UPDATE 6:15 p.m. EDT: The Secret Service has announced that three of its personnel connected to the Colombia prostitute scandal will leave the agency while eight more remain under investigation over the controversy.
The New York Times has what appears to be the first interview with an escort involved in the Colombia prostitution scandal that's rocked the Secret Service.
The woman, described as a "single mother from Colombia who makes a living as a high-priced escort," confronted a Secret Service agent in his Cartagena hotel room after "he offered $30 for services she thought they had agreed were worth 25 times that," the Times reported:
Sitting on a couch in her living room wearing a short jean skirt, high-heeled espadrilles and a tight spandex top with a plunging neckline, the woman described how she and a girlfriend were approached by a group of American men at a discotheque. In an account that tracked with the official version of events coming out of Washington, but could not be independently confirmed, she said the men bought a bottle of Absolut vodka for the table and when that was finished bought a second one.
"They never told me they were with Obama," she said. "They were very discreet."
The morning after their encounter, according to the Times, the hotel front desk called the room to remind her that, under the hotel's rules for prostitutes, she had to leave. The dispute over the price escalated, spilling out into the hallway, where another escort who spent the night with another agent across the hall joined the fray. They alerted police "who tried to argue the woman's case." Hotel security arrived.
Eventually, she lowered her demand, and the men "gave her a combination of dollars and local currency worth about $225, and she left."
Several days later, a local television station reported that the dispute involved U.S. Secret Service, and the scandal exploded.
The Secret Service has since stripped 11 agents of their "Top Secret" clearances and taken away their badges and guns pending the outcome of an investigation, an agency spokesman told Yahoo News on Monday.
"Some of [the agents] were saying they didn't know [the women] were prostitutes," Peter King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, told the Times. "Some are saying they were women at the bar. I understand that there was quite a bit of drinking."
Yahoo! News White House correspondent Olivier Knox contributed reporting.
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