Elizabeth Ray

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For officer in the United States Army, see Elizabeth Ann Ray.

Elizabeth Ray (born Betty Lou Ray on May 14, 1943, in Marshall, North Carolina [1]) was the central figure in a much publicized sex scandal in 1976 that ended the career of U.S. Rep. Wayne Hays (D-Ohio).

The Washington Post reported that Ray had been on the payroll of a committee run by Hays for two years as a clerk-secretary. During that time, she admitted, her actual job duties were providing Congressman Hays sexual favors: "I can't type, I can't file, I can't even answer the phone."[2] Ray, who had won the title of Miss Virginia 1975 in a beauty contest, says she worked briefly as a stewardess, waitress and car rental clerk before beginning work on the Hill in the summer of 1972. Ray also admitted having sex with married Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) at his houseboat in August 1972. According to Ray, the meeting was arranged by her then boss Rep. Kenneth J. Gray (D-Illinois) in exchange for Gravel's support of a bill Gray was pushing. Both Gravel and Gray denied the accusations and a federal investigation ended with no charges being filed. Decades later, Gravel admitted having sex with Ray, but continued to maintain that it was not in exchange for his vote.[3][4][5][6]

After making unsuccessful attempts at being an actress and stand-up comedian, Elizabeth Ray faded back into obscurity.[7]

After the scandal broke, a book appeared in her name, titled The Washington Fringe Benefit; she posed for Playboy several times, and tried acting and stand-up comedy.

She was mentioned by comedian Brad Garrett on the May 6, 2015 episode of The Howard Stern Show. Garrett stated that his father arranged a meeting with her when he was 14 and they actually dated for a month. She was 24 according to Garrett, but was unaware of his age because he was very tall and "looked 20." She was his first sexual experience.

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