Sex Scandals

As Strauss-Kahn succumbs to house arrest, Schwarzenegger deals with a possible criminal probe, and John Edwards faces indictment, The Daily Beast ranks which sex scandals hit the wallet hardest.

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Rep. David Wu

Wu, an Oregon Democrat, announced on Sunday that he will not seek re-election following allegations of sexual assault. The congressman has been accused of having an "unwanted sexual encounter" with the teenage daughter of a friend last Thanksgiving. Democrats, unwilling to have another sex scandal on their hands, have asked him to resign; however, Wu feels he has done nothing warranting a step-down. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrats have called for an ethics-committee investigation and made it clear that "he has no support." Either way, Wu is out of a job by 2012. How will his losses stack up to other sex scandals? See our rankings, from Tiger Woods to John Edwards.

 

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1, Tiger Woods

Pre-scandal title: Professional golfer
Scandal broke: November 2009
Estimated lost wages: $50 million

As the number of alleged mistresses climbed, the number of Tiger Woods' corporate endorsement deals fell. The golfer, who is the first athlete to reap $1 billion in lifetime earnings, sees the majority of his eight-figure annual earnings from brands that pay for him to promote their wares. But in the wake of the sex scandal and dissolution of his marriage, Gatorade, AT&T, Accenture, Gillette and Tag Heuer all cut Woods from their payrolls. To add insult to injury, his appearance fees dried up and, thanks to less-than-stellar golf course performances, so did his tournament winnings.

Matt Sayles / AP Photo

2, Arnold Schwarzenegger

Pre-scandal title:Governor of California
Scandal broke: May 2011
Estimated lost wages: $12 million to $45 million

While rampant speculation has put the cost of his pending divorce from Maria Shriver at $200 million, the Governator is also facing the loss of his Hollywood comeback. Schwarzenegger had inked a deal to star in an upcoming film Cry Macho for a reported $12 million upfront fee. But he'll won't see the lump sum, or the payday from a Terminator sequel (a possibility that has had Hollywood in whispers for months) anytime soon thanks to the revelation that he fathered an illegitimate child with a former employee. Also out of the question: an animated series, " The Governator," that was canceled.

Bill Haber / AP Photo

3, Kobe Bryant

Pre-scandal title: Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard
Scandal broke: July 2003
Estimated lost wages: $4 million

In the aftermath of a sex accusation, the basketball star lost the financial blessing of McDonald's and Nutella, and Coca-Cola pulled ads featuring him (though the company said that had been planned pre-scandal). Of course, not all his endorsement contracts were revoked— Nike kept him under contract, but didn't use him for more than two years, despite his $40 million-plus contract. The criminal case against Bryant never went to trial but the civil case was settled out-of-court for a secret sum and a public apology to his accuser. Just a year after the scandal, he signed a $136 million contract with the Lakers. In the 12 months following the rape accusation, he earned $13 million from endorsements according to Forbes magazine.

Ed Andrieski / AP Photo

4, Ted Haggard

Pre-scandal title: Pastor and President of the National Association of Evangelicals
Scandal broke: November 2006
Estimated lost wages: $500,000

Following allegations he had hired a male escort for years, the Colorado pastor resigned from his perch atop the church he founded and NAE. A severance package with New Life Church was reached, for a reported $138,000 per year, not including benefits, which matched his working salary. But, Haggard lost the six-figure salary from NAE, as well as book royalties from the 11 books he published pre-scandal (book sales fell precipitously after his public downfall). According to an HBO documentary, he now sells insurance. He told GQ magazine earlier this year, "I think that probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual."

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5, Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Pre-scandal title: Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
Scandal broke: May 2011
Estimated lost wages: $495,000

While the French public servant awaits arraignment, he's mounting quite a costly tab. His apartment, the second one he's occupied since leaving Rikers Island, reportedly costs $50,000 a month and his round-the-clock private security detail costs another $200,000 per month. Not only does the disgraced leader have to bear those outsize costs, but his $420,000 annual salary and $75,000 slush fund for keeping up a lavish lifestyle are history.

Steven Senne / AP Photo

6, Eliot Spitzer

Pre-scandal title: Democratic Governor of New York
Scandal broke: March 2008
Estimated lost wages: $179,000

After his history as Client No. 9 was announced in newspaper headlines, Spitzer swiftly removed himself from office. Of course, the charges lost him a year of wages as governor, but he also faces up to $10,000 in fines over charges of misconduct. The scandal wasn't a total career-killer, though. The former governor joined the faculty of City College of New York in late 2009 and took a host post at CNN in 2010.

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7, Christopher Lee

Pre-scandal title: U.S. Representative (R-New York)
Scandal broke: February 2011
Estimated lost wages: $174,000

Thanks to a bicep-baring photo Lee posted on Craigslist hoping for a hook-up, the former congressman withdrew from his post. While there were no charges of violent crimes, previous affairs or other transgressions, the publication of his online flirtations were enough to drive the married public servant from the limelight.

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8, Mark Sanford

Pre-scandal title: Republican Governor of South Carolina
Scandal broke: June 2009
Estimated lost wages: around $3,300

The former governor of South Carolina gave a whole new meaning to "hiking the Appalachian Trail" when he tried to cover up a South American love affair by fabricating a camping trip. His wife divorced him and he resigned from the non-paying gig as chair of the Republican Governor Association. The cost of the scandal? Not much. He wrote the state's general fund a personal check for the $3,334 in costs paid for with taxpayer money during a June 2008 trip to Argentina. He didn't resign, but the House Judiciary committee censured him.

Karl Schoendorfer / AP Photo

9, Bill Clinton

Pre-scandal title: U.S. President
Scandal broke: January 1998
Estimated lost wages: $0

Of course, the Lewinsky affair cost the former U.S. President dearly. He was impeached and stood trial for perjury and obstruction of justice, not to mention the $850,000 he coughed up to settle a sexual harassment suit from Paula Jones and the $90,686 he was fined for giving false testimony. But, Clinton didn't evacuate office and the scandal forced Republican illicit transgressions to become public.

Gerry Broome / AP Photo

10, John Edwards

Pre-scandal title: Democratic candidate for President
Scandal broke: October 2007
Estimated lost wages: $0

The biggest casualty in the Edwards affair may have been his presidential hopes. News of his affair with Rielle Hunter hit the tabloids when Edwards was campaigning full-time, and caused public opinion to sour on the picture-perfect former senator. He eventually withdrew from the presidential contest in May 2008 and said he would not accept the position of vice president even if it was offered. An anonymous source was quoted in Politico this week saying, "John needs money. He needs to work…"