9 Internet-Fueled Sex Scandals That Ruined Lives

American history has no shortage of sex scandals. Any way you turn, there are juicy extramarital relationships and passionately inappropriate love connections—ranging from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to the hallowed halls of our nation’s schools. According to Statistics Brain, approximately 41% of marriages involve one spouse or the other who has committed an act of infidelity. With a number like that, it’s no surprise that this will affect much more than the average Joe. Many beloved celebrities, politicians, and other public figures have betrayed the trust of their significant others, and their fans as a whole, with these illicit trysts. It breaks America’s heart to watch firsthand as an outstanding couple is torn apart on the pages of our favorite gossip magazines and websites.

Nonetheless, we have never had as much proof or insight into these naughty betrayals as we have today. Thanks to the internet and social media, extramarital affairs tend to slip beneath the cracks of dark bedrooms and seep out for the whole world to ogle at and judge. Sometimes, these trysts simply make us frown. We expected more from them, we say. However, there tend to be a few titillating sex scandals that become incredibly explosive to everyone involved, ripping apart marriages and families or shattering dreams. Here are eight sex scandals that wreaked havoc in the lives of all involved plus one spicy fictional relationship that has ignited flames, too.

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9 Prince Harry

Unfortunately for one particular prince, the saying “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is completely misleading. Certainly, fulfilling the pressures of staying in the public eye, weighed heavily on Prince Harry of England. In August of 2012, this boyishly charming royal, ventured to Sin City for a bit of R&R from his army tour. In a candid interview that discussed the events that unfolded in Las Vegas, the prince was noted as saying “it was probably a classic example of me probably being too much army, and not enough prince”. While, partying in the States, Prince Harry caused quite a stir. He was photographed totally naked and, in one still, cupping his privates beside an unnamed naked female. While, Harry was certainly not married or even tied to a specific girlfriend, his behavior was, indeed, unacceptable and potentially disastrous for someone with such a status who, at the time, was third in line for the throne and an officer in the army.

8 General Petraeus & Paula Broadwell

There are run-of-the-mill extramarital affairs and then there is the scandalous relationship between former CIA director, General David Petraeus and an Army Reserves officer who also served as his biographer, Paula Broadwell. What began as a jealous email from Broadwell reaching out to an alleged other other woman, Petraeus family friend, Jill Kelley, ultimately developed enough steam to possibly bring this great nation to its knees. Not only did General Petraeus prove to be disloyal to his wife and family, he also undermined American security by exposing himself and potentially classified information during pillow talk with his mistress. In addition to at least three marriages being put in jeopardy, this affair led to the general resigning from his position as this nation’s top spy.

7 Jesse James

6  6. LeAnn Rimes & Eddie Cibrian

Who would have thought that an innocently titled move, “Northern Lights”, would cause two marriages to plummet so far south? When LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian met during the filming of this Lifetime movie, it was instant attraction and a recipe for disaster. The fledgling relationship between the two evolved into Rimes divorcing her husband, Dean Sheremet, and moving in with Cibrian. Eventually, Cibrian divorced his wife of nine years and mother of his two children, Brandi Glanville, to move in with Rimes. The unfaithful twosome wed in 2011. And as if their nightmare of a relationship hadn’t done enough harm, Rimes voluntarily admitted herself into a psychiatric treatment facility for emotional problems in 2012. The pair is still together today.

5  5. Anthony Weiner

New York Congressman Anthony Weiner showed much promise as a representative until he was exposed for sending sexually inappropriate messages to a woman over Twitter, which led to him divulging that he had sent similar exchanges to at least six women in all. Having disgraced himself and his family, the congressman stepped down from his position in 2011, officially resigning from Congress. Still, he had not learned his lesson about the riskiness of sharing photographs of his privates to others. When he returned to politics in 2013 for the New York City race for mayor, more photos emerged of a ‘sexting’ relationship that had endured even before the politician had married his wife, Huma Abedin, in 2010. While his raunchy pictures may have ended his hopeful political career, his wife still stands beside him.

4 Miss Delaware Teen USA

Scandal can tear apart much more than a marriage or a relationship. Miss Delaware Teen USA, Melissa King, found the truth in such a statement the hard way. This beauty queen was forced to resign and hand over her crown to the runner-up after a sex tape featuring the then eighteen year old was discovered on YouTube. She denied that the girl in the alleged video was her, although she voluntarily resigned which seemed to reveal her guilt to many. Being young and having a life full of promise, Melissa King will bounce back. Although she reportedly was arrested for underage possession of alcohol shortly after the scandal and, recently, posted a porn spoof online showing that this teen beauty queen hardly took the scandal seriously.

3 Kristen Stewart & Rupert Sanders

“Twilight” fans around the world wept when it was revealed that the real-life Edward and Bella from the film series—Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson—where involved in a real-life love triangle. Yet, this one had repercussions far greater than the falling out of a werewolf and a vampire. It all started in the summer of 2012, when a photographer captured a devastating image of the “Twilight” star kissing her “Snow White and the Huntsman” director, Rupert Sanders. The end result consisted of the four-year relationship between Stewart and Pattinson ending in bitter betrayal, but, sadly, also the fourteen-year marriage between Sanders and his wife, Liberty Ross, ending as well. More important hearts were broken than Twi-hards around the world since the couple had two young children together.

2  2. Robin Thicke

The “Lost Without You” crooner, Robin Thicke, who married his high school sweetheart, captured our attention with his spectacular voice and candid dedication to his longtime actress wife, Paula Patton. Critics bashed the singer for his over-the-top naughty performance with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 VMAs, however, his wife supported him and explained that she respected his art. However, subsequent photographs that went viral around the web showing the handsome crooner with his hand up one fan’s dress, another mid-smooch, followed by an onslaught of cheating rumors seem to have been the final straws for Patton. The couple announced their separation in February 2014. This super talented dynamic duo has a three year old son, Julian, who they are obviously trying to make amends to raise together. While, Thicke has shared publically with the world that he is trying to fix things with his wife of nearly a decade, both have been recently photographed without their rings.

1  1. The “Scandal” Scandal

While on the subject of scandalous affairs, one particular lusty affair can’t be ignored: that between Olivia Pope and President Fitzgerald in the popular ABC drama created by Shonda Rhimes. In this edgy White House procedural, the audience not only experiences high-octane tension and action that depicts a team of “Gladiators” headed up by Ms. Pope cleaning up each and every political misdeed that falls on their doorstep, but also the raunchy, illicit affair between Pope and the married President of the United States. What’s interesting is the perspective described in a BlogHer post that shows how such a wayward rendezvous between lovers can affect its viewer’s sex lives. One bloggers details that obsessively digesting an affair in which the most powerful in the man in the world stops at nothing in order to get in a woman’s pants can truly skew women’s relationship expectations, and possibly, what’s going on beneath the sheets in your bedroom.

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