Self, Sex

4 Political Summer Sex Scandals We'll Never Forget

Sarah Palin Ted Kennedy John Edwards Levi Johnston Mark Sanford

While it may seem that summer began with the Gosselin divorce and ended with Michael Jackson's burial, we remember that Memorial Day and Labor Day mark the bookends of traditional summer.

Certainly a lot happened in Celeb Love land in between, and some of the most gobsmacking shockers came from the world of politics—where conflict is all in a day's work. YourTango's Celebrity Editor Kristine Gasbarre (independently registered, for the record) has highlighted the best of the worst for you. As we kiss this summer goodbye, we can thank these politicans' slip-ups for making the summer of 2009 one to remember...

John Edwards kicked it off. What was most jolting about his affiar with campaign worker Rielle Hunter was not a) that he tried to bribe her to keep the sex scandal hush, b) that he got busted in a sex tape, c) that he tried to blame a former aide for framing the affair or d) that he's reportedly moved Rielle and their lovechild closer to him and his family. No, most shocking was that all this took place while Elizabeth Edwards, his loyal wife of over 30 years, battled terminal cancer.

Mark Sanford wrote himself in as Vice President of the Southern Politicians with Mistresses club in late June when he publicly announced his affair with Argentine jounalist Maria Belen Chapur. Sanford had instructed his staff to tell his wife and the press that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail just before the affair broke news when in fact he was in Argentina getting some this-may-be-our-last nookie. After he claimed he'd found his soulmate in Maria, his quintessential politician's wife Jenny told Vanity Fair that she was praying for his mistress' poor judgment and that she wasn't really in love with Mark. We've heard that the two are working on their marriage, but Jenny has said her main concerns are her kids and her duty as First Lady.

Sarah Palin scandal just never gets old. We're swivel-heads over the porn spoof, divorce rumors, and the fact that her grandbaby's daddy Levi Johnston has turned into the official media tattle-tale on the Palins. Click on the node below to see what we just heard he told Vanity Fair about Sarah wanting to adopt Bristol's baby to keep the teenager's pregnancy from damaging her campaign. (Okay, isn't that what they did when girls had babies out of wedlock after World War II? What year is this again?) Levi also spilled that Todd and Sarah often sleep separately and do in fact discuss divorce often. We may learn more from Sarah's book, for which she's being paid a reported eight figures from one of the world's "big three" publishing houses. 

Ted Kennedy left a legacy of turmoil behind closed doors when he passed away in late August. Last week we reported that his memoir, on shelves next week, finally reveals his relationship with Mary Jo Kopechne the woman his 1969 car crash killed. Story is, there was no romacel the two barely knew each other; and all they had in common was their sadness over his brother Bobby's 1968 death. After his divorce from first wife Joan in the early 1970s, Kennedy surfed the singles scene with abandon and got caught in loads more disgrace cases including paparazzi snaps of him in 1989 having sex with an unnamed woman on a boat in Europe and getting drunk with nephew William K. Smith the night Smith was accused of rape in 1991. Ted Kennedy married second wife Vicki in 1992 and attributed his moral turnaround to her steadfastness and faith in him.

Photo via Bauer-Griffin.