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Celebrity cheaters and their big divorces

Political philanderers pay the price
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Political philanderers pay the price

The celebrity cheater: Political Lotharios.

The other woman: Multiple.

What was gained: Presumably, a brief respite from maintaining a public countenance acceptable to their constituents.

What it cost: Let's start with presidential timber.

Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo., threw away his 1988 presidential bid when news photographers caught him canoodling with 29-year-old model Donna Rice aboard the aptly named yacht, "Monkey Business." Cost: $200,000 presidential salary, $50,000 expense account and his political career.

Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., shattered his Oval Office dreams by having an extramarital affair and child with campaign videographer Rielle Hunter. Cost: $400,000 presidential salary, $50,000 expense account, $2.2 million reimbursement for misusing federal campaign matching funds, his $140,000 senate salary, his marriage and his political career.

And the governors? Who could forget South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's trips up the Appalachian Trail with his Argentine gal pal Maria Chapur? Cost: His marriage and presidential aspirations. Or New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, whose 15 months in office and political career ended abruptly in a prostitution scandal. Cost: $179,000 governor salary.

Other politicians recently felled by philandering include Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-Fla.; Rep. Christopher Lee, R-N.Y.; and Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y.


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