DENVER - U.S. District Court Judge Edward Nottingham has issued a statement saying his visits to a strip club, revealed by a local television station that obtained records of his divorce proceeding, are private matters.The Rocky Mountain News and KUSA TV reported Saturday that in the statement Nottingham, Colorado's chief district court judge, said the visits were "private and personal matters involving human frailties and foibles."He declined to elaborate.The visits to the strip club were first reported by KUSA TV, which said it had obtained copies of transcripts of Nottingham's divorce proceedings.The station reported that Nottingham spent $3,000 at the Diamond Cabaret, a topless club. The divorce proceedings were filed in Eagle County, and have been sealed.Nottingham, who recently presided over the trial of former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio, also said the issues had became public because of "protracted, bitter divorce proceedings."The statement said the 59-year-old Nottingham "has attempted to deal with the issues privately, and he will continue to do so."KUSA said the transcripts revealed that Nottingham, in the proceedings of his divorce from Marcie Jaeger, said he was "ashamed and mortified" to admit spending the money in the club and couldn't remember details of the visits because he had been drinking. The transcript also said Nottingham had paid $150 to use an Internet dating site, Ipayfriendfinder.com.Jaeger did not return a call seeking comment. But she told The Denver Post she learned of the dating service calls when she mistakenly opened a bill, and immediately confronted her husband in his chambers. "When I asked about the dating service, he turned around in his chambers, and he hit his computer and he told me all about the dating service; it was a porn site."The manager of the Diamond Cabaret said prostitutes are not allowed to do business there, and that a $3,000 bill is not high. Manager Justin Fankell said one client ran up a bill of $36,000 in the club, which charges as much as $185 a glass for rare cognac. Fankell said the judge had visited the club on other occasions.Nottingham's phone number is unlisted, and a call to his chambers Saturday was not returned.Federal judges serve for life, and only may be removed for treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Nottingham was appointed 17 years ago by former President George W. Bush.
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