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Judge: Hastert victim broke terms of $3.5M hush-money deal

CHICAGO — An Illinois judge has determined a former student who was sexually abused by Dennis Hastert breached an unwritten $3.5 million hush-money deal with the former U.S. House Speaker by telling family members and a friend about it.

But Judge Robert Pilmer declined to enter a judgement in favour of Hastert or the now-adult victim. His ruling this week says decisive questions in the civil case, including any remaining payments, can only be answered at a trial.

Hastert’s victim brought the breach-of-contract lawsuit in 2016 in a bid to force Hastert to pay the unpaid balance of the hush money, nearly $2 million. Hastert’s lawyers say the 2010 deal was void after the plaintiff spoke about the agreement to others.

Hastert pleaded guilty in 2015 to breaking banking laws and was sentenced the 15 months in prison the following year.

Michael Tarm, The Associated Press

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