Laurie was a call girl and law student that Sam Seaborn initially slept with, unaware of her profession, and later befriended.
Sam was in a bar with a reporter (opening scene, Pilot) when an unidentified woman began flirting with him determinedly. The two of them spent the night together, and the next morning, during a hurried departure, his beeper accidentally got switched with hers. As a result of this, Sam discovered that Laurie was, in fact, a call girl, but since he also knew she was putting herself through law school, and because he liked her personally, Sam wanted and decided to stay in contact. This caused headaches for White House senior staff which essentially ran the length of the first season.
When Vasily Konanov turned up in the White House's driveway, drunk and demanding to see the President, Josh suspected he had either a female attaché or a hooker in the car with him. When Sam heard this, he thought it may have been Laurie, before Josh reassured him that is was no-one he knew. (The Lame Duck Congress)
The issue of their friendship doesn't appear to have been significantly raked up again when Sam ran for office, although that may well have been because he was not a serious threat to his opponent.
Behind the scenes
- In an episode of House in which Lisa Edelstein played Dean of Medicine Lisa Cuddy, Dr. Wilson tells House that he had started dating a prostitute who was using the money she got from being a prostitute to pay for her education, a reference to Laurie.
- The events of Sam meeting Laurie and subsequent scandal parallel an event in Rob Lowe's own life, the actor that played Sam Seaborn. In 1988, a sex tape was released where Rob Lowe had sex with two women, one of whom was underage. Rob Lowe stated that he was unaware of the woman being underage and had met her in a bar that the woman had lied about her age to get in to.