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8 Of the Most Famous Presidential Mistresses

Did you know about all of these presidential mistresses?

From tabloid magazines to TMZ, a good cheating scandal always makes headlines. Professional gossipers don’t need to look very far to find the next celebrity affair with relationships as flimsy as they are.

But every once in a while, a cheating scandal puts all the other ones to shame. We’re not talking about a Kardashian or any other Hollywood starlet, for that matter, unless you count Marilyn Monroe!

Today, we want to talk about the PRESIDENTIAL cheating scandals. Some may be harder to forget than others.

The popularity of the president, the public nature of the relationships, and the wild details of the story all play a part in making these presidential mistresses unforgettable. So what have we come up with? Turns out infidelity in the presidency is pretty standard.

Still, presidential mistresses attract significant attention, and for a good reason. Follow along as we take a look at the 8 most scandalous presidential mistresses!

Presidential Mistresses
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Presidential Mistress: Marilyn Monroe

Well, you were probably expecting this one, so let’s just get it out of the way!

Marylin Monroe and John F Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination, are said to have had a romantic meeting at Bing Crosby’s house in Palm Springs shortly after they met.

Allegedly, Monroe even got in touch with the President’s wife, Jackie, and told her about this affair. Jackie knew about her husband’s wandering eye well and responded by telling her to move in and marry him.

At this point, Jackie was probably used to John’s indiscretions. He apparently had an addiction and couldn’t help himself. In fact, Monroe isn’t the only presidential mistress on JFK’s long list of women!

If you’re like us and want to learn as much as possible about the Kennedys, we highly recommend checking THIS out!

Presidential Mistress: Sally Hemings

One of the most scandalous affairs in Presidential history had to have been between Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings. Rumor had it that the couple actually had six children together, four of which survived and eventually went on to be free.

While back then, it was seen as usual for “Masters” to be in relationships with their “Slaves,” this story is slightly different. Born in 1773 in Virginia, Sarah “Sally” Hemings was the biracial half-sister of Jefferson’s wife, Martha Wayles.

Hemings’s mother was half-Black and half-White, and the daughter of sailor John Hemings and an enslaved woman named Susanna. Here is where history gets a bit twisted. Some say they were in a loving relationship. Others maintain he violated her.

Whatever the case may be, we DO know that if we would consider a 40-something-year-old man to be a predator for coercion and ravishing a minor today, then the same applies to men of the past.

Presidential Mistress: Monica Lewinsky

Through a family friend, Monica Lewinsky obtained an internship in the White House Office of Chief of Staff. After her training ended, she accepted a paid position in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.

Lewinsky then began an affair with US President Bill Clinton and admitted to this “inappropriate relationship” happening while she worked at the White House from 1995 to 1997.

The romance and its repercussions, which included Clinton’s impeachment, became known as the Lewinsky Scandal. So how did the public find out?

Monica was transferred to the Pentagon in 1997, where she confided in a coworker, Linda Tripp, about her relationship with the president. Shortly after that, Tripp began secretly recording Lewinsky’s conversations with her about the president.

And the rest, as they say, is history!

Presidential Mistress: Lucy Mercer

Hired as a secretary by Eleanor Roosevelt, this presidential mistress ended up having an affair with Eleanor’s husband. The future first lady discovered love letters between her husband and Mercer in 1918 when the presidency was only a distant ambition for her husband.

Eleanor Roosevelt wanted a divorce, but Franklin didn’t, fearing that the scandal would become public and his political career would be jeopardized.

Roosevelt convinced his wife to stay married to him, promising he would avoid seeing Mercer again and that the two would sleep in separate beds. Unfortunately, Franklin ended up breaking his promise.

With some help from the Roosevelts’ daughter Anna, he continued to meet with Mercer secretly, and she was even in Warm Springs, Georgia, the day Franklin died…Eleanor was conspicuously absent. Mercer died in South Carolina in 1948.

Presidential Mistresses
Photo by mark reinstein at Shutterstock

Presidential Mistress: Jennifer Fitzgerald

George H. W. Bush met Jennifer Fitzgerald when she was hired to be his assistant in 1974. He served as special envoy to China, and Fitzgerald stayed on, moving with Bush when he took a post at the CIA and even when he became Ronald Reagan’s vice president.

According to individuals in the diplomatic corps, George and Jennifer stayed in a private cottage together in Switzerland during an official visit in 1984.

Their affair continued on for over ten years, but it never received nearly the same coverage as the 42nd president’s numerous affairs, much to the Clintons’ dismay.

Presidential Mistress: Venus

Sometime around 1785, a boy was born to a girl named Venus, an enslaved girl on the estate of George Washington’s brother, John Augustine Washington. The boy was named West Ford and treated with special favor.

In her will, John Augustine’s wife, Hannah, stated that he should be freed and taught a trade. So who was the boy’s father?

Three of his descendants: Linda Bryant of Aurora, Colorado, her sister Janet Allen of Peoria, Illinois, and their cousin, Judith S. Burton of Alexandria, Virginia, say their family’s oral history, passed down in secret for six generations, records the name of Venus’s lover: George Washington.

They hope to develop DNA evidence from descendants of the Washington family and Washington’s hair samples to support their case.

Presidential Mistress: Alice Glass

One of Lyndon B. Johnson’s most infamous scandals was with Alice Glass. His wife, Lady Bird, even admitted to attacking him when she found out.

Johnson maintained his on-off relationship with his presidential mistress between 1939 and throughout the early years of his presidency. The affair only ended because she was highly opposed to the Vietnam War.

Furthermore, it seems to be pretty clear that Lady Bird knew about Alice Glass and many other women the president slept with. When Lady Bird died in 2007, The Guardian wrote: Lyndon Johnson was so casual in his affairs with Alice Glass and his congressional colleague Helen Gahagan Douglas that Lady Bird was openly humiliated.

This isn’t surprising considering Johnson was well-known for casually exposing his private parts and bragging that he’d had more extra-marital relations than JFK, whose exploits were famous in Washington DC.

Presidential Mistresses
Photo by Everett Collection at Shutterstock

Presidential Mistress: Nan Britton

Following the death of Warren G. Harding, who only served two years in office before passing away of a heart attack in 1923, his mistress Nan Britton wrote a tell-all book.

This is when the general public learned of the president’s supposed preference for having relations in a White House closet. In her book, The President’s Daughter, Britton revealed that she’d secretly had Warren G.

Harding’s daughter, Elizabeth Ann, and they’d conceived on Harding’s then-Senate office couch.

Harding’s relatives denied this until 2015 when a DNA test showed that Harding’s grandniece and grandnephew were second cousins with Britton’s great-grandson—proving that Elizabeth Ann really was his daughter. Still, that isn’t even the most surprising detail about Harding’s love life to surface in the 21st century.

In 2014, a series of obscene love letters between Harding and another mistress, Carrie Fulton Phillips, were finally unsealed. His family had fought to keep them private for decades.

But enough about our country’s presidents. Let’s take a closer look at the lives of their first ladies. Check out: Top 7 Little-Known Facts About America’s First Ladies


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