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Wilbur Mills's Scandals

Wilbur Mills

The Wilbur Mills / Fanne Fox Scandal:

As a member of Congress, he chaired the powerful House Ways & Means tax-writing Committee for 17 years between 1958 and 1974 and he even ran for President in 1972.

Arkansas native Wilbur Mills studied constitutional law at Harvard Law School under Felix Frankfurter, who later became a U.S Supreme Court Justice.

Mills was first elected to Congress in 1939 and served until 1977. And when he ran for president…

Wilbur Mills campaign poster

…he pushed the automatic Cost of Living Adjustment for Social Security recipients, known as the COLA.

These are some notable credentials and accomplishments. But Mills is also well remembered in the annals of Washington D.C. scandal. It all started very simply. Mills' car was stopped at 2 in the morning on October 9, 1974 by U.S.Park Police because the headlights were off.

They found Mills, intoxicated, with injuries to his face. They resulted from a struggle with Annabelle Battistella…

Wilbur Mills with Annabelle Battistella

…better known as Fanne Foxe.

Fanne Foxe

She worked as a stripper and was also known as "The Argentine Firecracker".

As the police approached, Foxe jumped out of the car into the nearby tidal basin in an escape attempt.

tidal basin

Mills won re-election a few weeks later, but then he appeared to be drunk and accompanied Foxe's husband onstage at a Boston burlesque house where Fanne was performing.

Boston burlesque house where Fanne was performing

He even held a press conference in her dressing room.

After that, he left his powerful Chairmanship, joined Alcoholics Anonymous and checked himself into a rehab facility.

Mills didn't run for re-election in 1976 and after some time as a practicing attorney at a prestigious New York law firm, returned home to Arkansas working on drug and alcohol treatment projects.

Mills died in 1992.

Meantime, Foxe is listed third on "Time" magazine lists of "Top 10 Mistresses". And this scandal was listed number three in the "Top Ten Sex Scandals" by Bloomberg in 2009.

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