New York Rep. Anthony Weiner resigned from office in 2011 after sending inappropriate online messages to several women. Campaigning for New York City mayor, Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin held a press conference on July 23, 2013 after new photos and messages emerged, derailing his comeback. Weiner’s continued sexting led to the separation from his wife in 2016 after he sent a photo that appeared to include his young son and a federal investigation was launched into allegations that he messaged a 15-year-old girl.
Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison for illegally structuring bank transactions to cover up payments related to his alleged sexual abuse of young members of a wrestling team he coached decades ago. At left, Hastert leaves Chicago’s Dirksen Federal Courthouse following his arraignment in 2015. Hastert’s attorney said Hastert acknowledges “transgressions” and apologized for them. At right, a yearbook photo shows Hastert when he was a wrestling coach at Yorkville High School, top right, and one of his alleged victims, Steve Reinboldt, lower right.
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New York Rep. Chris Lee resigned from his position hours after Gawker published an e-mail exchange, Feb. 9, 2011, which included a shirtless photo of himself that he purportedly sent to a woman he met on Craigslist although he was married. Lee had reportedly answered the woman’s Craigslist ad by lying that he was a 39-year-old divorced lobbyist.
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Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, pictured with his then-wife, Maria Shriver at his 2007 inauguration, admitted in 2011 that he fathered a child with a member of his household staff. It was later revealed that the family’s longtime housekeeper, Mildred Patricia Baena, had given birth to his son five days after another baby boy, with Shriver, was born.
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Nevada Sen. John Ensign had an affair with Cindy Hampton, the wife of Ensign’s best friend and aide Doug Hampton. Ensign held a press conference in June 2009 where he acknowledged having an extramarital affair. He resigned in 2011. Mr. Hampton pleaded guilty in 2012 to violating the one-year lobbying ban.
Isaac Brekken/AP Photo
Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig announces his intention to resign alongside his wife Suzanne during a news conference in Boise, Sept. 1, 2007. Minneapolis Airport Police arrested Craig on June 11, 2007 for lewd and disorderly conduct as part of a sting operation targeting improper sexual activity in a men's restroom. Craig entered a guilty plea to disorderly conduct Aug. 8, but ultimately served the remainder of his term, leaving office in early January, 2009.
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South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford and Maria Belen Chapur attend a swearing-in in Washington, May 15, 2013. Sanford won a seat in the House after his political career was nearly derailed in 2009 by an extramarital affair with Chapur. Then governor of South Carolina, Sanford went missing for nearly a week in June 2009. When he resurfaced, Sanford admitted to an affair with a “dear, dear friend from Argentina” but said that he had broken it off. He later revealed Chapur was the mistress and they had met in 2001. Sanford divorced in 2010 and announced his engagement to Chapur in 2012.
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Former North Carolina senator and 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards had an extramarital affair with campaign videographer Rielle Hunter, left, which he admitted in Aug. 2008. The two have a daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter. Edwards’ wife Elizabeth was fighting breast cancer during the time Edwards was trying to hide the affair. Edwards at first denied the affair and having a child with Hunter, going as far as asking former aide Andrew Young to claim to be the father of Hunter’s child. Elizabeth reportedly separated from Edwards in January 2010, but died before filing for divorce.
Jim R. Bounds, Gerry Broome/AP Photo
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, right, announces his resignation on March 12, 2008 after the F.B.I. discovered he was a client of a high-class international prostitution ring. Ashley Alexandra Dupre, left, is a former call girl whose tryst with Spitzer forced him to resign. In 2013, Spitzer lost his comeback bid as New York City comptroller in the Democratic primary and after 26 years of marriage, Spitzer and his wife Silda, divorced in 2014.
AP Photo; Robert Sabo/NY Daily News Archive, via Getty Images
Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, and his wife Wendy address a news conference in Metairie, Louisiana, July 16, 2007. Vitter took responsibility for having his telephone number appear in the records of a Washington escort service run by “DC Madam” Deborah Jeane Palfrey. Vitter was able to hold onto his Senate seat however, and ran for governor of Louisiana in 2015 but lost. He announced he would not seek re-election to his Senate seat this year.
Bill Haber/AP Photo
In 2007, House Speaker Newt Gingrich admitted to cheating on his first and second wives, including having an affair while leading the Clinton impeachment proceedings. Gingrich’s first marriage was to his former high school teacher, Jackie Battley, in 1962. Gingrich married his second wife, Marianne Ginther, months after he divorced Battley in 1981. Gingrich divorced Ginther in 2000 and soon married Callista Bisek, who he began an affair with when she was a former congressional aide.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced he was separating from his wife of 20 years, Corina, in June of 2007 and a few weeks later admitted to a relationship with Mirthala Salinas, a reporter for Telemundo. In this photo, Salinas interviews Villaraigosa, May 19, 2005, two days after he won the mayor’s race. Villaraigosa was re-elected in 2009 and in 2016 married Patricia Govea.
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Florida Rep. Mark Foley, left, resigned from Congress on Sept. 29, 2006, in the wake of questions about suggestive emails and sexually explicit instant messages sent to teenage boys who had formerly served or were currently serving as Congressional pages. Right, Tyson Vivyan reportedly claimed Foley sent him sexually suggestive messages after his nine-month stint as a page ended in June 1997. Foley's attorney declined comment on that accusation at the time.
Left, New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, with his wife Dina at his side, holds a press conference on Aug. 12, 2004 in Trenton, New Jersey, where he admitted to being gay and claimed he was having an extramarital affair. At right, Golan Cipel, his former security adviser and the man he later said was his secret lover. McGreevey said Cipel threatened him with a sexual harassment lawsuit, which led McGreevey to announce he was gay and resign the governorship. The scandal made McGreevey the first openly gay governor in U.S. history. Cipel denied the affair and claimed he was sexually harassed.
Louisiana Rep. Bob Livingston acknowledges other members of the House on Dec. 19, 1998, making the argument that President Clinton should resign. Livingston, that night on the House floor, admitted to having extramarital affairs. The next morning, he announced his resignation saying “I must set the example that I hope President Clinton will follow.” Livingston was set to succeed Newt Gingrich as House Speaker.
At left, President Bill Clinton answers questions during his four-hour long grand jury deposition Aug 17, 1998, as part of the impeachment trial over his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The same day of his deposition, Clinton addressed the nation and admitted to having an affair with Lewinsky after months of denying it. Clinton’s deposition video was released and televised a month later. At right, the stained blue dress worn by Monica Lewinsky and submitted as evidence of their affair - perhaps the most famous political scandal of modern time.
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In 1992, Oregon Sen. Bob Packwood apologized after several women, mostly staffers and lobbyists, accused him of sexual abuse and assault during his 24-year career, saying, “My actions were just plain wrong.” Packwood, however, refused to discuss details and said he would not resign. The Senate Ethics Committee then voted unanimously on Sept. 6, 1995 to recommend to expel Packwood from the Senate. Packwood held a news conference that same day saying he would fight the misconduct charges from the U.S. Senate, seen in this photo. Under pressure, Packwood resigned Sept. 8, 1995.
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Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank admitted to a two-year relationship with a male hooker, Steve Gobie, who ran a prostitution service out of Frank's apartment, after the Washington Times reported the affair, during a press conference on Aug. 25, 1989. The scandal nearly undid his career, but the Democratic congressman maintained that he had no knowledge that his home was being used as a brothel and kicked Gobie out once he learned what the escort had been doing there. Gobie admitted to running a prostitution service to various DC news outlets.
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Colorado Sen. Gary Hart was the front-runner in the 1988 Democratic presidential primary until he withdrew over allegations of a romantic affair with model Donna Rice. The Miami Herald was the first to report the alleged affair which he denied, telling a New York Times reporter, to “put a tail on me.” A picture surfaced of him sitting on a dock with Donna Rice on his lap near the yacht aptly named, 'Monkey Business.'
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Gerry E. Studds
Massachusetts Rep. Gerry E. Studds, faces reporters outside the U.S. Capitol, July 20, 1983, after he was censured on the House floor. Studds admitted to an affair with an underage male Congressional page 10 years earlier. Studds was re-elected to the House six more times after the 1983 censure.
Illinois Rep. Dan Crane apologizes for having an affair in 1980 with a 17-year-old female Congressional page during a press conference on July 16, 1983 in Danville, Ill., with his wife Judy and his daughter Heidi.
Hohn Swart/AP Photo
Wilbur D. Mills
Arkansas Rep. Wilbur D. Mills is photographed with Fanne Foxe, an infamous exotic dancer, who became known as "The Washington Tidal Basin Bombshell," after she jumped into the tidal basin to escape police who had pulled over the intoxicated Mills and found Foxe in the car on Oct. 7, 1974. Despite the scandal, Mills was re-elected just a month later in November 1974.