Rumors began circulating nearly immediately that Hart was having an extramarital affair. In an interview that appeared in the New York Times on May 3, 1987, Hart responded to the rumors by daring the press corps: "Follow me around. I don't care. I'm serious. If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead. They'll be very bored." The Miami Herald had been investigating Hart's rumored womanizing for weeks before the "dare" appeared in the New York Times. Two reporters from the Miami Herald had staked out his residence and observed an attractive young woman coming out of Hart's Washington, D.C., townhouse on the evening of May 2. The Herald published the story on Sunday, May 3, the same day Hart's dare appeared in print, and the scandal spread rapidly through the national media. Hart and his allies attacked the Herald for rushing the story into print, claiming that it had unfairly judged the situation without finding out the true facts. Hart claimed that the reporters had not watched both entrances to his home and could not have seen when the young woman entered and left the building. The Miami Herald reporter had flown to Washington, D.C. on the same flight as the woman, identified as Donna Rice. Hart was dogged with questions regarding his views on marital infidelity. In public, his wife, Lee, supported him, claiming the relationship with the young woman was innocent. A poll of voters in New Hampshire for the New Hampshire Primary showed that Hart's support had dropped in half, from 32% to 17%, placing him suddenly ten points behind Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis.
On May 5, the Herald received a further tip that Hart had spent a night in Bimini on a yacht called the Monkey Business with a woman who was not his wife. The Herald obtained photographs of Hart aboard the Monkey Business with then-29-year-old model Donna Rice, sitting in over-50 year-old Hart's lap. The photographs were subsequently published in the National Enquirer. On May 8, 1987, a week after the Donna Rice story broke, Hart dropped out of the race. At a press conference, he lashed out at the media, saying "I said that I bend, but I don't break, and believe me, I'm not broken." A Gallup Poll found that nearly two-thirds (64%) of the U.S. respondents it surveyed thought the media treatment of Hart was "unfair." A little over half (53%) responded that marital infidelity had little to do with a president's ability to govern.
Not everyone was impressed with Hart's diatribe against the press. Television writer Paul Slansky noted that Hart had tried to deflect blame from himself for his downfall to the media, and that he offered no apology to betrayed supporters who now suddenly had to find other candidates to back.
Having a yacht called "Monkey Business" was pretty much asking for trouble!
I remember reading Mr. Nice by Howard Marks (well known ex-criminal, drug dealer, and once one of the most wanted men in Britain), and the first company that he set up to act as a cover for his real operation, was a company called Hashling. Hash, because that's what he was dealing in, and Ling, because he was using Aer Lingus to fly the stuff from Ireland to Britain. People make things so obvious sometimes!