the government isn't charging others in the case.
Randall Tobias resigned as director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and US Agency for International Development Administrator on Friday, citing 'personal' reasons. Tobias told ABC News he received massages from the company's workers at his house, but not sex.
"Allow me to say how genuinely sorry I am for Mr. Tobias, his family and his friends," Deborah Jeane Palfrey told reporters after a court hearing Monday. "I unfortunately know firsthand the impact such a revelation can have upon one’s life. My family and I have suffered considerably since the onset of the government’s charges against me, last October."
Prosecutors have accused Palfrey of trying to intimidate potential witnesses by releasing her little black book.
Palfrey earlier this month named Harlan K. Ullman, a senior associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a military strategist who developed the combat theories known as "shock and awe," as a regular customer.
Ullman told the AP, "the allegations are beneath the dignity of a comment."
Ullman "is only one of dozens of such officials" who will be exposed as she prepares her defense, Palfrey said in her legal motion.
On its Web site, ABC News reported Monday that the list of Palfrey's customers also includes a Bush administration economist, a prominent chief executive officer, the head of a conservative think tank, lobbyists and military officials.
Government prosecutors say Palfrey's company, Pamela Martin and Associates, was a prostitution ring that operated in the Washington area for 13 years. Palfrey denies that, and claims her business was completely legitimate.
Palfrey said Monday the names of Tobias and Ullman — and others so far unnamed — were only released after government prosecutors "refused every reasonable offer" she and her civil attorney made to reconcile the matter after she was indicted in early March.
Palfrey says she has 46 pounds of phone records that could expose more than 10,000 clients. She said Monday that after five months of keeping her records confidential, she only decided to release the names after government attorneys were "expressly stating to us at the time that they did not care whether or not client identities were revealed."
Palfrey has argued that because of the high-profile nature of the case, and the powerful forces that are lined up against her, that the court should allocate $500,000 so she can hire an appropriately skilled defense attorney. She had threatened to sell the records to help her finance her defense. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled in March that Palfrey could not sell them.
Despite that ruling, Palfrey said Monday, the option of selling the records "quickly was abandoned for fear the records would end up in the possession of an unscrupulous person or persons."
Instead, her civil attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, said he gave those records to ABC television so it could assist in identifying clients who could testify that the escort service did not engage in prostitution.
"For me, this is a necessity, since the government has placed me in the untenable position whereby, I do not have sufficient monies to undertake this extraordinarily expensive task on my own," Palfrey said.
Giving the papers to ABC, a "responsible media outlet," was an "ethically conscientious choice" made by her and Sibley, she said.
"I do expect their reporting to help identify potential witnesses for my defense," Palfrey said.
ABC said it plans to a story on Palfrey on its prime-time news program "20/20" next month.
In the case of Tobias, Palfrey said that while his massage-only claims help her case, she is "dismayed" that it took Tobias this long to come forward.
"Had he done so earlier along with the many, many others who have used my company’s services throughout the years, I most likely would not be in my current predicament," she said.
The government should instead be focusing on those who engaged in illegal activity against her rules and signed contracts, Palfrey said.
"Ironically, to date, I appear to be a single party of one," Palfrey said. "I would ask the press and media to put aside the titillation of the 'Who’s Who' list — at least in part — and instead investigate the disturbing genesis, the confounding evolution and the equally alarming continuation of this matter. I believe there is something very rotten at the core of my circumstance and without money to hire my own investigators, I must rely upon your acumen and talent to uncover the truth."
Kessler on Monday ruled in favor of Palfrey's request to divorce herself from attorney A.J. Kramer, the head of the Federal Public Defender Service's Washington office, because of "irreconcilable differences."
Kessler also ruled that Palfrey does not have to continue electronic monitoring. She now has to report to pretrial services three times a week by telephone.
Palfrey claimed "ineffective assistance" and asked for a specific New York-based attorney. Kessler denied that last request, however, and said the court will find someone to represent her in Washington's jurisdiction during the week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.