A history of political sex scandals

Will Rep. Anthony Weiner's career survive? A guide to some of the more notable public embarrassments over the last four decades and how individual politicians weathered the storm:

Date and name

What Happened

Status

1

2011

John Ensign

John Ensign

Nearly two years after acknowledging an affair with a former campaign staffer, Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) resigned amid a Senate ethics probe.

3
2

2011

Chris Lee

Chris Lee

Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.) resigned within hours after it was revealed that he sent a topless photo of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist.

3
3

2010

Eric Massa

Eric Massa

Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) resigned amid allegations he sexually harassed male staffers.

3
4

May 18, 2010

Mark Souder

Mark Souder

Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) resigned after an affair with a staffer came to light.

3
5

June 24, 2009

Mark Sanford

Mark Sanford

After disappearing from his state for nearly a week, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford held a rambling press conference in which he admitted to having an affair with a woman in Argentina. He served out his full term, and couldn't run again because of term limits.

3
6

2008

Eliot Spitzer

Eliot Spitzer

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned after authorities said he spent tens of thousands of dollars to arrange visits with prostitutes.

3
7

2007

Larry Craig

Larry Craig

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested for lewd conduct in the men's restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. He finished his term but did not run again.

3
8

2007

David Vitter

David Vitter

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) acknowledged that his Washington phone number was among those called by an escort service. He was reelected to a second Senate term in 2010.

1
9

2006

Mark Foley

Mark Foley

Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) resigned after reports surfaced that he sent lurid messages to teenage male congressional pages.

3
10

August 2004

James E. McGreevey

James E. McGreevey

New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey (D) resigned, announcing that he had an extramarital affair with a man.

3
11

July 2004

Jack Ryan

Jack Ryan

Republican Jack Ryan dropped out of the Illinois Senate race after his wife, Jeri Lynn Ryan of Star Trek fame, filed divorce papers alleging he had taken her to "bizarre clubs" and asked her to have sex in front of other people. Ryan's Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, easily won the Illinois seat.

3
12

2001

Gary Condit

Gary Condit

Rep. Gary Condit's affair with intern Chandra Levy was exposed after the 23-year-old disappeared. The California Democrat, in office since 1989, left Congress in 2003 after losing a primary election to a former aide.

3
13

1998

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton

During the 1992 presidential primaries, former TV reporter Gennifer Flowers claimed she had a 12-year affair with candidate Bill Clinton. As president, he was accused of sexually harassing state worker Paula Jones. The Jones investigation ultimately revealed the president's relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

1
14

1995

Bob Packwood

Bob Packwood

Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.) resigned from the Senate following a three-year inquiry into allegations that he sexually harassed female members of his staff.

3
15

1990

Barney Frank

Barney Frank

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was reelected with 66 percent of the vote after allegations that he allowed a male prostitute to do business out of his home.

1
16

1988

Gary Hart

Gary Hart

Gary Hart, once the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, ended his bid following reports of his affairs with Donna Rice and other women.

3
17

1983

Gerry E. Studds and Daniel B. Crane

Gerry E. Studds and Daniel B. Crane

House formally censured Reps. Gerry E. Studds (D-Mass.), left, and Daniel B. Crane (R-Ill.), who admitted sexual relations with House pages.

2
18

1976

Wayne L. Hays

Wayne L. Hays

Rep. Wayne L. Hays (D-Ohio) resigned from Congress amid revelations about a sexual relationship with a clerk in his office. Hays went on to win a seat in the Ohio Legislature.

2
19

1974

Wilbur Mills

Wilbur Mills

Rep. Wilbur Mills (D-Ark.) gave up chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee after being stopped in his car with Anabell Battistella, known as "Fanne Foxe, the Argentine Firecracker." Foxe jumped into the Tidal Basin while Mills was being questioned. Mills did not seek re-election. At right, Mills with Battistella.

3

SOURCE: Staff reports, Associated Press. All photos by the Associated Press.
GRAPHIC: Karen Yourish, Laura Stanton, Kat Downs and Mark S. Luckie - The Washington Post. Published June 7, 2011.