I See London, I See France, I See Europe's Sex Scandals

PHOTO: French President Francois Hollande speaks during a news conference at Elysee Palace, June 1, 2012 in Paris, France.Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande speaks during a news conference at Elysee Palace, June 1, 2012 in Paris, France.

The Justice Department has dropped its remaining charges against John Edwards after a jury deadlocked on most counts and acquitted the former senator and presidential candidate on two.

Edwards won't go to jail. But his political career is over. Same for Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner. The list goes on. It's a different story in Europe, particularly France, where every recent leader and candidate seems to have some public infidelity in their past.

Ooh la la.

But as dramatic and racy as the topic of sex scandals is in the U.S., it certainly doesn't seem the case everywhere. Political sex scandals have become a norm in France as they swept through recent French administrations. In 2010, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy found himself in a cyber sex scandal when Internet rumors claimed that he and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy were both having affairs.

This series of infidelities, however, was not to be outdone by his hopeful successor and International Monetary Fund chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

In an exclusive broadcast interview with ABC News, a hotel maid broke her silence about the presidential hopefuls alleged attempt at sexually assaulting her in a New York City hotel. After a three-month criminal investigation, however, Strauss-Kahn's charges were dropped at the request of the prosecutors because of credibility issues. The accusing maid, Nafissatou Diallo's claims became incredible because of a series of lies she has told, including a previous false rape claim.

Less than two weeks after Strauss-Kahn's rape charge, Sarkozy was thrown back into the fire when Georges Tron, the public works minister of Sarkozy's own political party, was accused of indecently assaulting two female workers.

The drama in France, however, did not stop at Sarkozy's administration. Just weeks in to his new job as French president, Francois Hollande faced a politically-charged cat fight between his girlfriend, journalist Valerie Trierwiler, and his former partner and mother of his four children, Segolene Royal. Trierwiler tweeted her support for Royal's opponent in a regional election, going against her partner Hollande's public support for Royal.

France is not the only international hub to host presidential sex scandals. In 2009, Fernando Lugo, Paraguayan president and Roman Catholic bishop, confessed to fathering a child out of wedlock. The affair began when the child's mother was just 16 years old.

Lugo took responsibility for the unexpected pregnancy in a public statement saying, "Before my people, before my conscience, and as a show of respect to everyone who has trusted me, I express with the utmost honesty, transparency and sense of duty that the relationship with Viviana Carrillo took place. I take on all the responsibility, admitting fatherhood to the child."

According to Mabel Rehnfeldt of the newspaper ABC in the capital, AsunciĆ³n, the scandal will not severely harm Lugo's presidency. Most Paraguayans feel that in the 21st century, sexual scandals are a "private affair." A common sentiment among the people is that the scandal presented Lugo as "a man simply demonstrating he's a man."

A similar story surfaced last year when former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, was charged with paying for sex with a 17-year-old Moroccan belly dancer and using his political power to cover up his actions.

Berlusconi also reportedly hosted orgies, called "bunga bunga." Though Berlusconi denied these accusations, he jokingly claimed that, "I'm 74 years old and even though I may be a bit of a rascal, 33 girls in two months seems to me too much even for a 30-year-old."