5 Historic Sex Scandals That Put Bill Clinton to Shame
We can't go a week these days without hearing about some celebrity or political sex scandal. It is so common that from 2010 to 2011, there were twice as many sex scandals as there were from 1776 to 1889.
But the difference may just be the extent of media coverage. After all, people have been sticking their bits in ill-advised places since the beginning of time, and history has its share of scandals where the details of the stories are actually quite a bit weirder. As for whether the stories are actually true is often lost to history ...
A Senator Was Accused of Banging Gay Nazi Spies
Remember When ...
... Republican Senator Larry Craig was accused of soliciting gay sex in public restrooms? How many old-timers shook their head at the news of that story and said, "What is the world coming to when our respected senators go cruising in public places for anonymous dude sex? You never saw this kind of thing back in MY day!"
"Back in our our day, gay men just met at the beach and hugged."
Well, Back in the 1940s ...
... The New York Post ruined the career of Senator David Walsh with the story that he was involved in a gay Nazi whorehouse full of gay, Nazi, pro-Hitler whores trying to bring down America with their gay Nazi whore sex.
It was 1942, and police were tipped off that there was a gay brothel in Massachusetts that was infested with Nazi spies. It wasn't entirely random -- at the risk of propagating a cliche, the brothel was a popular haunt for Navy personnel. So it was a good place to gather military information, if you were an undercover Nazi and willing to bone a sailor in order to get him talking.
"You've got me so hot even my nipples are sieg heiling!"
But after city detectives raided the sex club/spy nest, news emerged from somewhere that a U.S. senator had been caught in the sting. Armed with what might very well have been a rumor, the Post handled this insanely juicy gossip with the utmost of professionalism: They sensationalized the shit out of it and stretched out the reveal as long as they could.
The Post first released the story as just the scandal, then dragged out the affair by hinting that a famous person was involved, then called that person "Senator X" and then finally published Walsh's name.
Yes, he is wearing a swastika armband. And no, it isn't around his arm.
When Walsh was accused of having gay sex with Nazis, the first thing he did was deny it. He then requested a full FBI investigation to prove his innocence. The investigation was conducted, and sure enough, they couldn't find anything to pin on him except that the brothel owner, Gustave Beekman, swore he saw Walsh fraternizing with the Nazi gigolos, including a notorious spy known as "Mister E." Seriously.
Although Walsh was exonerated, his career was crippled -- it's speculated that elements of the government who desperately wanted the USA to enter the war were engaged in smearing politicians with isolationist policies, like Walsh. It turns out that, if you really want to make your slander stick fast, the only two words you need are "gay Nazis."
"Good thing they didn't measure my boner, or I would've been charged with a war crime."
A Famous Comedian Was Accused of Crushing His Lover to Death
Remember When ...
... Hugh Grant got caught with that not-exactly-high-class prostitute? And how he had to go on a months-long apology tour to get America to forgive him and let him be in movies again? Damn the modern loose morals of Hollywood!
Well, Back in the 1920s ...
... an overweight actor was accused of crushing a woman to death while having sex with her.
This was fat for the '20s. Today he'd qualify as an Olympic sprinter.
Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle was famous for being a beloved silent film actor and establishing the Hollywood trend of fat actors being typecast as "the fat guy." But although everyone loved his fat-guy antics when he was on screen, it didn't stop them from jumping to the conclusion that he killed a woman by sitting on her.
Following the signing of an unheard of three-year $1 million contract with Paramount, Fatty and a group of his friends celebrated like anyone would -- by getting trashed. The party looked like it was going very well for Fatty when he hooked up with 30-year-old Virginia Rappe, restoring hope for fat lonely guys everywhere. But the night ended in tragedy -- though only Fatty and Rappe know what happened that evening, Rappe died four days later of a ruptured bladder.
She's the hottie on the right. Which doesn't matter because he pounded that dog, too.
The thing is, Rappe did suffer from a bladder condition that could explain the tragedy. The public response? "Look at him! He must have crushed her to death!" Fatty was charged with first-degree murder -- literally murder by squashing.
Lawyer Earl Rogers speculated that the very thing that made people love Arbuckle -- his weight -- would be the thing that would make them view him as a monster and ruin his defense. To make things worse, William Randolph Hearst, the face of yellow journalism, was ecstatic about the scandal and boasted that this story sold more papers than the sinking of the Lusitania.
Fortunately for Fatty, the prosecution's case against him also had more holes than the Lusitania. The big one was that the prosecution's main witness, Bambina Maude Delmont, was a convicted felon and someone who admitted to wanting to extort money from Fatty.
Funny, we figured the devil would be more ... mustachey.
After two hung juries, the third jury found Fatty innocent of the rape and murder charges and even issued an apology. Unfortunately, the apology wasn't able to cover his legal fees or give him a new job after he was blacklisted from Hollywood.
Grover Cleveland (May Have) Fathered a Child Out of Wedlock, Then Had the Mother Institutionalized
Remember When ...
... Herman Cain was forced out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination because he had allegedly sexually harassed women he had worked with? The really damning part was that they had reportedly been paid off to make the scandal go away. Damn it, where are the politicians who know how to keep it in their pants?
Hands down, buddy.
Well, Back in the 1880s ...
... a soon-to-be president is alleged to have taken his secret relationship, and the coverup, much, much further than that.
Grover Cleveland holds the distinction of being the only man to be elected president on two separate occasions, sport an awesome mustache and still manage to be a spectacularly dull person. While Cleveland managed to have a forgettable presidency, he was able to avoid complete anonymity by having a despicable sex scandal.
This was before he married a teacher from Hogwarts.
It all started when Cleveland began a relationship with Maria Halpin, who was by all accounts a bit of a town bicycle. When she found out she was pregnant, there was some dispute over who the father was, but she pinned it on Cleveland, as he was the only one of the possibilities who was also a potential president of the United States.
Halpin gave birth to a child, which she named Oscar Folsom Cleveland, after Oscar Folsom (Cleveland's best friend and another potential baby daddy), presumably just to cover all her bases. Although Cleveland wasn't convinced that the child was his, he decided not to dispute the claim because to deny it meant, by implication, accusing his married friends of infidelity. As the only bachelor in the group, he took one for the team.
Cheating men everywhere celebrated his sacrifice by putting him on the thousand-dollar bill.
That sounds like a mighty gracious thing for Cleveland to do. And it was, except for the part where he had Halpin thrown into a mental institution and his maybe-son put in an orphanage.
It's unclear how much of what we know about Maria Halpin is accurate and how much is a smear campaign designed to help Cleveland save face, but even if she was every bit the harpy that history says she was, turning the life of both her and the child into a Dickens novel seems a bit harsh, considering Cleveland wasn't exactly impoverished.
The scandal, well known at the time, could have ruined Cleveland's bid for the presidency, if not for the fact that his opponent, James Blaine, turned out to have worse skeletons in his closet (not involving sex -- it was a scandal involving railroad money). So instead of slipping quietly off the political map, Cleveland was elected president, and then took a break and got himself elected again later just to show that he could.
And then started a whole new family, presumably just to rub it in.
Ingrid Bergman's Sex Scandal Draws Fire from the U.S. Government
Remember When ...
... every single magazine at the checkout stand of the grocery store had a picture of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, because it was rumored Pitt was banging Jolie on the set of a movie while he was still married to Jennifer Aniston? Isn't it silly how obsessed we get with this celebrity relationship bullshit?
Well, Back in the 1940s ...
... a similar scandal caused the U.S. Senate to actually go on record denouncing the affair.
They were all like, "We'll have NUN of that!" And then they cried, because jokes kind of sucked in the '40s.
Back in those days, Humphrey Bogart's Casablanca costar Ingrid Bergman found herself as typecast as Zooey Deschanel is today. Hollywood sold her as a pure, untouchable virgin, and she pulled it off, spending her whole career playing roles like nuns and Joan of Arc. America loved her so much that, when she broke the illusion by boning a sleazy director, the entire nation flipped their shit.
Said director was Roberto Rossellini, a notorious womanizer who cast her in one of his films and reportedly bet a friend that he could bed her in two weeks. Nine months later, her fans raised their eyebrows when Bergman gave birth to a baby with the suspiciously Italian name Renato Roberto Giusto Giuseppe Rossellini, which was peculiar considering her husband's name was Lingstrom and he was Swedish.
Oh, Ingrid, no. He wore a beret, for Christ's sake.
So people were momentarily saddened, but quickly moved on with their lives, right? Hell no.
Ed Sullivan, the Jay Leno of the era, refused to have her on his show. People freaking picketed Bergman's films, and Hollywood moralists like gossip columnist Louella Parsons publicly condemned her.
Even more bizarrely, Senator Edwin Johnson took control of the entire Senate floor just to deliver a speech that condemned Bergman and called her things like "a powerful influence for evil."
That's a bullet-ridden bust of Hitler's head. That's not a joke. The man knew his evil.
John F. Kennedy's Affair Entangles the Mafia
Remember When ...
... Bill Clinton was impeached over an affair he had with an intern? One who impressed him with her ability to light and smoke a cigar using only her vagina? We think we're remembering that right ...
Here's a closeup of her vagina for reference.
Well, Back in the 1960s ...
Unlike most presidential sex scandals, JFK's many affairs didn't really harm his image. Even his wife seemed not to mind where Kennedy was hiding the presidential rod. So how far did JFK have to go to wind up on this list? According to one of his lovers, Judith Exner, Kennedy had her delivering messages to the Mafia for him for over a year.
Exner was a L.A. socialite first involved with Frank Sinatra before he introduced her to Kennedy, who was then running for the Democratic presidential nomination. As with most women who managed to maintain eye contact with Kennedy for over a minute, they wound up screwing like barnyard animals.
As with most pictures of smiling women during the '60s, JFK's penis is immediately out of frame.
Shortly after, Sinatra introduced Exner to another one of his friends, Sam Flood. What Exner was not aware of at the time was that Sam Flood was actually Sam Giancana, the big time Chicago mob boss. Kennedy seemed to know, however, because after he got into the White House, Exner spent 18 months delivering mysterious envelopes back and forth between the Mafia and the president.
Exner never knew exactly what was in the envelopes, but as she would later testify to the CIA, she believed some of them involved a plot between the president and the mob to kill Fidel Castro, one of JFK's favorite yet least productive hobbies. Apparently, the Mafia shared America's hatred of Castro for damages to their profits.
And for smoking a cigar with his face instead of his asshole, like normal people.
After two years of an affair with JFK, months of the FBI trailing her and the general fear one feels when dealing with the mob, Exner's Catholic conscience finally caught up with her, and she knew it was wrong to continue her affair with JFK. What wasn't wrong in her eyes was getting an abortion and immediately sleeping with the mob boss, Giancana.
For more ways we're put to shame by those before us, check out 7 Songs From Your Grandpa's Day That Would Make Eminem Blush and 6 Depraved Sexual Fetishes That Are Older Than You Think.