News alert: Boustany files defamation suit against publisher, author of book alleging prostitution links

(Photo by The Associated Press)

Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany has filed a defamation lawsuit against New York City-based Simon & Schuster Inc., which recently published a book that includes allegations that Boustany was involved with prostitutes who were killed in Jefferson Davis Parish.

Ethan Brown, author of the book, Murder on the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8?, is also named as a defendant in the suit, which was filed today in the 15th Judicial District Court in Lafayette.

Citing multiple anonymous sources, the book includes a chapter that claims Boustany was involved with the prostitutes who were killed. It does not allege the congressman is involved in the slayings. Boustany and his wife have denied the claims.

“Dr. Boustany hired me to defend his integrity and the honor of his family. And that’s what I intend to do, aggressively,” reads a statement from attorney Jimmy Faircloth of Faircloth, Melton & Sobel, who is representing Boustany in the suit. “The law does not allow someone to slander another person to sell books, not even public officials. Mr. Brown either made up the story or he’s peddling political garbage that he knew or should have known is false. It’s easy to spread hateful lies about others, but it’s not easy to defend it under oath while facing the prospects of perjury. This lie will be exposed, and those responsible will be held accountable.”

Boustany is one of 24 contenders on the Nov. 8 ballot in the U.S. Senate race, a seat that is open because Republican David Vitter—who found his bid for governor derailed in part by a prostitution scandal—isn’t running for re-election. The Associated Press has reported that several polls have shown Boustany as one of the top competitors in the race, which is expected to be decided in a Dec. 10 runoff.

The Associated Press hasn’t been able to independently confirm the allegations made by Brown in the book, which was published on Sept. 13. Brown has previously issued a statement saying, “I stand by what I reported in my book.”