David Letterman – The gap-toothed comedian wasn’t laughing after CBS News producer Robert Halderman exposed his philandering and tried to extort $2 million from Letterman. The scandal didn’t affect his late-night ratings; in fact, it seemed to do the opposite after Letterman gained sympathy from viewers and, despite his apology, made his infidelities seem like playground buffoonery compared to Halderman’s atrocious extortion attempts.
Bill Clinton – Clinton’s affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky is one of the most controversial sex scandals in American history. Although Clinton swore that he was faithful – “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” – he later ‘fessed up and faced impeachment. If the stain on Clinton’s reputation is analogous to the infamous semen spot on Lewinsky’s blue Gap dress, well, let’s just say they both came out at the cleaner’s. Clinton exited the White House with a 66% approval rate (the highest of any President since World War II) and is now an influential humanitarian and UN envoy.
Kobe Bryant – The superstar baller was accused of sexually assaulting an employee at a luxury spa in 2004. The case was dropped after the plaintiff refused to testify in front of a judge and a settlement was reached outside of court. Back on the basketball court, Bryant sunk a record-breaking 81 points in a single game and led the L.A. Lakers to a win in the 2008-2009 NBA Finals. His wife also benefited from his adultery: Bryant bought her a $4 million, 8-carat diamond ring – a glittery apology we’d happily accept.
Eddie Murphy –Murphy claims that he didn’t pick-up a transvestite prostitute on May 2, 1997 because she offered him a cheap blowie, but because he offered her a ride home. Concerned for the young streetwalker’s safety, the Delirious comedian insisted that she shouldn’t be out at 4 a.m and let her into his car. Perhaps a grossly misinterpreted random act of kindness, the incident’s negative impact was temporary: He and wife Nicole divorced in 2005, but he thrived in the Hollywood spotlight in the Shrek films and Dream Girls.
Woody Allen – Always one for originality, Allen couldn’t even be normal when it came to adultery. He added his own wacky flare to infidelity and had an affair with then-wife Mia Farrow’s adopted step-daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. (She is 35 years his junior.) So what if his son disowned him and the whole world thought he was a certifiable nut job? Allen’s recent cinematic victories are some of his finest and he’s still able to cast Hollywood superstars, such as Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson and Hugh Jackman, to bring his off-kilter stories to life.
Hugh Grant – For some, being a rom-com heartthrob and dating a busty supermodel just ain’t enough. The British actor cheated on then-girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley with Hollywood prostitute Divine Brown in 1995. Grant suffered a small amount of backlash – and an awkward mug shot – and he and Hurley eventually split in 2000, but he’s still making the ladies swoon in classic chick flicks like Bridget Jones’ Diary and Love Actually.
Tiger Woods – Everyone from your great-grandmother to your toddler has heard about the graphic, seemingly endless, minutiae of Woods’ extramarital sexcapades. There was the car crash, the hoards of whores posing for their InTouch photo shoots, the golfer’s tearful public apology, and the sex rehab. His performance – and reception – at The Masters this month might hint at what lies ahead for him, but it’s unlikely that this Tiger is slinking off into obscurity any time soon.
Jon Gosselin – The father of eight cheated on his spiky-haired wife, Kate, with Hailey Glassman in 2009. Gosselin didn’t have much going for him in the first place, but his relations with Glassman sent him straight into the gutter: His name was dropped from the family’s TLC reality show, Jon & Kate Plus 8, he and his wife divorced, and the affair with his mistress was short. So, apparently, is Jonny Boy’s manhood – last month, an embittered Glassman allegedly posted a pic of Gosselin’s mini pecker on Twitter.
Kwame Kilpatrick – His stint as Detroit’s mayor was rife with corruption, so it’s no surprise that he was an unfaithful husband. In 2002, during a supposed party at the mayoral Manoogian Mansion, Kilpatrick’s wife caught him getting down and dirty with Tamara “Strawberry” Greene, a local exotic dancer. Greene was fatally shot in 2003 and speculation quickly circulated that an officer from the Detroit Police Department killed Greene after she said she’d only keep mum about the Manoogian bash in exchange for cash. Kilpatrick faced further scandal when illicit text messages between him and his chief of staff, Christine Beatty, were published, proving that both had lied under oath about having an affair.
Eliot Spitzer – Once known as “Mr. Clean” because of his upright morals, Spitzer was busted for paying for sex with a prostitute from the escort service Emperors VIP Club in 2008. Once the scandal hit the press, evidence showed that the gee-golly Spitzer had a total of six or seven liaisons with call girls from the service. Spitzer’s wife of 21 years stood by her man as he apologized for his transgressions, but he eventually had to resign from his position as New York Governor and faced an onslaught of public backlash.
Jesse James – Be honest: Did you even know who this chump was before he married America’s sweetheart, Sandra Bullock? Allegations of the tattooed, motorcycle repairman’s infidelities hit the tabloids just two weeks after his wife won an Academy Award for Best Actress in The Blind Side. So far three women – Michelle “Bombshell” McGee, Brigitte Daguerre, and Melissa Smith – claim to have had adulterous relationships with James. We don’t predict a very fruitful future for the greasy Mr. James, who recently went to rehab for the last fad in celebrity additions: sex.