Top 50 Cheaters of All Time

We rank the legendary lotharios in the Horndog Hall of Fame.
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50. Jude Law

When Sadie Frost divorced him amid rumors of infidelity, Law leaped onto a motorcycle with costar Sienna Miller. Within months, Miller would also roar away, after reading graphic details of Law’s affair with his kids’ nanny. And yet this Dr. Watson must have the right prescription: Law and Miller subsequently got back together.
Photo by: Solarpix/PR Photos

49. Aristotle Onassis

They were both married, but why wouldn’t the shipping magnate take up with opera diva Maria Callas? "We were the most famous Greeks in the world," said Onassis, who continued to court Callas even after he wed Jackie Kennedy.
Photo by: Retna Ltd.

48. Donald Trump

Friends rallied around Ivana when The Donald betrayed her with a former beauty queen. But when Marla Maples declared their relationship "the best sex I ever had," the real estate mogul might have gotten the best reward ever for cheating.
Photo by: PRN/PR Photos

47. Mark Sanford

The governor of South Carolina said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail-which somehow led to Argentina and a "soul mate" who looked like an only slightly younger version of his very attractive spouse. Jenny thought it through and decided not to play The Good Wife, moving their four sons out of the mansion and filing for divorce.
Photo by: Getty Images

46. Warren G. Harding

Imagine what he could have done with text messages! The 29th President penned some 250 letters to one mistress and got the Secret Service to summon another lover for trysts in a closet adjoining his office.
Photo by: Everett Collection

45. Luciano Pavarotti

Those 280 pounds didn’t keep the world’s favorite tenor from rolling out of his 34-year marriage and into the arms of his secretary. Less than four years later, both wives attended his funeral, pointedly ignoring each other.
Photo by: Retna Ltd.

44. George Balanchine

The great choreographer fell head over ballet slippers for Suzanne Farrell and soon divorced his wife, only to discover his new muse had danced off with another man.
Photo by: Everett Collection

43. Carl Bernstein

He was a guy "capable of having sex with a Venetian blind," Nora Ephron famously described her barely-disguised spouse in Heartburn. The 1983 novel and 1986 movie were inspired by Watergate journalist Bernstein’s affair while she was pregnant with their second son.
Photo by: Retna Digital

42. Jim Bakker

His wife and partner in his televangelist empire was a woman who knew the value of makeup-but Tammy Faye’s pounds of mascara didn’t keep the preacher from a hotel room tryst with church secretary Jessica Hahn. (She alleged rape, he said the sex was consensual; for her part, Tammy Faye called their 30-year marriage quits in 1992, stating, "For years I have been pretending that everything is all right," although "in fact I hurt all the time.")
Photo by: File Photo/Charlotte Observer/MCT/Newscom

41. Elvis Presley

The King fell in love with a 14-year-old, married her when she hit 21-then lost interest the minute she had a child. His lust for young girls remained, but his numerous affairs were compromised when massive drug use reportedly left him impotent-and incontinent.
Photo by: Camera Press/Retna Ltd.

40. Newt Gingrich

"There are times I have fallen short of my own standards," confessed this family values champion. No kidding. While railing against Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky matter, the former House Speaker was conducting his own extramarital affair.
Photo by: PRN/PR Photos

39. Frank Gifford

His chirpy bride, Kathie Lee Gifford, regaled morning audiences with tales of their blissful domesticity. But when a tabloid hired a flight attendant to seduce the sportscaster in a room filled with hidden cameras, he quickly succumbed.
Photo by: Anthony G. Moore/PR Photos

38. Julius Caesar

Caesar’s wife had to be "beyond reproach," but not so the laurel-leafed leader. After dumping second wife Pompeia simply because some clown sneaked into the house hoping to seduce her, Julius married Calpurnia-only to race into the arms of Cleopatra.
Photo by: Everett Collection

37. Hugh Grant

He was the next Cary Grant-except that Cary never got mixed up with the likes of prostitute Divine Brown. Though Hugh’s mug shot humiliated his longtime love, model Elizabeth Hurley, he had the guts to man up, confessing to Jay Leno, "I did a bad thing."
Photo by: Solarpix/PR Photos

36. Fidel Castro

The dashing revolutionary married once officially, maybe secretly a second time-but was not all that fidel. He fathered, according to one biographer, 10 or 11 children, by as many as seven women.
Photo by: Camera Press Digital

35. Jack Welch

His wife of 13 years had one question for Harvard Business Review editor Suzy Wetlaufer: How can you be an objective journalist and sleep with your subject? Wetlaufer resigned and the GE chief exec paid up, in one of the most expensive divorces in history.
Photo by: Retna Ltd.

34. John McCain

The war hero and conservative senator has confessed to prowling around with other women during his first marriage. He even courted his second wife, super-rich Cindy, while still married to Carol, who had been severely injured in a car crash.
Photo by: Tony Lowe/PR Photos

33. Stanford White

Marriage didn’t keep the architect from setting up a bachelor’s lair that included the notorious red velvet swing on which perched teenage Evelyn Nesbit. Nesbit later wed railroad heir Harry Thaw, who, in a jealous rage, shot White dead in 1906.
Photo by: Everett Collection

32. Geraldo Rivera

Movie stars! Politicians’ wives! His own assistants! Unfaithful and proud of it, newsman Rivera scattered his ’91 autobiography, Exposing Myself, with references to his multiple affairs. Hence the multiple marriages.
Photo by: Scott Harrison/Retna Ltd.

31. Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Lucy Mercer was so much a part of FDR’s life that she had her own Secret Service name-"Mrs. Johnson"-and was with him when he died. After offering to divorce him, Eleanor established a separate residence-and threw herself into social causes.
Photo by: Keystone/Eyedea/Everett Collection

30. King Charles II of England

Cavorting with his spaniels, ignoring his barren queen, the "Merrie Monarch" put a quick end to the previous Puritan regime. He was especially fond of leading ladies, numbering the actresses Moll Davis and Nell Gwynne among the seven mistresses with whom he sired a dozen children.
Photo by: Lions Gate/Courtesy Everett Collection

29. William Randolph Hearst

No back alley for this tycoon! Leaving his wife and twin sons in New York, publisher Hearst lived openly with actress Marion Davies in California, where she served as hostess for his lavish San Simeon parties.
Photo by: Retna Ltd.

28. Desi Arnaz

The Cuban-American band leader met Lucille Ball when both appeared in the prophetically titled 1940 movie Too Many Girls. During 20 boozed-up, skirt-chasing marital years, it was Desi, not Lucy, who had the ‘splainin’ to do.
Photo by: Everett Collection

27. Gary Hart

The long-married Colorado senator was considered a shoo-in for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988-until he spent the night on a yacht called Monkey Business and managed to get photographed with Donna Rice on his lap.
Photo by: Getty Images

26. Bugsy Siegel

The gangster who built Las Vegas did more than tomcat around wife Esther with the mob’s favorite mistress, Virginia Hill. At one point, he kept Hill and two other girlfriends in three rooms at his Flamingo Hotel.
Photo by: Everett Collection

25. King Henry II of England

Eleanor of Aquitaine brought Henry great lands and bore him five sons, and he repaid her by fooling around-and tossing her in jail. She got her revenge after his death, when she ruled England until her son Richard’s return from the Crusades.
Photo by: Everett Collection

24. François Mitterand

There’s nothing like a funeral to bring out the family-and in the case of this French president, two families! Mitterand’s wife of 50 years graciously included his mistress of 20 years in the farewell, seating the mistress’s illegitimate daughter next to her own sons.
Photo by: Keystone/Eyedea/Everett Collection

23. Jackson Pollock

The abstract painter had little loyalty to wife Lee Krasner, the prime target of his drunken rages. When he smashed his car into a Hamptons tree, his latest young lover, Ruth Kligman, survived the crash; Pollock and Ruth’s weekend guest did not.
Photo by: Arnold Newman/Getty Images

22. Charlie Sheen

He was one of Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss’s best clients-so what did second wife Denise Richards expect? Pregnant with their second child, the Bond Girl bolted, later reportedly rushing to a hospital to be tested for STDs as allegations of his extracurricular activities surfaced.
Photo by: Albert L. Ortega/PR Photos

21. Andrea Dotti

Indicating that he was in need of treatment himself, Audrey Hepburn’s psychiatrist husband flaunted his many affairs, showing up in the Italian papers with various lovers even when Hepburn was pregnant with their son.
Photo by: Camera Press/Retna Ltd.

20. Mick Jagger

Wild horses couldn’t get him to stay: "He just slept with every single girl that came around," said his wife of nine years, model Jerry Hall. "It was quite tiring rushing home making sure he wasn’t sleeping with someone."
Photo by: Janet Mayer/PR Photos

19. Tiki Barber

His own father bolted, so the running back turned Today correspondent swore he would stay true. Promises, promises: Barber was busted by the Facebook postings of his 23-year-old girlfriend, a former NBC intern. His wife of 11 years and mother of his two sons was eight months pregnant with twins at the time.
Photo by: Sylvain Gaboury/PR Photos

18. Rudy Giuliani

Lots of men metaphorically parade their mistresses around, but the former mayor of New York City did it literally, marching with Judith Nathan in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. He informed his wife he was dumping her by announcing it at a press conference.
Photo by: Sylvain Gaboury/PR Photos

17. Eddie Fisher

When his best friend, producer Mike Todd, died in a plane crash, crooner Fisher rushed to console Todd’s widow, Elizabeth Taylor-"with his penis," as his daughter, actress-writer Carrie Fisher, has wryly noted. Dumping Carrie’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, for Taylor, he would in short order get dumped himself, when Taylor ran off with the also-married Richard Burton.
Photo by: Gilloon/Camera Press/Retna Ltd.

16. Eric Clapton

He begged Pattie Boyd to leave her husband, George Harrison, and seductively assured her she looked wonderful tonight. Once he had the bird in hand, the guitarist abruptly lost interest, embarking on numerous affairs even before they wed.
Photo by: James Patrick Cooper/Retna Ltd.

15. Eliot Spitzer

To call girl Ashley Dupré, he was simply Client 9. But within weeks, the governor of New York, known for his relentless prosecution of gangsters and white-collar criminals, was forced to resign, his elegant wife Silda standing stone-faced by his side.
Photo by: Anthony G. Moore/PR Photos

14. Peter Cook

When civic-minded model Christie Brinkley showed up to give the commencement address at Southampton High, she was accosted by the stepfather of Diana Bianchi. That was Brinkley’s first inkling that her husband, Peter Cook, was sleeping with the 18-year-old.
Photo by: Retna Ltd.

13. Albert Einstein

Fidelity was all relative to Einstein, a genius so self-focused he once demanded his first wife sign a postnuptial contract (one condition: "You will stop talking to me if I request it"). The egghead then married his cousin, who decided to ignore his many affairs-six of which he detailed in posthumously published letters.
Photo by: Camera Press/Retna Ltd.

12. David Letterman

Regina Lasko, mother of his only child, stuck by the late-night host for 23 unwed years before he finally committed. But an extortion plot forced Letterman to confess to an affair-on his show, because nothing says "I love you" like announcing your infidelity in front of 5.7 million viewers.
Photo by: RD/Leon/Retna Digital

11. John Edwards

It doesn’t get much lower than cheating on your cancer-stricken wife-unless it’s trying to pin paternity of your love child on a longtime friend. The drama continues as the former presidential candidate faces federal investigation for allegedly using campaign funds to pay off his mistress, Rielle Hunter.
Photo by: Erik Kabik/PR Photos

10. King David

The Biblical hero not only cheated with Bathsheba, he more or less murdered her soldier husband—by putting him in the front lines of battle. That left David free to make the bathing beauty one of his own wives.
Photo by: Everett Collection

9. Jesse James

When Sandra Bullock picked up one of her myriad awards early in 2010 and tearfully tossed out her thanks to the man who "has my back," she was unaware that Michelle "Bombshell" McGee had his front. Stomach-turning photos and confessions from other women who had frolicked in the Monster Garage followed. All this while Bullock was tending his two kids by other women-and adopting a son.
Photo by: Albert L. Ortega/PR Photos

8. Prince Charles of England

He did his royal duty by marrying a virgin-but planned to keep longtime mistress Camilla Parker Bowles on the side. The plot thickened when, on their honeymoon, Princess Diana spotted her groom’s cufflinks, romantically engraved with two intertwined Cs.
Photo by: Solarpix/PR Photos

7. John F. Kennedy

With alleged affairs involving Marilyn Monroe, Angie Dickinson, Kim Novak, a gangster moll and a German spy, when did he find time to run the country? And the list keeps growing! Last year, Mimi Alford confessed she bedded JFK back when she was a White House intern.
Photo by: Camera Press/Retna Ltd.

6. Pablo Picasso

Almost as famous for his womanizing as for his art, the 20th-century master painted his mistresses into lovelorn agony-then brushed them aside. Petty and vengeful, he never did divorce his first wife-because he didn’t want to lose half his estate. He drove one mistress to madness, and another hanged herself four years after his death.
Photo by: Arnold Newman/Getty Images

5. Bill Clinton

"I did not have sex with that woman!" Well, actually, depending on "what your definition of is is," he did-and White House intern Monica Lewinsky had the stained dress to prove it, in a tawdry episode that almost ended Clinton’s presidency.
Photo by: Janet Mayer/PR Photos

4. Charles Lindbergh

No wonder he was determined to fly solo across the Atlantic. Starting in the late 1950s, this pioneer aviator kept a second family in Germany, thanks to an ongoing romance with a Munich hat maker.
Photo by: Retna Ltd.

3. King Henry VIII of England

The randy redhead who seduced two Boleyn sisters (among many others) was the ultimate excuse-maker, inventing a new religion to justify his lust.
Photo by: Showtime/Courtesy Everett Collection

2. Tiger Woods

After years of cultivating a squeaky-clean image, the golfer got sand-trapped by his own Thanksgiving sexting. That cell phone discovery by wife Elin was only the tip of a sexual volcano that would soon spew out night club hostesses, porn stars-even, according to the National Enquirer, a neighbor’s daughter.
Photo by: Paul Gallegos/PR Photos

1. Genghis Khan

The brutal 12th-century warrior stayed married to his child bride even after she was kidnapped and gave birth to a son who might not have been his. But he also wed other women and sired so many children that, according to a 2003 DNA study, he may have as many as 16 million male descendants living today.


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First Published July 20, 2010

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