BATON ROUGE – Fresh off his failed run for a U.S. Senate seat, Rep. Charles Boustany has dropped his defamation suit against a writer who alleged in a book that the Republican congressman was a client of several prostitutes who ended up murdered.
Earlier than year when he was still locked in a tight race for the vacant Senate seat, Boustany took legal action against Murder in the Bayou writer Ethan Brown and publisher Simon & Schuster.
Brown’s novel chronicled the killings of at least eight prostitutes in the Jefferson Davis Parish area. An entire chapter is dedicated to allegations from anonymous sources alleging that Boustany was acquainted and intimately involved with at least some of the women.
The book never accuses Boustany of actually being involved in any of the killings and Brown, a licensed private investigator, has hinted he thinks they were carried out by more than just one perpetrator.
“We’re pleased with the decision,” Brown told the Louisiana Record of Boustany ending his suit.
Brown added that he would have no further comment and publisher Simon & Schuster has also declined to respond to the latest developments.
Meanwhile, Boustany’s attorney Jimmy Faircloth confirmed that his client had decided to move on.
“He felt as though it would probably be best for all concerned for him not to proceed with the lawsuit,” Faircloth said. “Continuing the lawsuit probably would have resulted in a lot more publicity to this."
The book’s November release came at the most inopportune time imaginable for the once front-running Boustany, who finished third in the 24-candidate field and lose in a Dec. 10 runoff to Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy.
The defeat effectively ended his tenure in Congress.
From the opening chapter of Murder in the Bayou, Boustany labeled his alleged ties to the prostitution allegations lies and untruths generated to “sensationalize the story” and “to boost sales” with disregard for the truth.
Even as he was ending his suit, Faircloth added that his client still maintains none of the stories or allegations about him should have been published, and the fact that they were is indefensible.
The book also details the story of former Boustany field staffer Martin Guillory, who may have been involved in the operations of a cheap, tawdry Jefferson Davis Parish hotel where all the prostitution victims reportedly hosted their clients.
In his suit, Boustany never challenges any of the claims made about Guillory and later insisted that his former employee hid his hotel connection from him and other staffers and that Guillory was fired from his post in September.
Boustany was running for the seat vacated by retiring Sen. David Vitter, who was once also embroiled in his own sex scandal when 2007 phone records showed calls made from him to notorious “D.C. Madam” Deborah Jeane Palfrey.
Among the other candidates in the field to succeed Vitter was former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and avowed white supremacist David Duke.