Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life symbolizes the American dream for many. A former Mr. Universe turned Hollywood icon marries a member of the Kennedy dynasty and rises to the highest office in California as the state’s 38th Governor. Schwarzenegger recently revealed he fathered the child of a longtime household staff member more than a decade ago and that the woman continued to work in the family’s Brentwood home until earlier this year.
With his 25-year marriage shattered, his wife, Maria Shriver, moved out of their house and into a Beverly Hills hotel. Despite his numerous accomplishments, Schwarzenegger may be best remembered as yet another philandering politician. His behavior puts him in a class of high-profile prominent men who have been mired in sex scandals.
Currently, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn sits under suicide watch in a New York facility, on charges of sexual assault of a hotel employee. His political future is essentially over as the U.S. issues a call for an immediate replacement.
Who can forget former presidential hopeful John Edwards, who admitted to an extramarital affair while his now late wife battled terminal cancer? After repeatedly denying that he fathered a child out of wedlock, Edwards later admitted to the affair and being the child’s father.
What about former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer who resigned amid allegations he was involved with a prostitute. Spitzer now hosts a show on CNN. The list goes on and on: President Bill Clinton, former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, and former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford among others.
While all of these individuals are male and politically connected, sexual indiscretions are not only reserved for men. Take for example, former playboy model Anna Nicole Smith and the men who claimed to be the father of her daughter, Dannielynn. In all, a total of seven men including her former lawyer turned lover Howard K. Stern, Mark Hatten and Frederic Prinz von Anhalt admitted to being sexually involved with the late Smith. Although Stern was listed on the birth certificate, DNA tests later confirmed Larry Birkhead as the father.
Fallout from the personal indiscretions of prominent and political figures is nothing new. For the wives and loved ones betrayed, however, it is the ultimate in deception, inexcusable and devastating.
Janice R. Brenman is a former prosecutor now in private practice with the Los Angeles law firm of Fleming, Greenwald & Associates. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Santa Barbara and went to Southwestern University School of Law. For more information visit Ms. Brenman’s website at www.janicebrenman.com.