The Stripper and the Congressman: Fanne Foxe’s Story – Podcast 82

The Stripper and the Congressman: Fanne Foxe’s Story – Podcast 82

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

There’s this powerful American politician who’s at the top of his game. Then you’ve got a notorious sex worker with a love of performing. They have a scandalous affair that rocks Washington. And a media storm sweeps the nation. It’s on the nightly news, and all over the newspapers. People just can’t get enough of it.

That’s right – I’m talking about Wilbur Mills and Fanne Foxe. Who did you think I was talking about?

He grew up in the U.S. House of Representatives and had stood for president – and was considered for a seat on the Supreme Court. She came from a small town in Argentina, and was already the mother of three by the time she started dancing on the burlesque circuit in America.

They met in 1973, and even though he was married and almost thirty years older than her, they seemingly fell in love. Then on a fateful night in October 1974, they were involved in a strange incident and their secret relationship risked being exposed to the scandal-hungry public.

Details slowly emerged and it soon became a sensation as the public started asking questions: Like how did a woman from a small town in south America become involved with one of the most powerful men in the U.S.? How could such an influential politician come to be exposed in such a public way? How did adult film actors, Harry Reems and Jamie Gillis, get involved in trying to persuade Fanne Foxe to make an adult film at the height of her fame? And what happened to Fanne, the Argentine Firecracker behind one of the most public political scandals of the 20th century?

Isn’t it strange how in the world of politics, often everything that was old is somehow new again?

This podcast episode is 55 minutes long.

The musical playlist for this episode can be found on Spotify.


Fanne Foxe – A Chronological Media History

Fanne FoxeAugust 1965: Early mention of Fanne Foxe in Baltimore


Fanne FoxeOctober 11, 1974: First mention of the Tidal Basin incident


Fanne FoxeOctober 11, 1974: First mention of the Tidal Basin incident


Fanne FoxeOctober 11, 1974: First mention of the Tidal Basin incident


Fanne FoxeOctober 11, 1974: The media investigate Fanne


Fanne FoxeOctober 12, 1974: The media investigate Fanne


Richard PryorNovember 8th 1974: A month after the Tidal Basin incident, Fanne appears on a chat show – with Richard Pryor


Fanne FoxeNovember 19 1974: In the wake of the Tidal Basin scandal, Fanne returns to the stage


Wilbur MillsDecember 2 1974: Much to everyone’s amazement, Wilbur appears on stage with Fanne


Wilbur MillsDecember 2 1974: Wilbur Mills announces his surprising plans for Fanne


Wilbur MillsDecember 2 1974: Wilbur Mills announces his surprising plans for Fanne


Fanne FoxeDecember 3 1974: Fanne stands by Wilbur but denies they are lovers


Fanne FoxeDecember 3 1974: The political fall-out following Wilbur’s on stage appearance with Fanne


Wilbur MillsDecember 4 1974: Political problems continue for Wilbur


Wilbur MillsDecember 4 1974: Wilbur’s political power is weakened by the scandal


Wilbur MillsDecember 4 1974: The effect of the scandal takes it toll on Wilbur


Fanne FoxeDecember 5 1974: The media focus their attention on Fanne


December 5 1974: The media reports a backlash against Fanne


Fanne FoxeDecember 5 1974: In the midst of media uproar, Fanne cancels a show


Fanne FoxeDecember 7 1974: The fascination with Fanne Foxe grows


Fanne FoxeDecember 7 1974: Fanne reveals her affair with Wilbur


Fanne FoxeDecember 7 1974: Fanne becomes ubiquitous in the newspapers


Fanne FoxeDecember 7 1974: Fanne’s notoriety results in higher appearance fees (Hello, Stormy Daniels…)


Fanne FoxeDecember 7 1974: Fanne’s notoriety results in higher appearance fees


Fanne FoxeDecember 10 1974: Wilbur loses the chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee


Wilbur MillsDecember 10 1974: Wlibur continues to lose support


Fanne FoxeDecember 11 1974: Fanne’s press coverage is mixed


Fanne FoxeDecember 12 1974: When Fanne resumes her stripping, she is arrested for indecent exposure


Fanne FoxeDecember 12 1974: The reason for the arrest is an alleged ‘bottomless’ dance


Fanne FoxeDecember 13 1974: Coverage of Fanne’s arrest re-ignites the scandal


Fanne FoxeDecember 14 1974: Fanne announces that she will no longer dance nude


Wilbur MillsDecember 14 1974: Wilbur considers his political options while hospitalized


Fanne FoxeDecember 16 1974: Everyone has an opinion on Fanne Foxe


Fanne FoxeAugust 15 1975: Nine months after the scandal broke, Fanne reveals her affair with Wilbur


Fanne FoxeAugust 15 1975: Fanne says her marriage broke down because of her affair with Wilbur


Fanne FoxeAugust 15 1975: Fanne’s revelations mean the scandal remains center stage


Fanne FoxeSeptember 3 1975: A few weeks later, in her tell-all autobiography, Fanne claims she had become pregnant with Wilbur’s child


Fanne FoxeSeptember 3 1975: Her autobiography recounts how Fanne aborted Wilbur’s child


Fanne FoxeSeptember 24 1975: The revelations enure that Fanne’s autobiography sells well


Fanne FoxeOctober 5 1975: Fanne embarks on a publicity campaign to promote her biography


Fanne FoxeOctober 5 1975: Fanne opens her family to the media for the first time


Fanne FoxeOctober 5 1975: In the midst of the publicity surrounding her book, Fanne appears in a film, ‘Posse From Heaven’


Fanne FoxeNovember 10 1975: A year after the scandal, Fanne declares her continued love for Wilbur


Fanne FoxeFebruary 9 1976: Fanne’s feelings for Wilbur get in the way of his proposed comeback


Fanne FoxeJanuary 6 1976: Fanne re-launches her career with a new night club act


Fanne FoxeFebruary 12 1976: Despite her new act, Fanne runs into trouble when she turns up in Wilbur’s home state of Arkansas


Fanne Foxe, Playboy1976: Fanne Foxe in Playboy


Fanne FoxeJuly 9 1976: An adult film, starring Fanne Foxe, is announced


Fanne FoxeFebruary 3 1977: When the previously announced adult film comes to nothing, Fanne appears in a soft-core film called ‘Round The Naked Round’


Fanne FoxeMarch 8 1977: Fanne signs on as a columnist with Cheri magazine


Fanne FoxeMarch 10 1977: Fanne’s job with Cheri magazine involves reporting from the sex scene across the country


Fanne Foxe, Cheri1977: Fanne Fox in Cheri magazine


Fanne FoxeAugust 21 1977: Wilbur continues to be rehabilitated


Wilbur MillsDecember 3 1977: The scandal continues to dog Wilbur


Wilbur MillsMay 16 1978: Wilbur becomes involved in treatment for alcoholics


Wilbur MillsMay 27 1979: By 1979, Fanne was in the “Whatever Happened To?” file


Fanne FoxeJanuary 11 1982: One of Fanne’s last public appearances followed the birth of her daughter




  1. Ron Giardino · July 15, 2018 Reply

    Looking forward to listening to this………. I remember Time magazine listing it as the one of the top three political scandals of the 20th Century a few years ago………. so the fact that Jamie and Harry Reems were involved somehow has got me super curious……………

  2. M&M · July 15, 2018 Reply

    I remember seeing la Foxe in men’s mags in the late 70s and not knowing quite who or why she was featured quite so prominently. When I found out her backstory, I was blown away. Should be a good listen!!

  3. Jim Stevens · July 15, 2018 Reply

    Should be an interesting listen. And Casselberry is right in my backyard. Hedy Lamarr supposedly settled here too at one point in her later life.

  4. Carter Stevens · July 15, 2018 Reply

    Fanne and I went on the road together several times for Cheri Magazine. She was the writer and I was the photographer. She was always the sweetest easy to work with lady and was always patient at airports when reporters always met us to interview her. But one weekend we flew to Canada to cover a Miss nude world pagent and the officials at the airport started to give her a hard time about all the reporters that were crowded around trying to get any statement they could from her. For the first time in the several years I knew her I saw the Argentine Firecracker explode. I couldn’t understand a single word that was being thrown like spears but I and everyone else in the airport sure as hell knew what she was saying. At that moment I pitied poor Wilbur Mills. The firestorm Congress laid on him could never have compared to what Fanne Put him through in that car before she jumped into the Tidal Basin.

  5. Big Al · July 16, 2018 Reply

    So Fanne Foxe AND Stormy Daniels were each arrested while performing in a club after their respective scandals broke out! The more things change…

    • Richard McG · July 16, 2018 Reply

      The years may go by, the names will change, but you dig around and there is always some salacious dirt on the power brokers in DC…as Henry Kissenger put it “power is the great aphrodisiac.” Heck, I have been at swingers parties with people knee deep in the current Russian scandal…and under investigation by Muller as I type…sex has no party especially at a party. 😉

      • RIck · July 18, 2018 Reply

        “Power is the great aphrodisiac…..” — Henry Kissinger

        “….Just look at the carpet bombing of Cambodia to see what it took for *him* to get it up.” — Lily Tomlin.

  6. Corey M. · July 16, 2018 Reply

    Well-remembered tale from my adolesence…Remember: Trump may have fucked a porn star. Unlike a Kennedy, he didn’t drown a woman.

  7. P.I. · July 16, 2018 Reply

    Ms. Hall, I loved listening to this for many reasons.

    QUOTE – “In today’s world of ‘me too’ and ‘pussy grabbing’, the story of Fanne and Wilbur seems almost quaint”…. I agree. If events can be compared to movies, what happened with Annabelle and Wilbur would be the equivalent of a Barry Mahon SEXPLOITATION film. But, what our country and world are living through now, is the equivalent of KITTY-PORN.

    Fascism is now considered patriotism, and far too many shameless individuals wear their bigotry like a badge of honor.

    Our country has truly reached a new low, and we – and the rest of the world – continue to sink even lower.

    This episode is short, detailed, and has a very satisfying ending.

    I’ve mentioned this before and I’m going to write it again,… you, Mr. West, and the rest of the gang, are gifted documentarians.

  8. Yizmo Gizmo · July 19, 2018 Reply

    When Mills wants to go on stage, reminds me of the scheming Brian Wilson shrink who wanted
    to be part of the music show. What the hell was he thinking/drinking?

  9. Patrick Palmer · July 24, 2018 Reply

    Very informative! Thanks for another great episode!

  10. Tony Jams · August 5, 2018 Reply

    Back then I always wondered what a hot woman like her was doing with a DWIB-BA-DA-GOTZ like Wilber Mills.

  11. · January 6, 2023 Reply

    The years may go by, the names will change, but you dig around and there is always some salacious dirt on the power brokers in DC

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