A Secret Service agent preparing for President Obama’s arrival at an international summit meeting and a single mother from Colombia who makes a living as a high-priced escort faced off in a room at the Hotel Caribe a week ago over how much he owed her for the previous night’s intercourse. “I tell him, ‘Baby, my cash money,’ ” the woman said in her first public comments on a spat that would soon spiral into a full-blown scandal.
The dispute — he offered $30 for services she thought they had agreed were worth 25 times that — triggered a tense early morning struggle in the hallway of the posh hotel involving the woman, another prostitute, Colombian police officers arguing on the women’s behalf and American federal agents who tried but failed to keep the matter — which has shaken the reputation of the Secret Service — from escalating.
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.”
A taxi driver who picked up the woman at the Hotel Caribe the morning of the encounter said he heard her and another woman recount the dispute over payment. When approached by The Times, the woman was reluctant to speak about what occurred. As she nervously told her story, a friend gave details that seemed to corroborate her account.
CONTINUED at the NY Times.