The Most Famous Presidential Mistresses

It seems like running the country would take up the majority of your time, but somehow, there have been more then a couple Presidents who found the time for some extra-marital affairs. From Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to the whole Monica Lewinsky saga, there’s been a fair share of presidential mistresses.

As much as some may want to believe that JFK and Bill Clinton were the only ones to be unfaithful to their families while in office, you’re VERY wrong. While many of these allegations haven’t been proven, it still might shock you to see some of the names on this list.

Marilyn Monroe

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Baron/Getty Images
Baron/Getty Images

It’s probably the most high profile case of a presidential rendezvous. Actress and icon Marilyn Monroe and President John F. Kennedy are said to have had a romantic relationship at Bing Crosby’s house shortly after meeting.

Monroe apparently felt so bad about it that she contacted John’s wife, Jackie, to tell her all about it. Jackie was well aware of her husband’s wandering eye and apparently even had a good sense of humor about it.

Judith Campbell Exner

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Bettmann / Contributor
Bettmann / Contributor

Another day, another JFK mistress. After being introduced by Frank Sinatra, President Kennedy and Judith Exner began their affair during the 1960s in Las Vegas. Exner said the affair was reckless, and even admitted to aborting his child. Those allegations haven’t been proven but the news sent shockwaves throughout the world.

She wasn’t the first, and she certainly won’t be the last JFK mistress you see on this list, so just hold tight.

Gennifer Flowers

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Michael Walters – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images
Michael Walters – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

In 1998, President Bill Clinton admitted to having an affair with Gennifer Flowers during his presidential deposition. He denied the claims that he had slept with Kathleen Wiley, but did admit to sleeping with Gennifer.

Clinton’s aides at the time, George Stephanopolous and James Carville, were accused of defaming Flowers to protect Clinton’s reputation. Hillary Clinton was also named in the lawsuit filed by Flowers. Nothing ended up coming from the lawsuit which was a media circus, but she did end up profiting $500,000 from it.

Mimi Alford

It would be hard to say “no” to the President of the United States when he invites you into a swimming pool at the White House. That’s exactly what happened to Mimi Alford just a few days into her internship under President John F. Kennedy.

Alford says that her affair with JFK lasted nearly eight months and she was even allowed to remain working in the White House after the affair ended.

Jennifer Fitzgerald

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Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

This one is hard to prove, but President George H.W. Bush had many rumors swirling around his presidency. One of the most prominent ones revolved around a young woman named Jennifer Fitzgerald.

At the time, she was a political aide and was with the President quite a bit. Many people who are close to Bush Sr. say that there’s no evidence of the two ever having an inappropriate relationship with each other.

Sally Hemings

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Stock Montage/Getty Images
Stock Montage/Getty Images

Sally Hemings will go down as one of the most popular and memorable presidential mistresses of all time. Thomas Jefferson allegedly had fathered six children with her while she was his slave. After Jefferson’s wife died, he said that he would never marry again.

That didn’t stop him from having a decades-long relationship with Sally, who he would eventually give freedom to. Even though he was the president that adopted legislation to free slaves, he also had 200 throughout his life.

Kay Summersby

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Bettmann / Contributor
Bettmann / Contributor

In her 1975 autobiography, Kay Summersby wrote about her long love affair with Dwight Eisenhower. She worked very closely with him when she was a member of the British Merchandised Transport Corps during World War II.

At the time, Eisenhower was working as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force. Interpretations of the two’s relationship range from professional to downright sexual in nature. The consensus is still relatively mixed, but there is enough legitimacy behind the claims to include her on this list.

Ellen Rometsch

Ellen Rometsch was just another notch in the belt for President John F. Kennedy. She was a well-known German prostitute who was said to resemble Elizabeth Taylor. Not only that, but she would attend secret naked pool parties at the White House and would routinely visit Kennedy for short periods of time.

Secret naked pool parties? Holy moly, the White House is a lot different than most of us think.

Monica Lewinsky

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Jesse Grant/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter
Jesse Grant/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter

The media attention and Presidential lying that occurred during the Monica Lewinsky saga made it one of the most talked about stories of the 20th century. After lying about ever having sexual relations with White House intern Miss Lewinsky, Clinton would later have to publicly apologize after evidence on a certain dress showed otherwise.

Lewinsky has gone on to become somewhat of a cultural icon. She had her own line of handbags, she’s written books, and does speaking engagements talking about cyberbullying.

James Buchanan And His Vice President

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The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images
The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images

After James Buchanan’s wife died, he was looking for a trusting friendship. He began to have a very close relationship with his future vice president, William Rufus King. The pair ended up living together in Washington and were apparently inseparable.

Firsthand documents showed that they would go everywhere together, even intimate social functions. William Rufus King would go on to serve as the shortest VP ever and die suddenly while in office.

Joshua Speed

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Library Of Congress/Getty Images
Library Of Congress/Getty Images

The relationship between Joshua Speed and Abraham Lincoln has long puzzled historians. Speed and Lincoln had been friends for their entire lives. They even apparently lived together for four years, and rumors said that they would share a bed most nights.

But, Speed wasn’t the only one that Abraham Lincoln was rumored to have an affair with. He was said to have engaged with his bodyguard, David Derickson as well.

Paula Jones

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Kim Kulish/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Kim Kulish/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Paula Jones was escorted to Governor Bill Clinton’s hotel room in 1991 and asked to perform sex acts on him. The soon-to-be President was known to be very promiscuous and have loose morals. Jones filed a lawsuit against then-President Clinton just three days before the statute of limitations expired.

The case would go all the way to the supreme court where she would end up victorious. Clinton settled with Jones for $850,000 as long as she dropped the appeal.

Helen G. Douglas

She was a very popular actress in the 1920s and 30s. Helen Douglas decided to run for office in the 1940s, which was a very brave move. She was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from California in 1944 and would serve three terms.

It was during her time in Washington that she would meet President Lyndon B. Johnson. The pair had an openly enduring love affair. Weirdly enough, eight years after they met, she would end up campaigning for LBJ’s political rival, John F. Kennedy.

Lucy Mercer Rutherford

Imagine being a mistress to a President AND being caught in the act by the First Lady? Well, that happened to Lucy Mercer. She was caught by Eleanor Roosevelt in 1918, and her husband, Franklin D. Roosevelt, vowed to cut Mercer out of their lives.

Well, that didn’t happen. In fact, Mercer was with Roosevelt when he passed away. Following his death, the administration worked overtime to ensure that the affair would remain private.

Maria Crofts Halpin

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Photo by Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images
Photo by Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

If you thought that the Presidential election campaigns are ugly today, you should’ve seen them in 1884. That presidential election between Grover Cleveland and James Blane got UGLY. Blane had alleged that Cleveland had fathered an illegitimate child with a woman named Maria Crofts Halpin.

Blane had a point. Cleveland had been paying child support payments to Halpin. But, in his defense, Halpin says that she doesn’t know who the father of her child is considering she slept with a lot of people.

Venus

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VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images
VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images

George Washington was quite the character. He was rumored to have an affair with one of his slaves named Venus. Not only did they have a sexual encounter, but it apparently resulted in the birth of Venus’s son named West Ford.

Three descendants of Venus’s son say that according to a family tradition, West Ford’s father was George Washington. The family hopes that with future advances in DNA testing, they’ll be able to confirm it for good.

Nan Britton

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Bettmann / Contributor
Bettmann / Contributor

Warren Harding was known to be a man with many mistresses. In fact, he had an affair with a woman named Nan Britton which would produce a child. Her name was Elizabeth, and has been proven to be Harding’s child after DNA evidence proved it to be so.

Nan died in 1991 at the age of 94 and had consistently maintained that her daughter was also that of President Warren Harding. It was confirmed in 2015 by Ancestry.com.

Carrie Fulton Phillips

She’s known as the only woman to successfully blackmail a major political party in the U.S. She had an affair with President Harding in the late 1910s. They even went on an extended trip to Europe together where they carried out an intimate relationship.

After they returned to the states, Phillips told Harding that she would expose the affair if he voted in favor of war with Germany. In the summer of 1920, Harding finally came clean and admitted to the affair.

Lucia Calhoun

The 20th President had a relationship with a New York Times reporter named Lucia Calhoun. James Garfield’s wife had caught wind of the affair and offered him an ultimatum, apparently involving outing him publicly.

He cut ties with Calhoun VERY quickly. It’s interesting to read Calhoun’s writings in the paper. They all seemed very friendly toward James Garfield who, when they first met, was just a congressman and then later ended up being the President of the United States.

Alice Glass

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Bettmann / Contributor
Bettmann / Contributor

It’s safe to say that LBJ picked up the mistress slack when JFK was assassinated. One of his many affairs came with a woman named Alice Glass. The relationship had lasted many years, and apparently his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, had absolutely no clue.

It’s kind of bizarre to look back and see how much LBJ talked negatively about his wife in public. Many view this behavior as a reflection of his infidelity.

Stormy Daniels

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Tara Ziemba/Getty Images
Tara Ziemba/Getty Images

If you don’t know who Stormy Daniels is by now, you’re probably living under a rock or something. She’s been in the news cycle for what seems like a decade because of her graphic relationship with now President Donald Trump.

Even though the affair took place before he was in office, the hush money payments that came during the time Donald Trump was campaigning seems relevant enough to give us an idea what might have happened.

Eleanor Mondale

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Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage
Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

This one is very, very weird. There have been lots of details that have come to surface regarding Bill Clinton and Eleanor Mondale. If the last name sounds familiar, it’s because Eleanor Mondale is the daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale. If that doesn’t weird you out, then I don’t know what will.

Secret Service agents have said that there weren’t enough women on this planet to contain Bill Clinton and his desires.

John Tyler And His Slaves

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GraphicaArtis/Getty Images
GraphicaArtis/Getty Images

John Tyler certainly holds the record for having fathered the most children while he was President. He didn’t just have one mistress— he had a whole bunch. Over the course of his two marriages, Tyler fathered 15 children.

There is some damning evidence that shows he slept with a lot of slaves and ended up fathering many of their children as well. Oral history amongst the slaves’ ancestors confirms this.

Angie Dickinson

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Amanda Edwards/WireImage/Getty Images
Amanda Edwards/WireImage/Getty Images

It’s safe to say that there could be an entire article just based on JFK and his many mistresses. Again, his wife Jackie knew about most of them but continued to stand by her man.

Angie Dickinson was a very popular actress. She’s actually still alive today. She has never come out and admitted that she had an affair with JFK, but the many leaked stories about the two tell us otherwise.

Carrie Phillips

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Bettmann / Contributor
Bettmann / Contributor

Warren Harding gets overlooked as one of the least faithful Presidents. With JFK and Bill Clinton being more relevant today, Harding often gets the easy pass. In fact, he was probably the most unfaithful President of all time.

His affair with Carrie Phillips was one of his most infamous. There have been many love letters between the two that have been found and she was even paid off by the Republican party for her silence.

Mary Peck

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Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

After taking a trip without his wife to Bermuda, Woodrow Wilson began a long-standing correspondence with a woman named Mary Peck. Apparently, they would write love letters to each other non-stop.

The developing romance ended up making its way back to Wilson’s wife who was devastated by the affair. When Ellen died, Wilson got remarried not to Peck, but to someone else. With that being said, he kept in touch with Peck even through the second marriage.

Almeda Booth

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Photo12/UIG via Getty Images
Photo12/UIG via Getty Images

President Garfield got himself into a lot of trouble when he was President if you didn’t already realize from this article. His wife discovered that he was carrying on more than one extramarital affair behind her back.

She found love letters between Lucia Calhoun, who we read about earlier, but she didn’t know about Almeda Booth. Garfield admitted to his affair with Booth who was a college student at the time.

Grace Cross

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Bettmann / Contributor
Bettmann / Contributor

It seems to be a lot of the same repeat offenders. “Once a cheater, always a cheater” is a phrase that even works in the White House. Warren G Harding was peppered with scandal. Many of his affairs came to light when it was clear he was going to win the presidential nomination in 1920.

One of those affairs was with a young lady named Grace Cross. She was a typist and her relationship with him ended up getting pretty violent. She once even cut his back with a knife.

Madeleine Brown

LBJ
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Keystone/Getty Images

President Lyndon B. Johnson had so many women in and out of his life. There’s a story that says his wife at the time of his presidency walked in on him having sex with his secretary in the Oval Office.

Most of the women that LBJ had “engagements” with have never come out publicly to talk about it. Well, except for Madeleine Brown who claimed to have a 21-year affair with LBJ. She claims he paid for her apartment and gave her lots of money.

Sally Fairfax

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Universal History Archive/Getty Images
Universal History Archive/Getty Images

There are many reports that say Marsha Washington was a beauty, but that didn’t stop her husband George from having feelings for other women. George wrote lengthy love letters to many other women, one of them being Sally Fairfax.

She was married to one of Washington’s close friends. In a weird turn of events, she denied him multiple times. By all accounts, she didn’t seem all that interested in pursuing a relationship with him at all.