SCANDAL! The Top Sex Scandals Of The Last 25 Years

It seems that at one point or another, most people in the public eye will have an affair or appear in a sex tape. Athletes, actors, musicians, politicians, teachers—no one is immune to the power of sex, and the media can’t get enough of a good bit of naughty gossip. It seems that sex scandals are no longer as shocking as they once were, and some celebrities even intentionally leak their erotic videos, perhaps hoping it’ll boost their appeal. Whether proud of their dirty laundry being aired or indignant that their private dalliances became public news, those in the spotlight have a hard time escaping the attention their actions bring.

And then there are those who appear poised to begin a new career. Take one of the more recent "scandals" surrounding "Teen Mom" star Farrah Abraham, who released a sex tape with porn star James Deen. According to a blog post on Adam & Eve, the former reality TV star insists that she made the tape "to document her fabulous body at its peak" and "embrace her sexuality." As the writer notes in the headline, however, perhaps Abraham is actually just a reluctant porn star in the making. This, in addition to the professional look of the video, kept Abraham off this list.

Now let's get down to business: Here’s a look at ten sex scandals that have happened since the start of the '90s. 

1. Pamela Anderson (1995)

In 1995, a honeymoon sex tape that the Baywatch babe had made with her then-husband and Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee was reportedly stolen from their home and then, of course, leaked online. Raw, intense, kinky, the video pleased a lot of people—except Pam. She sued three years later and won over a million dollars in damages for the sex tape that set the precedent for all other celebrities.

2. Mary Kay Letourneau (1997)

High school is a place flooded with hormones and teenage attraction, though usually the classroom flirtations occur between students and not a student and his teacher. Despite the statutory rape charges and serious jail time educators could face if caught romancing their students, a shocking number of sex scandals involve teachers. In 1997, Mary Kay Letourneau, a middle school teacher, was arrested for having sex with her student. It was 12-year-old Vili Fualaau, who was in her sixth grade class and had also been in her second grade class when she taught at  Shorewood Elementary School. The public was outraged. Mary Kay was married and had four children at home, but that didn’t seem to deter her.

Mary Kay was sentenced to six months in jail, though she was pregnant with Vili’s child at the time. After serving her time, Mary Kay and Vili were caught having sex in her car, a tryst that impregnated her with Vili’s second child. She was arrested and sentenced again, this time with seven and a half years. In 2005, Mary Kay and Vili, then 21, married.  

3. Bill Clinton (1998)

Thanks to former U.S. president Bill Clinton’s sex scandal with 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky during his term, the phrase “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” is one of the most quoted phrases ever uttered by a president. Despite Clinton’s insistence that he and Monica Lewinsky did not have an affair, her infamous semen-stained blue dress that was turned over during the trial said otherwise. The scandal, and his perjury, eventually led to Clinton’s impeachment that year.

4. Kobe Bryant (2003)

In 2003, basketball great Kobe Bryant was tried for sexually assaulting a Colorado woman. Though he was acquitted of all charges, his wife, Vanessa Bryant, was convinced that this wasn’t the first time Kobe had cheated. Days after the rape charge was brought against him, Kobe reportedly bought the then-Mrs. Bryant a $4M dollar ring to let her know just how sorry he was. Dubbed the “apology ring,” “adultery ring,” and later “the Kobe special” by Tiger Woods, let all those who participate in affairs know that eight carats is what it takes to get back on your wife’s good side.

5. Jude Law (2005)

Jude Law’s British accent and boyish good looks make him one of the most charming actors in Hollywood. Apparently his children’s nanny thought so too. In 2005, every tabloid and magazine cover was splashed with the news of Jude’s affair with Daisy Wright, who gave a tell-all interview in which she said that Jude “is a great lover.” Jude tried apologizing and reconciling with his then fiancée Sienna, but it was over for good.

6. Kim Kardsahian (2007)

Kardashian has become a household name over the past decade. With numerous seasons of reality shows, a chain of fashion boutiques, and an infamous track record with famous men, the Kardsahian sisters have become A-list celebrities, especially Kim. But as a blog post by Adam & Eve points out, “did many of us really know who Kim Kardashian really was before her tape came out?” In 2007, Kim made a sex tape with then-boyfriend and musical artist Ray-J, which promptly hit the Internet and went viral. The video was intentionally made, of course, but it’s been rumored that the leak was purposeful as well, a publicity maneuver to boost both Ray-J’s and Kim’s careers. Regardless of the truth, Kim’s star has been rising ever since.

7. David Letterman (2009)

The philandering ways of the much-loved late night talk show host were outed just six months after he married longtime girlfriend Regina Lasko. As noted on Radar, he admitted on the air, “I have had sex with women who work for me on this show,” after which the media frenzy started. Despite David’s affairs, he and his wife are still married and have a son together.

8. Tiger Woods (2009)

Athletes are well-known for having hot girlfriends and wives, so it’s no surprise they’d have hot mistresses, too. What is shocking is when the athlete with the attractive bedmate in question is a golfer, a sport usually seen as reserved and polite. In 2009, Tiger Woods confirmed the rumors that he had cheated on his wife, Elin Nordegren, with nightclub manager, Rachel Uchitel, as well as dozens of other women who came forward to say they had also had flings with Tiger. His golf career took a major hit after he came clean—as did his marriage which ended in divorce less than a year later.

9. Anthony Weiner (2011)

It seems politicians have a knack for sticking their feet in their mouths on a pretty regular basis over hot-button issues or during debates, and also when it comes to their women on the side. In the case of U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, it happened to be six women on the side. In 2011, Weiner sent an explicit photo of himself via his public Twitter account to a woman following him on the social media site. Soon after, Weiner came clean about his dirty photo and admitted to sexting numerous women over the past three years.

10. Arnold Schwarzenegger (2011)

Actor and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has the disadvantage of being grouped with not one, but two categories of commonly cheating celebrities—movie stars and politicians. Given these terrible odds, it should have come as no surprise when Arnold admitted to having an affair and fathering an illegitimate child with his housekeeper Mildred Baena. It was also no surprise when Maria Shriver, Arnold’s wife of 25 years, told him hasta la vista, baby.

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