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The Washingtonienne: Jessica Cutler One Year Later

Jessica Cutler (Photo courtesy Hyperion)


Jessica Cutler never had grand designs on conquering Washington, DC. She didn't have a career plan devised that would lead her up the ladder of power on Capital Hill, her new home after three years in New York writing about shoes. She figured if she met the right people, it wouldn't matter. As she puts is, "You know what they say, fake it til you make it."

If she got lucky her stint on the Hill might even lead to a glamorous K Street job, which in the eyes of a Hill intern was like making the big leagues. Recently we met for lunch, in the heart of that same K Street corridor, to discuss The Washingtonienne story one year later.

For Jessica, Washington was a stopover - she was a New York girl through and through - on a journey that had yet to be fully charted. Of her choice to move to DC she notes, "If you're too dumb for NY and too ugly for LA, you can always make it in DC."

Capital Hill in the summertime is host to an annual cattle drive of fresh-faced ideologues who trudge into mind-numbingly dull work in Hill offices for what amounts to trinkets and baubles. Success is measured by proximity to power, or at least the stories you can tell about proximity to power. Jessica Cutler didn't quite fit that mold as she had burned through more jobs in a few short years out of school than most people go through in a career. As a Staff Assistant in Ohio Senator Mike DeWine's office Jessica Cutler's proximity to power was nebulous; but her stories would become legendary.

Washington didn't know it yet, but Jessica Cutler was a master storyteller. On May 5, 2004 Jessica anonymously started a weblog, and wrote of her new adventure in the halls of power,

I have a "glamour job" on the Hill. That is, I could not care less about gov or politics, but working for a Senator looks good on my resume. And these marble hallways are such great places for meeting boys and showing off my outfits.

posted by The Washingtonienne at 5:32 PM

And thus Washingtonienne, the blog, was born. Jessica, as The Washingtonienne, would tell her stories of meeting boys (or more precisely men acting like boys), and showing off a lot more than her outfits, for an audience of a couple old friends and a few new Hill confidants.

What eventually would come to be the most scandalous aspect of The Washingtonienne's story is detailed in this post on her desperate financial circumstances:

Most of my living expenses are thankfully subsidized by a few generous older gentlemen. I'm sure I am not the only one who makes money on the side this way: how can anybody live on $25K/year??

If you investigated every Staff Ass on the Hill, I am sure you would find out some freaky shit. No way can anybody live on such a low salary. I am convinced that the Congressional offices are full of dealers and hos.

posted by The Washingtonienne at 4:34 PM

Jessica's tales of life, sex, and love were totally entertaining to her friends, but on May 18, 2004 staid Washington (a town where wearing white after Labor Day is a fashion sin) would learn of Jessica's journal and all hell would break loose for the real life Washingtonienne.

The Washingtonienne And Wonkette

wonkettewashingtonienne.jpg
"I was totally blindsided by Wonkette. She's the Justin Timberlake to my Janet Jackson."


The story of how Cutler's blog became tabloid fodder begins with Ana Marie Cox, the editor of Wonkette. Cox was alerted to Jessica's blog, which she had been writing for a few short weeks in total anonymity - her identity known only to a few close friends who were the intended audience. Within a day of being featured on the DC based gossip blog Cutlers chaotic personal life was barred to a world-wide audience, including members of the Hill community who fingered her as the author in no time at all. The rash of publicity and revelations resulted in a Dynasty-style confrontation that lead to Cutler's ouster from DeWine's office.

As her world collapsed around her Cutler acted like she didn't give a damn to anyone who would listen. Friends knew otherwise, noticing that stress-induced lack of appetite was causing weight to melt off her already svelte frame and that she appeared to be on a fast track toward a nervous breakdown.

During the period after the story exploded Cutler and Cox became friends of necessity, as Jessica was still a mystery woman to most of the world. Cutler, out of work, short on cash, and hoping to capitalize on her 15 minutes of fame, needed Cox - if nothing else for what she figured was her maturity and ability to understand Jessica's plight. Since her story was first told at Wonkette requests for Cutler's story initially flowed directly to Cox.

Cox, desperate to make a media name for herself, rode The Washingtonienne story and Jessica's new found infamy hard. Somewhere along the way the media savvy mentor/ingenue relationship soured, though Cutler doesn't say exactly where or why. Perhaps it was fait accompli once Cutler (on her own) secured a book deal with a large advance, something Cox also desperately wanted.

Ask Cutler about the glare of the spotlight in the weeks after the ribald Washingtonienne stories circled the globe and she'll tell you, "I don't really mean half the stuff I say in interviews, especially those I gave last year. I was making it up as I went along. I mean, what was I supposed to do about it? Cry?"

One year later she looks back on her relationship with Cox with more the jaded eye of someone who is already making a living as an author.

"She makes a lot of snide and condescending remarks, that I'm desperate for attention, that I need therapy - which is really the pot calling the kettle black. She wants to make sure everyone knows that she's better than I am, but her blog is pretty boring when she's not talking about me."

"For some reason she thinks it's important for her to disassociate herself from the Washingtonienne thing. She's got to do what she's got to do. But girlfriend does talk some shit."

Jessica Cutler also has something that Cox can only dream of -- positive reviews for her first book, The Washingtonienne: A Novel. Jonathan Yeardly, the Washington Post's book reviewer calls it, "Lively, funny and agreeably in-your-face . . . [Cutler] sticks pins in a lot of deserving targets," and this weekend it gets a positive review in The New York Times Book Review.

More on that in part two of our interview - Monday.


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Comments (52)

She's kinda fugly. Did dude... (Below threshold)
Q:

She's kinda fugly. Did dudes really pay for a piece of this?

Still ugly as sin, I see.</... (Below threshold)
j.d.:

Still ugly as sin, I see.

Does this mean the media lo... (Below threshold)

Does this mean the media love affair with 'Wonkette' is finally over?

Based on her stories and Cl... (Below threshold)

Based on her stories and Clinton's track record it's apparent that old guys in Washington will take anything under 30 with long hair.

Woof.

Hey wasn't "K" one of her l... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Hey wasn't "K" one of her little bedbunnies?

So Kevin -How much... (Below threshold)
Bill from INDC:

So Kevin -

How much was it? And did she kiss on the mouth?

Lots of seasoned fiction wr... (Below threshold)

Lots of seasoned fiction writers out there looking for book deals never thought to take it in the ass from a bunch of frumpy bureaucrats in order to gin up publisher interest.

Damn shortsighted of them, if you ask me. I've started going hanging around the Colorado State House in chaps and nipple clamps.

[Ed - Some spelling cor... (Below threshold)
LCVRWC:

[Ed - Some spelling corrections in the piece have been fixed]

I like the little re-hash, and I agree: I wouldn't do her with Cousin Oliver's dick.

Why in the world are we sti... (Below threshold)

Why in the world are we still discussing her? She makes me ill.

Ugh. Desparate, creepy old ... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

Ugh. Desparate, creepy old men.

Gee, WaPo gave her a good r... (Below threshold)

Gee, WaPo gave her a good review? You mean the paper that did a FIVE PAGE fluff article on this whore? What a surprise.

Hope she gave you a reach-around, Kevin.

Geez, that pic of the two o... (Below threshold)

Geez, that pic of the two of 'em..!

I usually see such calculating, flinty-eyed coldness staring at me from a streetwalker's booking photo.

Ya know, after 5 brewskies ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Ya know, after 5 brewskies she ain't lookin' too bad, kinda like Samanta's mischevious sister on Bewitched. Maybe that's why she went drinking with the guys so much. After the bars close and all, not bad at all. Granted I wouldn't pay $400 bucks, or share her with six guys, unless of course they each wanted to buy an equal share -- that would be fair. Anyway, just my two cents.

On a more sober point, when will it be acceptable to break the age old taboo of conquest, where guys can similarly talk about their flings?. In initials of course -- that would be discrete. Oh yes, CL was great in her own perverted way, as was JL and RC, not to mention ZZ.

To quote an equally sleazy ... (Below threshold)
Kim:

To quote an equally sleazy character, "That's not a woman, baby, that's a man, man!"

Just goes to show how far y... (Below threshold)

Just goes to show how far you can go in D.C. with a bag over your head, nothing on below the waist, and the moral scruples of a body louse.

Umm...so then, the reason s... (Below threshold)
Patriccio:

Umm...so then, the reason she is notorious is that she like, slept with half of Washington? That's important to me because why???

What was that? Oh, yeah, t... (Below threshold)
-S-:

What was that? Oh, yeah, the smell of skank.

At least she was honest abo... (Below threshold)
TrueLiberal:

At least she was honest about being a Washington whore. What's Kerry and Biden's excuse?

I'll bet Mommy and Daddy ar... (Below threshold)
joe:

I'll bet Mommy and Daddy are proud of her achievements.

Please do come to my readin... (Below threshold)
Jessica Cutler:

Please do come to my reading at the Astor Place Barnes & Noble at 7pm, Tuesday 6/28. It's your opportunity to tell me what a skank I am to my fugly face, and to purchase a signed copy of my new novel!

I wonder what parish they'r... (Below threshold)
cnredd:

I wonder what parish they're from...

I can't figure out t... (Below threshold)
humptydumptyeconomy:


I can't figure out the crticism. Physically, I think she's hot. And what's the big deal of sleeping around? Is extramarital sex a new thing?So she had a blog and wrote a book about it--does anyone believe that this is the most opportunistic thing that occurs in Washington?

I just don't understand why she's become a lightning rod in all this because of some sex and a book.

I give this girl a lot of c... (Below threshold)
emily:

I give this girl a lot of credit i would love to meet her. yeah, jessica, youre really hot, fuck whatever all these other losers say. :)

So where is Jessica going t... (Below threshold)
Ed:

So where is Jessica going to be signing books next? Is there a book tour schedule?

We all do this sort of thin... (Below threshold)
John:

We all do this sort of thing, she just writes about it. I think she's cute, why would anyone think otherwise? Secret word "dingleman".

she looks like old chinese ... (Below threshold)
pizdec:

she looks like old chinese women from the village.
Get a hoe and go to the field

I wonder how the Washington... (Below threshold)

I wonder how the Washingtonienne made up? I saw one of the Congressional staffers has filed a lawsuit.

If you think about it, why would any Capital Hill staffer pay the Washingtonienne money, when they could head over to Georgetown and pick up better looking women for the cost of a drink or two?

It doesn't make sense to me.

This girl has got to be one... (Below threshold)
sonneille:

This girl has got to be one of the lowest of the low. Jessica Cutler gives prostitutes a bad name since most girls who work the streets do so purely for survival. Jessica Cutler simply uses her blog for shock value. But I guess that's what you do "when you're too stupid for NY and too ugly for LA," to use her own logic. The truth hurts Jessica, but those are your own words.

I was at her last book sign... (Below threshold)
Rock:

I was at her last book signing and can vouch that she is indeed hot. Sorry to disappoint the Northern Virginia jarheads above who posted the "fugly" and similar comments. You can keep your plastic Brittney lookalikes.

You know what girl? You ar... (Below threshold)
Mykia:

You know what girl? You are the shit! All these other fuck-asses talking shit are either mad because they paid somebody like you (men) or mad cause they are doing the same thing and not getting paid for it (women)! I know on a first hand basis what guys are willing to pay just for some attention and a piece of ass, I've met lawyers, doctors, real estate developers, etc. and I just moved here 4 months ago! Maybe I should start a blog!!!anyway, I just wanted to show you some love. I suggest any body who makes a fucked up remark on here get a fucking life, literally!!!!!!!!!!

She's hot, she's cute, she ... (Below threshold)
Eric Kane:

She's hot, she's cute, she knows how to write well and she's honset about. Admit it, you all have your secret perversions, you just don't dare to reveal them. But please spare the rest of us your double standard morals.

I personally would love to meet Jessica, spank her bare behind and have hot steamy sex with her. Just a pity I'm so far away.

Eric, Sweden

Consider for a moment that ... (Below threshold)
mike cannali:

Consider for a moment that Jessica Cutler is a human being with actual feelings. Who is so pure that they can be so judgemental, so perpetually hostile in their perspective?

I do not know the woman, but neither do 99% of her critics. Indeed, if they look inward to examine their own motivations, perhaps they may see something even more "fugly".

Only a week ago 85% of the nation was celebrating the birthday of someone who believed in charity, forgiveness and care for their fellow man. What do you all do the other 364 days of the year?

fuck these haters...jessica... (Below threshold)
Jennifer:

fuck these haters...jessica is the shit and people are just mad that she can fuck any of your husbands and make him withdraw cash out of your bank account to pay for it...

Wow. I finally read this bo... (Below threshold)
Allie:

Wow. I finally read this book, and I loved every second of it. It was so honest, and it's obvious that she wasn't doing anything that MANY other people aren't doing as well...she just didn't sugarcoat it. Laughed my ass off, love her. Living in dc, know exactly what she's talking about..write more!

Read the book and perhaps y... (Below threshold)
M.G:

Read the book and perhaps you will all have a new view on Jessica

I loved the book, although ... (Below threshold)
Robyn:

I loved the book, although I only bought it because I heard of her before. The book just honest and it's pretty much what everyone else is doing anyway, so stop with the bitching. I just wish I'd thought of it first. Love ya, Jess. ;) Keep going sister.

Who are all these dweebly s... (Below threshold)
rd:

Who are all these dweebly scumbags bad rapping this hottie? Obviously none of them have had anything recently that their computer mouse didn`t introduce them to.

We do NOT all do this sort ... (Below threshold)
Kim:

We do NOT all do this sort of thing. I think the whole situation is disgusting. Everyone involved is disgusting. It makes me sick knowing that people want to read about it. How would you like it if that were your daughter?????

Yep. Pretty disgusting. Tru... (Below threshold)
Woman:

Yep. Pretty disgusting. True, it would be hard to live on 25K, but I quit my high tech management job to homeschool a precocious child and survived two years on ten thousand dollars, with a happy healthy child and not handouts. So, she can't get a roommate or three and contain her spending? I don't really feel sorry for her and her pathetic justification of sleeping with other women's husbands, but I do feel sorry for her for needing so much attention and control that she would abuse her body and spirit this way.

chick makes me ashamed to h... (Below threshold)
shiv:

chick makes me ashamed to have asian blood, and i can say with certainty that this has never happened before. why, jessica, why? and why do you act proud of this?!

Wait a minute since when is... (Below threshold)
Trev:

Wait a minute since when is having sex asusing your body that kind of coment only come from prudes whose husbands frequently visit girls like these or the kind that think sex is disgusting open your eyes girls you are the reason these guys fill the strip clubs and hore houses on the side before they come home to you prudes .

Trev may not write very wel... (Below threshold)
GoJess:

Trev may not write very well, but he's spot on. To the nay-sayers, if you knew how to fuck your men, Jessica would never have had a story to tell.

Live and let live, haters!

Perhaps an enlightened revi... (Below threshold)
Don:

Perhaps an enlightened review of damages would be in order in this matter. Words, which, if merely spoken, would not be actionable in the absence of special damages may be libelous when printed if they are false and tend to injure the reputation and subject one to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule. Ordinarily, general damages need only be alleged in an action for libel. Maybe the discussion should focus on the issue of truth vel non. I just can't see a jury of reasonable men and women giving very much in damages for Ms. Cutler's treatise. Notwithstanding, who actually wore the handcuffs???

She's gorgeous shut up. </p... (Below threshold)
marie:

She's gorgeous shut up.

I have always thought that ... (Below threshold)
Roksy:

I have always thought that markets are demand driven. So she was on the supply side of it. And she was not in a position of power to harrass people into having sex with her.

It is high time we look at the demand side of the story -- those older "gentle"men -- And where were their morals? The only sin she committed was to leak the info, and now the courts are getting involved...? Sue them yourself Jessy -- now that you look back, was not the work environment harrassing and unfriendly?

I dont feel sorry for Jessi... (Below threshold)
Erik Betts:

I dont feel sorry for Jessica but I have heard phrases like "...6 guys but there's only 7 days to the week"...before. I call it "the DEITY COMPLEX". An old chinese proverb...Conceit is nature's compensation for inferiority. Someone asked about how proud her parents are? She's probably had some sort of severe trauma as a child usually associated with violence. I'm not implying her parents although I wouldnt role them out, but whether it be physical, emotional, sexual, or verbal either way someone she should have been able to trust traumatized/abandoned her and she decided to never be a victim again...aka the kiss of death. Her desperate need of power and control due to the lack of in her own life is a sort of teenage temper tantrum when we know that something is wrong but we feel it's too big for us and we can't figure it out so we "act out". Jessica does these things for the attention and to feel loved and accepted...becuz ultimately she doesn't and hasnt figured out how to most importantly give those things to herself. She wanted to be caught bcuz there is no acknowledgement and validation of her superiority with out publication albeit a website or a book. She's obviously intelligent, creative and a good looking young lady who doesnt believe she is beautiful(inside or out), and worth anything until she performs these acts that empower her perception of self. No matter where she goes she cant run from "what" she is and must confront it to be "who" she wants to be! Due to the age/careers of these people I would tend to think she's replacing a "father figure" and working out her issues thru them. Conquering Washington D.C. in the form of cops, Capital Hill personnel (senators) and especially BUSH administrators confirms to her that she isn't dumb, ugly and still dependent but SMART, BEAUTIFUL and just as POWERFUL as she sees them. Plain and simple she should pretty much look and smell like "crap" to the average functionaly disfunctional male. HINT: If you look and smell like "crap" literally and someone is attracted to you, then the're attracted to the look and smell of CRAP and as a functionaly disfunctional human being, your radar is supposed to go off and you should run the other way. Jessica's radar is backward ass and instead of identifying the "crap" and running away...she runs to it for emotional, physical, intellectual and even spiritual nourishment. Imagine if everytime you got hungry you ran to the toilet to eat whatever you could find. Crap attracts flies (Ms Cox this applies to you too!) Obviously Jessica & Co. have low self esteem and if any of them ever tried to truly address their issues, after it scared them and made her feel like they have nothing to offer the world...people just like Jessica would discover that we are more than our BODY and "sexual conquests" and Jessica you have an inner beauty that is so much more powerful and attractive, and capable of empowering you bringing your wildest dreams to reality. All of her creative time and energy goes to trying to fill a void that has an endless thirst. Right now she's going through a difficult time trying to get over the unknown to us trauma I discussed earlier and her way of working it out is vicariously through conquering sexually. Its her way of building self worth. There are stages to trauma and she's going thru them, and like seasons, how long she stays in each season is up to her. We all have emotional seasons, its called being human and most men tend to be emotionally retarded when it comes to being honest and communicative about our feelings. This wont go away, it will be a way of life for her, and if she wants positivity to be a habit for her a survival instinct if you will, with the proper tools she will need to know, desire, and have the skill to carve, knock down and climb over any obstacle. If she were a man we would be praising her for her conquests and calling her a dawg and that's as far as it would go, BUT the double standard of society speaks for itself again. Either way it doesnt matter what side of the fence each of you stand on in judging her ... what matters is where she stands when she sees herself! Ms. Jessica Cutler it isnt about whats right or wrong but "what works" to empower positively in yourself and the environment that you are part of, and I hope Ms. Cutler reads this to know someone out there is praying for her to find what she so desperately seeks...Faith and Self Respect!!

A fellow Pot, Ms Kettle

Girl Jessy, I admire you fo... (Below threshold)
Alfred:

Girl Jessy, I admire you for what you are. Those you say bad thing about, are jealous.. You go girl.. Alfred..

MORE POWER TO YOU JESSY ,AL... (Below threshold)
go for it:

MORE POWER TO YOU JESSY ,ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE BAD NMOUTHING ARE JEALOUS AND ENVY OF WHAT YOU HAVE DONE. GOOD LUCK WITH EVERYTHING , AND WISH YOU ALL THE BEST I THINK WE SHOULD CREATE A JESSY FANCLUB :)
I ALWAYS ADMIRE PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE GUTS TO STANDUP AGAINST THE POWER !!!!!!

....perhaps you meant lay d... (Below threshold)
blatty:

....perhaps you meant lay down with the power.

Wow! I don't know where to ... (Below threshold)
jackie:

Wow! I don't know where to begin! The person who wrote about an "enlightened review of damages": are you that insecure and desperate for attention that you need to use all the big words in your vocabulary to come across intelligent? Most likely you're a law student excited about showing off your skills.

What about the person with the loooooong response getting into Jessica's Psyche. You must either know her pretty well to be making all of those "interesting" observations OR you've done extensive reading about her to know soooo much. Or possibly...a psych major?! I don't know, you might have said somewhere in your ramblings who you are and what makes you such an expert but I just couldn't get through it all! Maybe that's what you're jealous about, Jessica is an interesting writer and you put us all to sleep.

I've read the book and I thought it was entertaining and, above all, honest. Not a major book, just fun. But, for crying out loud, relax, people! WTF? If you think she's so disgusting then what are you doing going online looking her up? Don't you have more important, possibly more interesting things to do in your life?

Jessica, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do about it. Way to go!

I agree with the posting ab... (Below threshold)
K. Savage:

I agree with the posting above.

I bought this book because the cover caught my eye (no other book had a nice pair of boobs staring at me) and because the back of the book sounded interesting. I realized it was a true story by reading the back-inside cover.

All the shitty things people have said above is what made her famous.

She's the only person that has let out all her dirty little secrets and doesn't pretend to be something she's not.

I admire her for that.

She is pretty attractive...... (Below threshold)
Marc:

She is pretty attractive... To all the naysayers: I reject your dogma! That is all.




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