In the wake of several prominent sex scandals in 2011 (IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn accused of sexual assault; Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s philandering ways highlighted; former California governor and Republican party star Arnold Schwarzenegger found to have fathered a child out of wedlock and accused of numerous affairs and groping; House Representative Anthony Weiner’s Twitter titillations; married congressman and family values advocate Chris Lee found to be soliciting sexual relationships with transsexuals on Craigslist; and abstinence-only advocate and congressman Mark Souder found to be carrying on an extramarital affair with a staffer), there have been a number of articles published explaining that women politicians aren’t involved in sex scandals nearly to the extent that male politicians are. Well, OK, that is true (though most of the affairs were with women, so we can’t say that women aren’t involved in scandals, just that they’re not politicians while doing so). However, women politicians sometimes do have sex scandals. I had to search high and low across decades, and extend the search internationally, to find these examples (in contrast to the guys, for whom there were an abundance of examples from the past 6 months alone), but here are the top five!
5. Nikki Haley: Haley is currently the governor of South Carolina, the same state that brought us Governor Mark “hiking the Appalachian Trail” Sanford. She was accused of two extramarital affairs in the past several years.
4. Edwina Currie: a British MP, the married Currie had a four year long affair with married future British Prime Minister John Major in the 1980s.
3. Cheryl Kernot: Australian Member of Parliament who had an affair with a politician from a rival party. Then, like Pussy Galore after a night with James Bond, she switched sides to join her lover’s party.
2. Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth: One of the voices criticizing Bill Clinton in the Lewinski Scandal; turns out she herself had an extramarital affair with Vernon Ravenscroft (one of several lovers, it is rumored).
1. Iris Robinson: Northern Ireland politician Iris Robinson (who is also married to Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson) engaged in an extramarital affair with a teenaged son of a male friend of hers. Robinson was 40 years older than him. The affair began shortly after the boy’s father (who, it is rumored, was Robinson’s lover) died, asking Robinson to look after him when he was gone. Robinson obtained financing for the boy’s cafe, taking kickbacks, then demanded the funding back after the kid dumped her.