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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Top 10 Political sex scandals...!!

sex scandals

Top 10 Political sex scandals

Political sex scandals are about much more than just people getting caught with their pants down. To many, they suggest that these people cannot be trusted. If they lie about having an affair, if they break marriage vows, then how can they be trusted on other issues? In some cases, these scandals are so damaging, they can destroy careers, or even bring down governments. Here are 10 of the most shocking and salacious political sex scandals in history

sex scandals

No.10 - Mark Foley and the senate pages

Mark Foley was a well-respected Republican congressman whose reputation was irreparably damaged in 2006, when news broke that he had been sending explicit messages to young male pages. One was as young as 16, and while there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against him, there was enough sordid detail and innuendo to effectively ruin his career. In some quarters, it is believed that the scandal played a major part in the Republican loss of control in congress later that same year. This is a great example of one scandal causing major damage to a political party.

No.9 - Larry Craig in the airport bathroom

After 28 years in national politics, 18 of which were served in the senate, Larry Craig had a distinguished career. In 2007, this all came crashing down around him when he was arrested for lewd conduct in a Minneapolis airport bathroom. It brought the infamous “wide stance” defense, preceded by a confession that was subsequently withdrawn, as Craig desperately scrambled to regain some credibility. This was not enough to protect him, and his political career was over. For a man with such credibility, it was a shocking moment that destroyed a successful career.

No.8 - Eliot Spitzer and the expensive prostitute

The instant this story broke, Eliot Spitzer was a dead man walking. As a tough-talking New York governor, Spitzer had pledged to crack down on corruption, and had built a reputation as a no-nonsense, holier-than-thou family man. Ironically, it was his decision to allow the use of phone taps in investigations that led to his downfall, as financial irregularities in his accounts were red flagged. This unraveled a story of his frequent dalliances with an escort agency, where he was referred to as “Client 9.” He was called a hypocrite and a liar, and his political career may never be salvaged.

No.7 - Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings

As the third president of the United States and principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson is one of the most brilliant incumbents of the Oval Office. During his first term, a disgruntled office-seeker named James Callender claimed that Jefferson kept a slave named Sally as his concubine, and had several children by her. While Jefferson was by this time a widower, it was nonetheless a massive revelation. Fortunately for Jefferson, he did not live in the age of the 24-hour news cycle and the internet, otherwise this scandal would have been even higher up this list. 

No.6 - Silvio Berlusconi

If one candidate on our list deserves to be likened to Teflon, Berlusconi is it. Despite months of lurid allegations surrounding his private life, he has continued to serve as the Italian prime minister. The catalog of revelations include taped telephone calls allegedly between him and a call girl, claims that dozens of young women were paid to attend parties at his official residence and one girl claims Berlusconi offered her a seat at the European parliament. His wife began divorce proceedings, stating: "I cannot stay with a man who frequents minors.” He has so far managed to laugh it off, merely saying: “I’m no saint.” Thanks for the clarification on that one, Silvio.

No.5 - Gary Hart and Donna Rice

As the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic nomination in the 1987 election, Gary Hart was the rising star of American politics. Despite being dogged by rumors that he was having an extramarital affair, Hart famously challenged the press to follow him around. They did, and a woman was caught leaving his house. A little while later, and a photo of him with the same woman sitting on his lap emerged. A week later Hart dropped out of the race, leaving Michael Dukakis a free run to the nomination, and in so doing changed the course of American politics over the last 20 years.

No.4 - Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky

Although not the biggest scandal on the list, this one is arguably the most infamous. Clinton was a known lover of ladies, but when the story broke, he issued a vehement denial. When the evidence became overwhelming (including, we're sure you remember, Monica Lewinsky's semen-stained blue dress), Clinton confessed, leading to only the second impeachment trial in presidential history. This time, however, the president was acquitted. Although he survived this scandal, made more lurid amid revelations involving a cigar, it tarnished his legacy, and is arguably what he is best remembered for. Clinton felt the full force of global media scrutiny, and it may even have cost Al Gore the subsequent election. But ever the smooth operator, Clinton has redeemed his reputation over the past few years.

No.3 - Moshe Katsav's rape and harrassment trial

This is one of the world’s most sordid political sex scandals, in which the former Israeli premier was forced to step down after numerous female employees accused him of sexual harassment, and one accused him of rape. While Katsav protested his innocence, and suggested that this was an attempt by his opponents to stitch him up, the number of accusations was overwhelming, and he was charged with rape. A plea bargain allowed him to escape jail time, but this is one of the worst scandals of its kind to have been uncovered, anywhere in the world.

No.2 - Jeremy Thorpe

As an Etonian and an Oxford graduate, Thorpe became leader of the British liberal party in 1967, at just 38 years old. Two years later, a man named Norman Scott made claims that they had been lovers, at a time when homosexuality was illegal in the UK. The scandal really emerged in 1974, when Scott claimed a hit man had been hired to kill him. In 1979, Thorpe was tried for conspiracy to murder. He was acquitted, but the damage wrought by the rumor and innuendo of the previous few years destroyed a prodigious political talent, and is unique on our list because of its murderous element. 

No.1 - The Profumo Affair

This scandal was described by the Spectator as “of a different order to all the rest.” When D-Day hero John Profumo met Christine Keeler, they began an affair. She was involved with several men, including a Russian who was believed to be KGB. When the scandal broke, it was the most shocking revelation imaginable. The prime minister resigned the following year, and his party could not recover from the scandal. It also changed the way the media covered political sex scandals, and shattered the illusion of politicians being bastions of integrity. By bringing down an entire government, this is a deserved winner.


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