Women over the years have sometimes been the major cause of, and definitely have been an important factor in, some very famous political scandals. There is not a single corner of the world that has not been affected by political scandals that have involved women; they have sometimes had very dramatic and drastic effects on everyday political affairs. Everyone in the world will know at least one of these 8 political scandals involving women.
1. The Profumo Affair
One of the most famous political scandals involving a woman is the 1963 British Profumo affair. The affair is named after John Profumo, who was the Secretary of State for war at the time. John Profumo was married to an actress named Valerie Hobson.
Profumo met a London call girl named Christine Keeler and began having an extramarital affair with her, but it only lasted a week. In 1962, the affair leaked out into the national newspapers and it was found out that Keeler had also had an affair with a Soviet spy called Yevgeny Ivanov.
Due to other affairs that involved Keeler that had gone wrong, she was threatened and asked to go to court, but when she didn’t turn up Profumo was blamed. On 5th June 1963 Profumo confessed all to the House of Commons, stood down as an MP, and took most of the Cabinet with him, creating one of the most infamous British political scandals involving a woman.
2. The Lewinsky Scandal
US President Bill Clinton had an affair with his 22 year old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. In 1998, during a 21 day Senate trial Clinton had to describe everything that had happened during the affair. There were 9 sexual encounters reported by Lewinsky from 1995 to 1997, ranging from inside the White House to the hallway of the Oval Office. Clinton only denied one of these claims.
Clinton’s wife, Hillary was in the same building when some of the sexual interactions were taking place; she was in the next room on one occasion. These events really ruined Bill’s reputation and Presidency.
3. Jacquie Smith and the Adult Movie Scandal
A high-standing British MP, Jacquie Smith was investigated for Parliamentary expense fraud in 2009. She reportedly claimed £116,000 for a house that her sister owned, which was against expenses rules. It is also reported that Smith’s husband had claimed back the cost of 2 adult movies on his wife’s expenses bill. Smith denied this.
The expenses scandal ended in the eventual standing down from being an MP of Jacquie Smith. It ended her career and became one of more unusual British political scandals involving women.
4. Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick Island
In 1969 the US Senator Edward M. Kennedy drove his car off the banks on a Massachusetts Island called Chappaquiddick. In doing this his killed his fellow passenger, a woman named Mary-Jo Kopechne. Post-mortem tests were carried out on Kopechne’s body and showed she was drugged and unconscious before the car plunged into the water. As Kennedy’s wife was ill at home, it is reported that he killed Kopechne as a result of a failed affair. The Kennedys have more than their fair share of political scandals involving women.
5. Berlusconi and His Women
The 74 year-old Prime-Minister of Italy is notoriously famous for his sexual relations with a string of many different women. Berlusconi has reportedly had sexual affairs with at least 10 prostitutes, 5 business women, 1 opposition party leader, and many others. The most famous of Berlusconi’s relations is quite recent in which a very young prostitute was on trial for a crime, but as she had reportedly had sexual relations with Berlusconi, he paid for her to walk free with no charge.
Berlusconi’s political reputation has somehow remained unscathed despite all of the sexual and fraud claims against him – it would seem that Italians savor political scandals involving women.
6. John Major and Edwina Currie
Two high-standing MP’s in Margaret Thatcher’s Government, John Major and Edwina Currie were having an affair, but it was unknown until Currie released her memoirs. The ‘Currie’s Diaries’ revealed a 4 year affair between 1984 and 1988. The affair was unknown before this and it was stated that the clandestine meetings stopped because of Major’s promotion to Prime Minister of Great Britain and the abundance of bodyguards that had to be avoided.
The affair has haunted both of the former politicians since the story came out.
7. Gary Hart and Donna Rice
A front-runner for the Democratic Presidential candidacy, Gary Hart decided not to stand in 1988 because of an affair that he had been having with a woman called Donna Rice.
Rice was seen coming out of Hart’s Washington D.C. home just before the Presidential elections were called. The major Republican US newspapers jumped at the chance to ruin a Democrat’s career. Hart stood down from mainstream politics after the affair and went back to his law career.
8. Queen Victoria and John Brown
The most famous and most powerful Queen of the British Empire was reported to have had relations with her favorite servant. After Prince Albert’s death, Queen Victoria began to treat John Brown differently to her other staff. She gave him medals, fed him better food, and allowed him to sleep in an adjoining room to hers, which was not actually allowed and very frowned upon.
To this day, the truth about these relations is still not actually known but this is definitely one of the most important political scandals involving a woman of all times – made even more so because Victoria was known for being prim and straight-laced.
It is said that behind every good man there’s a good woman. It seems that in these political scandals involving women, the ladies in question have been behind, under and on top! These scandals are possibly but a drop in an ocean of naughty goings-on in the corridors of power. Can you think of any more famous ones?
Top Photo Credit: LinkMachineGo