Politicians never cease to amaze us by getting their hands caught in the sexual cookie jar. From Bill Clinton’s cigar to Anthony Weiner’s naked photos, check out RadarOnline.com’s guide to America’s most shocking politician peccadillos.
Bill Clinton: In perhaps the biggest political sex shocker ever, President Clinton indulged in a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Although he declared in Jan. 1998, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” after she produced a semen-stained dress, Clinton had to fess up. According to the Starr Report, they had oral sex and the President also pleasured Lewinsky with a cigar. The House of Representatives voted to impeach him for perjury, but the Senate refused to convict, and Clinton finished his term. He got past the scandal to become a beloved public figure.
Jim McGreevey: In 2004, the New Jersey governor came out of the closet, thus ending his marriage to wife Dina--and his political career. McGreevey resigned, admitted to an affair with another man, Golan Cipel, and said, “My truth is that I am a gay American.”
Anthony Weiner: The married New York Democrat congressman had to resign in 2011 after admitting to sending naked photos and naughty texts to other women online. He tried to make a political comeback in 2013, and admitted his behavior had hurt his wife, Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. But while running for mayor of NY, Weiner was exposed for sending more nude photos of himself to a 22-year-old woman using the pseudonym “Carlos Danger.” He lost the mayoral race.
Gov. Mark Sanford
Mark Sanford: The South Carolina governor told staffers he was “hiking the Appalachian trail” when he disappeared from the state for a week in June 2009, without letting anyone, including his wife, know his whereabouts. But after returning to the U.S. from Argentina, Sanford held a news conference and admitted an affair with his “soul mate,” Argentine journalist Maria Chapur. Sanford completed his term as governor and currently is a U.S Congressman. He recently called off his engagement to Chapur.
John Edwards: In 2007, The National ENQUIRER exclusively reported that the North Carolina senator and 2008 presidential candidate was having an extramarital affair with campaign videographer Rielle Hunter. The seamy details included Edwards allegedly performing oral sex on a pregnant Hunter on a sex tape they shot together. After first denying the affair, Edwards, whose wife Elizabeth later died, finally admitted he was the father of Hunter’s daughter, Quinn, in January 2010.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: The movie star and California Governor’s good image was terminated after news broke in 2011 that he’d not only cheated on his wife Maria Shriver with their housekeeper Mildred Baena—but had secretly fathered a son, Joseph, with the woman. Worse, Baena and Shriver were both pregnant with Schwarzenegger’s sons at the same time! In a precursor to the scandal, in 2003, six women alleged to the LA Times that Schwarzenegger had groped them without their consent. Shriver divorced him after 25 years of marriage in 2011.
Mark Foley: In 2006, news broke that the Republican Florida House rep had been sexting young Congressional male pages—one reportedly as young as 16! The scandal ruined Foley’s career. According to transcripts obtained by ABC, Foley asked one of the pages about masturbation and the size of his manhood in one of the texts, and also wrote, “how my favorite young stud doing….what you wearing…I am as hard as a rock.” Foley later came out of the closet and launched a radio show.
Larry Craig: There were sensational headlines in 2007 when Republican Idaho Senator Craig was arrested for lewd conduct in a Minneapolis airport bathroom. According to police, Craig had tried to solicit sex by tapping his foot in a men’s room stall—but the politico argued that he was innocent and simply had a “wide stance” when doing his business. While denying that he is gay, Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. After finishing his congressional term, he became a lobbyist.
Eliot Spitzer: The married Democratic New York governor purported to be a family man, but he was caught using an escort service due to an FBI investigation into corruption. Spitzer reportedly spent $80,000 total on prostitutes as regular “Client 9” of Emperors Club VIP. According to an FBI affidavit, he paid $4,300 for a two-hour tryst with “Kristen,” later revealed to be call girl Ashley Dupre. In March 2008, Spitzer resigned, and in 2013, he lost the election for New York City Comptroller.
Sen. Gary Hart
Gary Hart: The Colorado senator was the favorite to win the Democratic nomination for president in 1987, but Hart was rumored to be cheating on his wife. After Hart challenged the media to follow him, the Miami Herald caught pretty blonde Donna Rice leaving his house. When The National ENQUIRER published a photo of Rice sitting sexily on Hart’s lap on a yacht called “Monkey Business” in Bimini, he was through. Hart dropped out of the presidential race.
Gary Condit: After Chandra Levy, an intern with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, disappeared in 2001, investigators learned she’d had an affair with California Democratic Congressman Condit. The politician came under suspicion in Levy’s disappearance but was cleared of all involvement after her remains were found in a Washington park. Ingmar Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, was convicted of her murder.
David Vitter: The Republican Senator from Louisiana got caught in the infamous 2007 “D.C. Madam” scandal. Hustler Magazine reported that David Vitter's phone number was discovered in the phone of a madam, Deborah Jean Palfrey. Married Vitter admitted he’d used her services and had “sinned.” While Palfrey wound up committing suicide before being sentenced, Vitter remains a senator and is still married.
Jerry Springer: Before hosting his wild TV talk show, Springer was a Cincinnati councilman forced to resign in 1974 after a check he wrote to a local brothel was uncovered! Surprisingly, Springer fessed up to paying for sex and won his seat back. In 1977, Springer was appointed mayor of Cincinnati by the council. Candid Springer later ran for governor of Ohio and brought up his scandal in a campaign commercial -- but lost.
Barney Frank: In 1990, the House of Representatives formally reprimanded then-congressman Barney Frank after he admitted to paying Steve Gobie – a male escort – for sex. The politician used his personal funds to hire the prostitute as an aide, before discovering that his employee was allegedly running an escort service out of Frank’s apartment.
Mayor James E. West
James E. West: The Republican mayor of Spokane, WA, was outed by the Spokesman Review in 2003. After the newspaper reported that West used a site called Gay.com, he confessed that he had met men through online via his user names Cobra82 and Right-BiGuy on Gay.com. He was voted out of office and later died of cancer.
Gavin Newsom: Handsome San Francisco Mayor Newsom’s sleazy love triangle hit the headlines in 2007. Newsom’s campaign manager Alex Tourk allegedly confronted him about his affair with his wife, Ruby Rippey-Tourk, who worked for the mayor. Ruby reportedly had the affair with Newsom in 2005, while he was getting a divorce from Kimberly Guilfoyle, now star of Fox News’ The Five.
Don Sherwood: Republican Pennsylvania Congressman Sherwood, who served from 1999-2007, suffered a messy scandal in 2004 when his mistress Cynthia Ore locked herself in his bathroom and called 911 to report that he had knocked her around the room and choked her at his Washington apartment. Sherwood admitted to the fling (which started when she was 23 and he was 58) but said he never abused Ore. He lost his 2006 reelection bid.
Gerry Studds: Democrat rep Gerry Studds was censured by the House of Representatives in 1983 for having sex with a 17-year-old male congressional page. Incredibly, voters didn’t seem to mind, and Studds, who came out as gay, stayed in office until he retired in 1997.
Dan Crane: In 1983, it came out that Crane, a married Republican congressman from Chicago, had been having sex with a 17-year-old female page in his Washington, D.C. apartment. Crane admitted it was true, saying, “I'm sorry that I made a mistake…I only hope my wife and children will forgive me.” Voters didn’t forgive; he lost when up for reelection in 1984.
Chuck Robb: The Virginia senator was rocked when former Miss Virginia Tai Collins claimed in the Oct 1991 issue of Playboy that she’d had an affair with him. Collins told People magazine during one of her trysts with the Democrat in a hotel room, they downed champagne and Robb asked for a massage, then stretched out on the bed, face down and naked. Robb declared he’d spent time with Collins, but they never had sex. He was reelected in 1994 and is now retired from politics.
Brock Adams: Eight women accused the Democratic senator for Washington State of sexual misdeeds in 1992, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The worst claim came from Kari Tupper, who said Adams had drugged and fondled her in 1987. Tupper told the paper she woke up groggy and “was lying on my side facing the wall, and he was trying to turn me around to face him, trying to kiss me.” Adams, who staunchly denied the claims, served out his term and then retired. The disgraced politician died in 2004.
Bob Packwood: The Oregon Republican senator had a great image until November 1992, when 10 women alleged in the Washington Post that Packwood had sexually harassed them. The senator denied the allegations until the Senate Ethics Committee subpoenaed his diary. In one of the diary passages, Packwood noted that he’d grabbed a female worker behind the Xerox machine today, and “she got a little pissed. What’s the big deal?...it took me about two hours and a couple of thousand dollars to calm her down.” He also wrote that he had “sinewy arms which are always bulging with desire. I know what she wanted.” Packwood ultimately resigned from the Senate in 1995, and then started a lobbying company.
Bob Bauman: It doesn’t get more scandalous than this: the married Republican representative from Maryland was arrested Oct. 3, 1980, for soliciting sex from a 16-year-old male prostitute he met at a gay bar. Bauman, who was in the midst of a reelection campaign, was bested by Democrat Roy Dyson. The former right wing hero left politics behind, got divorced, and told all about his closeted gay life in his memoir, The Gentleman from Maryland.
Bob Allen: The Republican who served in the Florida State House of Representatives was arrested in a men’s room in 2007 for an alleged lewd suggestion. According to a report by an undercover policeman, Allen stepped into his stall and “engaged me in a conversation in which it was agreed that he would pay me $20.00 in order to perform a ‘blow job’ on me.” Although the married politician maintained his innocence, Allen was convicted, sentenced to six months probation, and fined $250. He resigned from office.
Wilbur D. Mills
Wilbur Mills: In one of the most notorious political sex scandals ever, married Democratic Arkansas congressman Mills shocked America in 1974 when he was caught in a car after having had a fight with his stripper mistress Fanne Foxe. Later, the burlesque queen wrote a memoir, The Stripper And The Congressman, in which she claimed she’d aborted Mills’ baby. Mills was reelected to Congress after the scandal. He died in 1992 while Foxe is believed to still be alive.
Antonio Villaraigosa: In a bizarre scandal for the high-flying mayor of Los Angeles, Villaraigosa admitted in 2007 that he had cheated on his wife with another woman. And the mistress turned out to be NBC-Telemundo anchor Mirthala Salinas, who was 19 years younger than Villaraigosa and had interviewed the mayor for the news station. The mayor got a divorce but his romance with Salinas didn’t last. Villaraigosa then dated another news anchor, Lu Parker, but they split in 2009.
Jon Hinson: Married Republican Congressman Hinson represented Mississippi but during his 1980 reelection campaign, scandal hit. Reports said he’d been arrested in 1976 for exposing himself to an undercover police officer at the Iwo Jima memorial in Washington, DC. Hinson confessed the story was true but insisted he was heterosexual, winning reelection. In 1981, however, he resigned after being arrested for performing oral sex on a man in the restroom of the House of Representatives. Hinson came out as gay and divorced his wife. He died in 1995 of AIDS-related complications.
Vito Fossella: The married Republican congressman of New York was in a heap of trouble after partying in 2008 and getting nabbed for an alleged DWI. He made things worse by calling his girlfriend, Laura Fay, to bail him out of jail. Fossella had to admit their relationship – and that he and Fay had a 3-year-old daughter! The politician finished his term, but didn’t run again.
Jesse Jackson: Although he wasn’t running for office when the 2001 scandal broke, former 1984 and 1988 presidential candidate Jackson was revealed to have had a love child! Karin Stanford said she had a four-year affair with the married civil rights stalwart and he is the father of her daughter. Stanford said she got pregnant even though they used birth control.
Rudy Giuliani: Politico reported when the married Republican was mayor of New York, he billed the costs of his extramarital love trysts with Judith Nathan, his then-girlfriend (now his wife), to obscure city agencies. Giuliani’s wife Donna Hanover also blamed former City Hall communications director Cristyne Lategano for wrecking their marriage.