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Mother of ‘D.C. Madam’ Files Lawsuit Trying to Block Police Release of Suicide Photos

WWW- The mother of the so-called “D.C. Madam” wants to stop the release of police photos taken after her daughter’s suicide in Pinellas County, Fla.

In May, 52-year-old Deborah Palfrey hanged herself with a nylon rope in a shed outside her mother’s mobile home in Tarpon Springs. Her 76-year-old mom, Blanche Palfrey, discovered the body.

The St. Petersburg Times reported Thursday that Blanche Palfrey’s attorney Serbo Simeoni filed a lawsuit Tuesday arguing that releasing the pictures would be “inappropriate, unacceptable and personally harmful” to his client.

Simeoni also says the release constitutes an invasion of privacy, and “continuing intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

Palfrey wrote suicide notes to her mother and sister explaining that she hanged herself because she couldn’t bear the thought of a future in prison.

Palfrey was staying at her mother’s home in a trailer park in Tarpon Springs, near Tampa, at the time of her death. Authorities said the letters were found by the night stand next to the bed where she had been sleeping.

A federal jury convicted Palfrey in April of money laundering and racketeering charges in connection to what prosecutors described as a high-end prostitution ring whose clients included members of Washington’s political and social elite.

Louisiana Sen. David Vitter and former deputy secretary of state Randall L. Tobias both were tied by investigators to Palfrey’s business.

She was awaiting sentencing July 24 and faced a maximum of 55 years in prison, though she was expected to receive a significantly lighter sentence than that.

Palfrey repeatedly denied that the escort service engaged in prostitution, saying that if any of the women performed sex acts for money, they did so without her knowledge.

Prosecutors said she ran the prostitution service for 13 years. The trial concluded without revealing many new details about the company or its clients. Vitter was among possible witnesses, but did not take the stand.

Palfrey had vowed that she would not go to prison, even telling a Washington writer that she would commit suicide first.


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