Washington and Sex -- A Very Long Affair

Washington is known for bills, budgets and bureaucracy -- a decidedly unsexy reputation. But they say power is an aphrodisiac, which might explain why the nation's capital has a long history of riveting sex scandals.

The latest torrid tale rocking the capital is the long client list of "D.C. Madam," Jeane Palfrey, who is facing federal charges for allegedly running a high-priced prostitution service.

ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross, who has seen the list, will have a report on "20/20" on Friday, May 4.

But Washington sex scandals have been around almost as long as Washington.

1797: Alexander Hamilton, first secretary of the treasury, was blackmailed for years over his affair with a married woman, Maria Reynolds. The blackmailer was none other than Reynolds' husband, James. Hamilton eventually revealed his indiscretions with Maria by releasing their love letters. The affair made headlines, but Hamilton's political career survived.

1831: President Andrew Jackson's Secretary of War, John Henry Eaton, was involved in an affair with Margaret "Peggy" O'Neale that became known as The Petticoat Affair. O'Neal was married to a sailor, John B. Timberlake, who committed suicide, allegedly after learning of the affair. O'Neale and Eaton were married shortly after Timberlake's death.

1884: During the 1884 presidential election, Republican candidate James G. Blaine taunted Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland with "Ma, Ma, Where's My Pa? Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha," after it was discovered that Cleveland had fathered a child with a department store clerk before he was married.

1964: Lyndon B. Johnson's chief of staff, Walter Jenkins, was arrested for having sex with a man in the bathroom at the YMCA. A local newspaper reporter working for the Washington Star discovered that Jenkins had been arrested on a similar charge in 1959 after an incident at the same YMCA toilet. Jenkins was married with six children. He was forced to resign.

1974: Rep. Wilbur D. Mills, D-Ark., was found with a burlesque performer when his limo was pulled over for speeding. Mills was in the company of Annabelle Battistella, who worked as a stripper at the Silver Slipper and was billed as "Fanne Fox, The Argentine Firecracker." Mills resigned as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee as a result of the scandal, but he was re-elected to his seat in the House in the 1974 election.

1983: The House Ethics Committee censured two House members for affairs with Congressional pages. Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass., the first openly gay congressman, admitted a 1973 affair with a 17-year-old page. Rep. Daniel Crane, R-Ill., admitted to a 1980 affair with female page, also 17. The age of consent in D.C. was 16 at the time, so the relationships were legal, but the House of Representatives voted to censure both congressmen. Studds continued to serve in Congress until 1997, while Crane was defeated in his next election and returned to private life.

1991: Clarence Thomas, a Supreme Court justice nominee, was accused of sexual harassment by law professor Anita Hill, considerably increasing the viewership of his Senate confirmation hearing. Thomas described the ordeal as "a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks." In the end, the Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Thomas as associate justice of the Supreme Court.

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