10:04 AM EST, February 21, 2013
It's a Washington sex scandal that was kept secret for more than thirty years.
Former New Mexico Senator Peter Domenici had a love child with the 24-year-old daughter of another senator.
She's lobbyist and TV pundit Michelle Laxalt, the daughter of former Nevada Senator Paul Laxalt, who was a presidential candidate in 1988.
"Personal, private issues should remain personal, private issues," Michelle said.
Michelle had the secret love child with Domenici in 1978. She called it a "one night's mistake."
Their 34-year-old son, Adam, is now a successful Las Vegas lawyer.
"I raised my son as a single parent surrounded by love and joy and opportunity," she said.
Domenici, who retired from the Senate in 2008, said in a statement, "I am very sorry for my behavior."
Judy Kurtz of The Hill weighed in, saying, "Thirty years ago, if this had gotten out while he was a lawmaker it really could have meant the end for him. Instead, he was New Mexico's longest-serving Senator."
Michelle Laxalt and Peter Domenici went public with their closely guarded secret this week because they were concerned that it was about to be exposed in the media.
"This sacred situation might be twisted, rewritten and shopped to press outlets," Laxalt said.
Domenici broke the news to his wife, Nancy, only a few months ago after keping it a secret for three decades.
"Everything that needs to be said was said in those two statements," his wife said.
It's the second shocking revelation involving a secret love child to erupt in Washington this month.
Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee was caught sending tweets during the State of the Union Address to a bodacious 24-year-old woman in Houston.
One tweet read, "Nice to know you were watching State of the Union. Happy Valentine's, beautiful girl. I love you."
The tweets were at first thought to be flirtatious messages to a girlfriend. But Cohen revealed a shocking secret, saying, "The young lady is my daughter."
Cohen said he didn't know he even had a daughter, model Victoria Brink, until three years ago.
It was all making Jay Leno jokingly ask, "When did Washington become the Jerry Springer Show? When did that happen?"