Monday, February 2, 2015

What happens when tabloid lovers leave front page news?

Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Carol Forsloff - Many famous men in recent American history who had lovers, and were caught having illicit affairs, went on with their lives eventually and some continued their professional careers, even as President of the United States. What happens when tabloid news lovers leave the front page?

And what can we learn from the ethics of the media and after the 15 minutes of scandal in the tabloid press, or the mainstream mirroring the tabloids, has long worn out its welcome and its time with most of us.

In fact some of the famous men got a hand slap in the press, while the actual lives of women who have been their lovers have been ruined or ended entirely with their death.  But other women capitalized on their fame sufficiently to build their own capital in a whole different way, the kind that adds up to money.  A few men got prison terms, but that was for more than a sex scandal.  

For women, the sex scandal alone was enough to make them money or bring them down eventually to depressed, disconsolate or just no longer news at all.

Some women moved on quietly with their lives after a fling with the famous.  Others capitalized on their fame, for more than they earned after their first 15 minutes of it doing little more than posing for pictures.  And some of them naughty to boot.

One of the most famous seductresses still talked about from time to time, but less so as the years go by is  Jessica Hahn, formerly playmate of televangelist Jim Bakker, who followed up that stint with Playmate Magazine after helping bring down Bakker who was sent to prison for “knowledge” of her and other sins. Hahn went on to become a Hugh Hefner frequent visitor, a pal of Larry Flynt of Hustler Magazine, and a date of the late Ron Leavitt who co-created “Married with Children. She has been busy since the Bakker scandal of the 1980’s, appearing on television, sometimes with Howard Stern in provocative ways.  And redeeming herself from time to time, making sure her pronouncements of blame have nothing to do with her own behavior.  

Monica Lewinsky is an infamous name, so much so that in Italy this year it was ruled that comparing a woman to Monica Lewinsky is defamation. . Lewinsky is famous for her particular kind of sexual entertainment with Bill Clinton in the Oval Office when he was President of the United States. According to current reports, she is occasionally seen in Los Angeles or New York and is trying to “get on with her life” according to her friend, Barbara Hutson, who at one time was Lewinsky’s publicist. Hutson states that Lewinsky recognizes that she made a mistake and did a stupid thing when she was 21 and is trying now to keep a relatively low profile. Still incidents like that in Italy maintains the Lewinsky name as provocative.  She still appears, however, in the "not guilty" version of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal with a few small mea culpas to make sure she remains the innocent ingenue she was portrayed by the press those years ago.  This year she has been shown hobnobbing with Hollywood, a sure-fire way to stay current--for another 15 minutes at least, since the Hollywood stars often shine bright and fade fairly soon.

Donna Rice was the darling of the media 20 years ago. She was caught on camera dallying with Senator Gary Hart, considered a likely Democratic favorite for President at the time. She consistently denied her relationship with Hart as sexual and twenty years later continues to assert they were only friends. Today, Rice is married to a technology executive, Jack Hughes. She also serves as the Director of Marketing and Communications at "Enough Is Enough!", a nonprofit organization for stopping illegal pornography, helping victims, and working with the public and officials to make the Internet safe for children.

Ashley Alexandra Dupre, the paramour – call girl of Eliot Sptizer fame had the feminine charms to bring down the Governor of New York in 2008. She became a hot ticket for folks like Larry Flynt who has offered her $1m to appear nude in his magazine, but she is hanging out for a big book deal, according to reports.

Dupre's public profile has skyrocketed since Spitzer resigned over a prostitution scandal. He was accused of spending tens of thousands of dollars, including a lot of money on a girl named "Kristen," later identified as Dupre. Flynt sees big things ahead for this femme fatale saying, "She is no doubt going to do a book. There will probably be a movie. I think she is going to have so many offers coming in."

Jeannette Mailer, The Canal Street Madam, accused David Vitter, Senator from Louisiana, of being a frequent visitor to her brothel. She also told Larry Flynt that she believes the D.C. Madam, another femme fatale that was said to host special sexual occasions for the Senator in the D.C. area, killed herself rather than committing suicide. Mailer continues to make news with those claims that she made in 2008.

Deborah Jeanne Palfrey (DC Madam)was found by officials to have killed herself in April 2008, rather than being murdered, because she feared a long prison sentence following a federal jury’s conviction of Palfrey for money laundering and racketeering charges linked to a call-girl prostitution ring whose clients were among some of Washington’s top elite. She was said 2008to have operated her service for 13 years. She consistently denied the allegations made against her saying that if girls performed certain sex acts for money she had no knowledge of it.

Paula Corbin Jones told those investigating Bill Clinton’s extra-marital activities at the time of his impeachment hearings that she had been propositioned by Clinton in a hotel room in 1991 when he was Governor of Arkansas. The American Spectator later wrote an article that implied that Jones was a willing partner in those activities. Jones filed a lawsuit to deny this which was settled with Clinton in 1998 for $850,000. She later claimed that she not only was victimized by Clinton but by his Republican opponents as well. Jones has continued to make fame points from that initial fifteen minutes by appearing nude in Penthouse and Playboy and with Tonya Harding on Fox TV's Celebrity Boxing.

In 2008 Jones and Gennifer Flowers combined their talents to seek their own type of revenge and profit. Flowers claimed a 12-year-long sexual relationship with Clinton. Both women started a website called the new Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones , “Two Chicks Chatting,” where they sold videos of their talking for $1.99 apiece. Their videos are entitled: “Paula and the President’s Penis,” “Gennifer’s Story and the Presidential Penis,” and, simply, “Paula and Gennifer Chatting.”

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is a very famous Frenchman, who was destined for even more greatness as he was President of the International Monetary Fund and getting ready to run for President of France, until the famous scandal involving him and a hotel maid.  The news was front page when it happened, a maid accusing of Strauss-Kahn as forcing her to perform oral sex.  In 2012 the case was settled, with the maid receiving a settlement award, the amount undisclosed.  His wife divorced him also that year.  But there were some at the time of the settlement award that year who opined that Strauss-Kahn might well have won the Presidency, due to the unpopularity of Nicholas Sarkozy, President of France who would have been Strauss-Kahn's opposition.  Sarkozy himself was someone whose romances were high profile with the press, however that was not why the French disliked it.  Those French are oo la la over love, but not over economic issues, so a guy good with the sack (of money that is) could be excused for getting into a different kind of sack and for a whole different reason.

With the latest scandal of Strauss-Kahn being accused of involvement in a pimping scandal, the tabloid press, the mainstream press and all other types of media will likely fill the air and print waves with more than 15 minutes this time, given the past scandal added to the present hypotheses too.  For everyone loves the fall from grace and perhaps even more those who they think deserve the fall after all.

These are just a few follow up stories of an interesting past, and some in the present, that some of the famous might hide.   The ethics, however, of each of these stories is a reminder that our old way of looking at sin and consequences might continue to be as it was when we were children: Some people seem to walk away unscathed at the time of their "crime," but very often life comes full circle, and bites them in the end.  That's proverbial, of course.

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