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When LUST got the better of these powerful men

Last updated on: November 20, 2012 08:13 IST

When LUST got the better of these powerful men

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Men who cheat on their wives -- and there are many of them -- should at least make sure they cover their tracks. 

This is especially true for philandering men who happen to be in powerful positions. They stand the risk of losing their reputation, jobs, and being publicly humiliated.

The only thing worse than being a lying, cheating jerk is being publicly exposed as one.

In the wake of the scandal caused by Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraues's affair, we take a look at some powerful men who thought, mistakenly, that they could have a little extra-marital fun on the side and get away with it!

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David Petraues

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As the chief of the world's biggest intelligence agency, David Petraues managed a complex network of spies, aliases, intrigues and conspiracies.

At irony at its best, the keeper of the world's most dangerous secrets could not hide the one secret that he needed to guard the most – his affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell.

Petraues and Broadwell are both married, to other people, and have two children each.

Petraues is a four-star general of the United States Army and has served as the top commander of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgement by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behaviour is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organisation such as ours," he said in a statement before stepping down from the CIA chief's post.

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Image: General David Petraeus with Paula Broadwell
Photographs: Reuters

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General John Allen

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Someday, when the dust settles, General John Allen and David Petraues can bond over the many things they have in common -- an exemplary track record in the US Army, serving at the commander of American troops in Afghanistan, getting involved with another woman and suffering severe setbacks in their career because of their sexual indiscretions.

To be fair, allegations that General Allen had an affair -- with married socialite Jill Kelly – have not been proved yet.

But in an obvious slap-on-the-wrist, US President Barack Obama has put on hold the nomination of Allen as the next commander of the US European Command.
 
To make matters worse for the general, the FBI is probing the 'affair' and its ramifications on national security.

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Image: Jill Kelley and General John Allen


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Bill Clinton

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"If you are the President of this country, you can start a war, you can cheat, you can lie, you can bankrupt the country, but you can't f the interns."

This is a piece of advice offered by campaign manager Stephen Meyers to presidential candidate Mike Morris in the critically acclaimed film Ides of March.

Bill Clinton, US President between 1992 and 2000, probably didn't have the counsel of such wise campaign managers. He went ahead and did the undoable -- he had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

It does not take an Einstein to figure out that when you are serving as the world's most powerful man, maybe you should not have an affair. Even if you do have one, maybe you should not enjoy your sexual romps inside the Oval Office. And even if you end up doing that, maybe you should not lie about it on national television to the entire nation.

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Image: Monica Lewinsky with Bill Clinton
Photographs: Reuters

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John F Kennedy

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Yet another US President who could have used the help of Meyers. Kennedy is remembered as much for his charisma and his tragic end as he is for his alleged affair with the sultry actress Marilyn Monroe.

Kennedy was married to Jacqueline Kennedy who was considered an icon of style and beauty by women across America.

That did not stop the US President from having a string of extra-marital affairs with a host of actresses, singers and socialites.

But the most talked-about dalliance was the one he allegedly had with Monroe. Her untimely and mysterious death -- ruled as a case of probable suicide -- led to conspiracy theories about the role the US President played in that event.

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Image: (Top) John F Kennedy with wife Jacqueline and Marilyn Monroe
Photographs: Reuters

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John Edwards

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We could call John Edwards a sleazeball, but we are afraid that sleazeballs across the globe may take offence at that.

Where do we even start with the former North Carolina Senator?

Long, long ago, Edwards was a darling of the Democratic Party and a front-runner for the presidential candidate's post.

That was before he decided to throw it all away by cheating on his devoted wife of 32 years who was dying of cancer, impregnating his mistress, refusing to take responsibility for the child and claiming to the whole world that his married assistant was actually the father of his illegitimate daughter.

Phew!

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Image: John Edwards with wife Elizabeth in happier times
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters

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Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Blame it on the heady mix of fame, power and wealth. But actors and politicians probably make the most prolific philanderers.

So when you are an actor and a politician, it is almost a law of physics that you will end up having one, or many, extra-marital affairs.

At the end of his eight-year-tenure as the governor of California, Schwarzenegger dropped a veritable bomb when he declared that he had fathered a child after a torrid affair with his maid.

Hushed whispers about the former bodybuilder's amorous ways had done the rounds of Hollywood for years, and no one was really surprised by his not-so-shocking admission.

That is, no one except Maria Shriver, his wife of 25 years, who promptly filed for divorce.

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Image: Arnold Schwarzenegger with wife Maria Shriver in happier times
Photographs: Robert Galbraith/Reuters

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Anthony Weiner

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This former US Congressman can give fellow Democrat John Edwards a run for his money for the sleazeball title. 

A rising politician from New York, Weiner lived up to his unfortunate name by sending sexually graphic photographs of his ... err...body parts, to a bevy of young women whom, he later claimed, he had never met.

He also sent sexually explicit messages to these women and allegedly indulged in phone sex with some of them, while his wife Huma Abedin was pregnant.

Yuck!

Weiner then went through the familiar routine of initial denial-reluctant admission-grovelling apology-eventual resignation.

Ironically, Abedin is a long-time associate of Hillary Clinton, wife of Bill and the poster child of wronged women everywhere.

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Image: A screen grab of the website Biggovernment.com shows the photo of Anthony Weiner which was allegedly emailed to a young woman
Photographs: Reuters

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Vladimir Putin

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The Russian strongman likes taking off his shirt and flaunting his chiselled body for the cameras. He also likes, if rumours are to be believed, the company of nubile women less than half his age.

Sometime last year, he hired a 25-year-old former glamour model as his personal photographer, insisting that it was due to the Miss Moscow contestant's 'professional merit'.

He also allegedly fathered a love-child with 28-year-old Alina Kabayeva, a former gymnast and a member of the Russian parliament.

And in a reminder of just how dangerous the former KGB official can be, his wife Lyudmila Shkrebneva has not been seen in public for over a year; some media reports claim that she had been 'locked away' so that the Russian President can enjoy his many trysts peacefully.

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Image: Vladimir Putin with Alina Kabayeva and (left) Yana Lapikova
Photographs: Reuters

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Dominique Strauss Kahn

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He was once the chief of the International Monetary Fund and touted to be the next President of France.

Today, Dominique Strauss Kahn is a disgraced man who is being investigated for allegedly hiring prostitutes for a sex party. He has also faced charges of being involved in a gang-rape in Washington, DC as well as attempt to rape a journalist in France.

Oh, did we mention that he was also accused of raping a maid who was cleaning his room in a New York hotel?

Though he screamed hoarse about his innocence, he was forced to resign from the IMF chief's post over the scandal.

The charges against him were later dropped.

Strauss Kahn, a much-married father of four, finally admitted that he had 'inappropriate' relations with the maid but there was no violence involved.

And here we thought we had misjudged the poor man!

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Image: A carnival float depicting France's President Nicolas Sarkozy and former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Photographs: John Kolesidis/Reuters

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