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Big Head DC releases e-mails purportedly from gay escort tied to Lott

From Big Head DC, who has released e-mails purportedly from gay escort Benjamin Nicholas, perhaps involved with Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott: (The photo caption is Big Head DC's by the way.)

Nicholas_2

  Big Head DC has watched with surprise as Benjamin Nicholas, the male escort who sent several e-mail messages to Big Head DC yesterday alluding to some sort of a relationship with Sen. Trent Lott, only to soon claim to publications including the Huffington Post that his quotes in our item had been “fabricated.”

Nicholas also put up a post on his own blog at about 5:30 p.m. ET yesterday that said we had made up the piece. He quickly removed that item, for whatever reason, but later in the evening added the following post, with an altered time stamp, under the banner, “Gossip”:

It looks like a Washington DC-based blog called BigHeadDC is making claim that there was (or, is) a working relationship between myself and Senator Trent Lott. There are falsely pieced-together quotes that serve no purpose other than to sensationalize a completely fabricated scoop.

I will continue to offer a great sense of confidentiality to the people I see. I have not, nor have I ever seen or had contact with Senator Trent Lott. It’s as simple as that. It never happened

That Nicholas refers to his professionalism in this post is exceptionally telling. He has many high-profile clients, and many of them may be fearful of being outed as well, having learned the Lott news, which was widely disseminated after Big Head DC’s initial post yesterday.

Still, Nicholas has not been professional in the way he has handled the subsequent coverage of what he told us. Which is why we have decided to share his unaltered correspondence with us at the conclusion of this post.

The decision to release these e-mails did not come easy. As we originally told the Huffington Post’s Max Follmer when he requested comment for his piece, we were hesitant to provide Nicholas’ e-mails to another outlet: “It could make future Big Head DC sources hesitant to share information via e-mail, some of which contains off-the-record information in this case, if they know we are later going to share such information with other outlets,” we told him via e-mail. “Again, we stand by the quotes and our item 100 percent.”

Follmer then partially used that information to attempt to discredit Big Head DC, accusing us of “sloppy sleuthing.” His main argument on that point centers on a piece written by John Cook of Radar magazine who insists that our recent revelation about Sam Donaldson’s number appearing in the records of the alleged “DC Madam” Deborah Jeane Palfrey is somehow untrue. As with the Nicholas story, we stand by that story 100 percent. Radar may have desperately wanted us to publish the story with their outlet, but Big Head DC was under no obligation to do so.

We also find it curious that Follmer so readily believed Nicholas’ later assertion that the Lott story was fabricated, since Follmer told us via e-mail that his contacts in Los Angeles “in the escort biz say he [Nicholas] has a history of lying.”

Now, without further ado, the e-mails:

MESSAGE ONE:

from Rob Capriccioso
to escort@benjaminnicholas.com,
date Nov 26, 2007 2:08 PM
subject From Big Head DC
mailed-by gmail.com

Hi Benjamin,

I’m an editor with Big Head DC in Washington. A commenter on the site recently said that you and Sen. Trent Lott happened to be vacationing together at the same place on a couple of separate occasions. Could you clarify whether you know Sen. Lott in any way?

I appreciate your help.

All the best,

Rob


Rob Capriccioso | Publisher & Founding Editor | Big Head DC

MESSAGE ONE RESPONSE:

from Benjamin Nicholas
reply-to Benjamin Nicholas ,
to Rob Capriccioso ,
date Nov 26, 2007 2:18 PM
subject Re: From Big Head DC
mailed-by benjaminnicholas.com

No comment
—–
http://www.BenjaminNicholas.com
http://www.15MinutesMore.com

MESSAGE TWO
:

from Rob Capriccioso
to Benjamin Nicholas ,
date Nov 26, 2007 2:21 PM
subject Re: From Big Head DC
mailed-by gmail.com

Totally off the record, can you explain why you have no comment?

Rob

MESSAGE TWO RESPONSE
:

from Benjamin Nicholas
reply-to Benjamin Nicholas ,
to Rob Capriccioso ,
date Nov 26, 2007 2:23 PM
subject Re: From Big Head DC
mailed-by benjaminnicholas.com

I’m a blogger as well, so I’m well aware that nothing in this world is ever truly ‘off-record.’

Trent is going through his fair share of scrutiny right now and I don’t want to add to it. All I can say at this point is no comment. It’s the professional thing for me to do.

MESSAGE THREE:

from Rob Capriccioso
to Benjamin Nicholas ,
date Nov 26, 2007 2:29 PM
subject Re: From Big Head DC
mailed-by gmail.com

I definitely understand what you’re saying about commenting into the blogosphere, Benjamin, and have had it happen to me before. I’m just trying to establish whether you personally know Sen. Lott. A couple of people tipping Big Head DC suggested I contact you, so I thought I’d take a shot. I’m definitely not asking whether you were ever in a relationship with him. Have you been contacted by others about knowing him?

Rob

MESSAGE THREE RESPONSE:

from Benjamin Nicholas
reply-to Benjamin Nicholas ,
to Rob Capriccioso ,
date Nov 26, 2007 2:37 PM
subject Re: From Big Head DC
mailed-by benjaminnicholas.com

Yes. I was contacted by Gawker this morning ([Nick] Denton is a friend of mine). He’s hot to get an exclusive interview about the possible relationship between the two of us, but I politely declined. As I said before, Lott has quite a bit on his plate right now and I don’t really want to add fuel to the embers.

BN
—–
http://www.BenjaminNicholas.com
http://www.15MinutesMore.com

MESSAGE FOUR
:

from Rob Capriccioso
to Benjamin Nicholas ,
date Nov 26, 2007 2:42 PM
subject Re: From Big Head DC
mailed-by gmail.com

How did anyone get it in their heads that you even knew Lott?

NO RESPONSE FROM NICHOLAS

Hours later, after we did much more investigating and our piece ultimately went live, Nicholas sent a final message:

from Benjamin Nicholas
reply-to Benjamin Nicholas ,
to Rob Capriccioso ,
date Nov 26, 2007 5:32 PM
subject Re: From Big Head DC
mailed-by benjaminnicholas.com

Off-the-record, eh?  Sheesh.

Here’s my public comment, on-the-record: Sen. Lott and I have no current affiliation with one another. I’m sure he would appreciate no further scrutiny.

There’s no story here Rob.

BN
—–
http://www.BenjaminNicholas.com
http://www.15MinutesMore.com

END OF E-MAILS

It is of course Nicholas’ way of framing his answers in these e-mails, i.e. “no current affiliation with Lott,” referring to the senator as Trent, etc. that has helped lead many today to question why Nicholas has decided to backtrack. Perhaps he had promised an exclusive to another publication, and accidentally dropped the ball? Perhaps some of his current clients became frightened, so he decided to try to make the story go away? Or perhaps he has felt some other sorts of pressure. We do not know at this point. But, rest assured, we are working to find out.

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