Been living off-grid since the start of the presidential race? Good call. The rest of us are stuck with the #CruzSexScandal. The senator's sex life has been dominating Twitter since the National Enquirer broke the story on March 23. Don't give a fig about Cruz's late-night sessions with a "foxy political consultant"? Too bad. As sex scandals go, the topic du jour is high on gross meme potential, low on shock value. These historical precedents make Cruz seem like a creepy altar boy.
1. That time the New York Post accused Senator David Walsh of gay Nazi whore sex
Foxy political consultants can't hold a candle to gay Nazi prostitutes. In 1942, the New York Post shocked the civilized world when it accused Massachusetts Senator David Walsh of consorting with Nazi prostitutes in a male bordello in Brooklyn. Talk about a smoking gun. Walsh was exonerated by Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley after a two-week investigation, but his career was ruined. It gets worse from here. When Barkley discussed the case with FDR, the president reportedly told him that in the military, "a man in Walsh’s position would be left alone with a loaded revolver to do the only thing left to do." The Democratic Senator died shortly after losing his next election.
2. That time when "Fatty" Arbuckle was accused of sex squashing an aspiring actress to death
News story of the six-minute not guilty verdict, 1922
Poor Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. He was one of the most popular silent film stars of the 1910s, but he was vilified by the American public in 1921. What happened? Arbuckle was accused of murdering a 30-year-old aspiring actress named Virginia Rappe at a "gin party" in a San Francisco hotel. How'd he do it? Newspapers speculated that the 266-pound actor had squashed her to her to death while they were makin' whoopee. Key takeaway: "Fatty" Arbuckle was fat. The story generated a lot of ink—Hearst would later say that the Fatty Arbuckle scandal "sold more papers than the sinking of the Lusitania." The actor was tried three times and eventually acquitted, but his career never recovered. Turns out Rappe (who wasn't hospitalized until two days after the incident) had a chronic bladder condition. Her autopsy concluded that there “were no marks of violence on the body, no signs that the girl had been attacked in any way.”
3. That time the soon-to-be president of the United States was accused of stashing the mother of his illegitimate child in an insane asylum
Stephen Grover Cleveland
Don't know much about Grover Cleveland? You're not alone. The 22nd and 24th President of the United States managed to win the popular vote three times. But his tenure as Commander-in-Chief was relatively uneventful. Except for the whole out-of-wedlock sex scandal thing. When “Grover the good" ran for president in 1884, his stellar "reputation as an opponent of corruption" was considered a major asset for the Democratic party. The Republicans dirtied things up real fast. What went down? They enlisted the help of a preacher named George H. Ball who went public with a pretty inflammatory charge. Ball claimed that Cleveland had fathered an illegitimate child with a woman named Maria Crofts Halpin while he was a lawyer in Buffalo. When Cleveland admitted to paying child support, things escalated quickly. The Buffalo Evening Telegraph accused Cleveland of stashing Halpin in an insane asylum and callously abandoning his child to an orphanage. What happened next? "Ma, Ma, where's my pa?" became a popular campaign chant and the Democrats were super embarrassed. Cleveland won the election anyway.