Wayne Hays' Girlfriend Goes to the Press

In May 1976, Congressman Wayne Hays' career was ended by a woman scorned.

Elizabeth Ray was the beautiful young southern belle Hays had hired to be a secretary, but all she really had to do was make herself available to the Democratic representative from Ohio. The couple carried on an affair for about 2 years before Ray grew angry. Hays had left his wife in 1975 and ended up marrying a secretary from his home office in Ohio in '76. Ray wasn't angry because Hays married another woman. She was angry because she didn't get an invitation.

"I was good enough to be his mistress for two years but not good enough to be invited to his wedding," she said.

Ray sought out reporters from the Washington Post and told them everything. She even let them listen to phone calls between her and Hays and allowed them to follow her to dinner meetings with the congressman. When the Post broke the story, they had the goods and Hays knew it.

Hays issued a rare public apology from the House floor and eventually resigned from Congress Sept. 1, 1976.

Neither Hays nor Ray really benefitted from all this. Ray came out looking just as bad with a stream of quotes that painted her as a gold-digging prostitute, albeit an unusually witty one.

On her job skills: "I can't type, I can't file, I can't even answer the phone."

On her work in an otherwise empty office: "Supposedly I'm on the oversight committee. But I call it the Out-of-Sight Committee."

On her attempts to make it as an actress in Hollywood: "I'd been giving the Academy Award performances once a week for two years."

On Hays' new wife: "I was hoping after the marriage he wouldn't make so many demands. But I've had to see him four times since the wedding—twice intimately."

The Post even quoted one conversation wholesale in its story for its audacity.
"I ought to be good for one week since I'm getting married."

"What about after?" asked Ray.

"If you behave yourself, we'll see," said Hays.

"Well," said Ray, "what about my job?"

"Well, if you come in a little . . ." said Hays.

"Do I still have to s---- you?" asked Ray.

"Well, that never mattered," said Hays.

"Oh, I thought it did," said Ray.

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