Herman Cain, Bill Clinton, Brett Favre: Caught Up In Sex Scandals (Photos)

See photos of Herman Cain and others, from Bill Clinton to Brett Favre, whose careers were threatened by sex scandals.

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Recent GOP frontrunner Herman Cain’s bid for his party’s 2012 presidential nomination may end up derailed by the sexual allegations that have been made against him. See photos of Cain and other famous names, from Bill Clinton to Brett Favre, whose careers were threatened by sex scandals.

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Herman Cain

Herman Cain has been accused of sexually harassing four women during his tenure as president of the National Restaurant Association. The most recent accuser gave a detailed account of the presidential candidate’s unwanted advances at a press conference this week. Polls show that Cain, who at one point was leading the race for the 2012 GOP nomination, is now seeing his popularity sinking in a reaction to the allegations. Despite being urged to address the charges, the former pizza magnate continues to try to deflect them—a move that could really break his campaign, especially if even more accusers come forward. 

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Bill O’ Reilly

The public got some uncomfortable insight into Bill O’Reilly’s sex fantasies when one of his producers accused him of harassment. Andrea Mackris sued the Fox News show host in 2004 and shared detailed accounts of conversations in which O’Reilly described many of his sexual desires despite Mackris’s apparent lack of interest. O’Reilly managed to settle the case shortly after it became public, however, spurring rumors that Mackris received a very large settlement. O’Reilly didn’t seem too fazed by the charge, and neither did his fans. According to CBS News in 2009, "The O’Reilly Factor" host has only seen his ratings rise since Mackris filed suit.

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Mark Hurd

Mark Hurd made a splash in Silicon Valley as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, but it was his resignation that sent the biggest shock through the technology community. After being accused of sexual harassment by actress turned H-P marketing consultant Jodie Fisher, Hurd quietly paid off his aggrieved employee and slipped out of his role at the company. Fisher insisted that the two never had a sexual relationship, and H-P even determined that Hurd’s behavior didn’t violate the company’s sexual harassment policy. But the company did discover that its CEO was fudging his expense reports to hide $20,000 worth of evidence of his relationship with Fisher. Hurd was disgraced but landed on his feet, as co-president of the computer technology company Oracle.

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Mark Foley

Mark Foley left his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives while on the verge of reelection after the House ethics committee launched an investigation into the Florida pol’s inappropriate online exchanges with at least one underage male congressional page. The revelation of Foley’s flirtation cost him his job, shattered his somewhat believable heterosexual “ladies' man” façade and even contributed to the termination of the 175-year-old congressional page program.

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Clarence Thomas

Just as Clarence Thomas was to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, former aide Anita Hill confided confidentially to the Senate Judiciary Committee that she’d been sexually harassed by Thomas 10 years earlier. Hill’s revelation wasn’t actually news to the committee, which had received an inconclusive report from the FBI on the harassment charges, and decided the matter wasn’t worth pursuing. But it was news to the rest of the country, which found out two days before Thomas was set to be confirmed, when the story was leaked to the press. Anita Hill soon became a well-known name, as she testified before the judiciary committee—and 20 million households—about the various inappropriate comments she said Thomas had made when they worked together. Hill’s testimony failed to convince many—and Thomas became a justice. This year the media scandal was revived when Thomas’s wife, Ginni, called Hill and asked her for an apology—which she refused.

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Brett Favre

Politicians aren’t the only public figures to spur sexual harassment scandals. Famed quarterback Brett Favre’s scandal started last October when sports reporter Jenn Sterger revealed a long string of awkward interactions with Favre that took place when they both worked for the New York Jets, he as the team’s quarterback and she as an in-house reporter. Favre’s advances started with some flirtatious voicemails, but then Sterger began to receive text messages from Favre containing lewd photos of a penis (presumably his). Pressed by a Deadspin writer in whom she’d confided, Sterger spoke out about the football player’s behavior. Not long after, two former Jets massage therapists accused Favre of harassing them as well, filing a lawsuit. Favre was required to pay a fine for harassing Sterger, though she did not sue. Just days after the two massage therapists filed suit, Favre ended his 20-year football career for good.

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Bill Clinton

Before Monica Lewinsky, there was Paula Jones, an Arkansas government employee who sued Bill Clinton in 1994 for sexual harassment, claiming that the president had exposed himself to her in a hotel room when he was the governor of Arkansas. Clinton denied the claims; but though he was able to convince Jones to drop the case for a settlement of $850,000, his relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky was revealed about the same time.

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Isiah Thomas

Anucha Browne Sanders, a former Northwestern University basketball star, was a fired from her job as the New York Knicks’ vice president of marketing in 2006. She claimed that her termination was the result of a sexual harassment lawsuit she’d been pursuing against the Knicks’ coach Isiah Thomas, who, she said, unrelentingly propositioned her. When she was fired, Browne Sanders sued Thomas and Madison Square Garden for $10 million. Though MSG denied that Browne Sanders’s termination had anything to do with her problems with Thomas, the Knicks’ owners were found guilty and ordered to pay her $11.6 million. Thomas lost nothing in the case, except perhaps his reputation—if that. He now coaches Florida International University’s basketball team.

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Dov Charney

Anyone who’s ever seen the photos on the wall of an American Apparel dressing room knows the clothing company isn’t shy about sex. CEO Dov Charney has appeared in ads himself, mooning the camera or wearing nothing but boxer shorts, and has talked openly about having sexual relationships with his staff members. But to some of his employees, what the Canadian-born entrepreneur might consider “loving relationships” feel more like sexual harassment. Charney has been sued by at least four women who say their boss made them uncomfortable with unwanted sexual advances. In one case in particular, a former employee claims she went to Charney’s house for what she believed was a job interview and says when he greeted her at the door he was wearing only a towel and “violently kissed her.” After also suing for sexual harassment, three other female employees discovered blogs in their names that feature photographs of the women in sexual positions as well as statements written to insinuate that the lawsuits were incredible and motivated by greed. All three promptly sued American Apparel, Charney, and a company photographer for invasion of privacy, impersonation online, and emotional distress. Whether Charney will emerge from this pile of lawsuits unscathed remains to be seen.