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The Globe and Mail

Stand by your man: Wives caught up in political sex scandals

Huma Abedin spoke publicly about forgiving her husband, mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, on Tuesday after another scandal surfaced involving him sending lewd online messages. Here’s more on the complicated ways that wronged political wives have dealt with their husbands’ infidelities.

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Huma Abedin's husband Anthony Weiner, who was then a New York congressman, admitted to sexting several women and resigned from Congress in 2011.

On Tuesday, in the midst of Mr. Weiner’s campaign to be mayor of New York, more sexually charged texts were revealed, including some from last summer. Ms. Abedin appeared at a press conference with her husband on Tuesday after more texts surfaced.

“I made the decision that it was worth staying in this marriage and that was a decision I made for me, for our son and for our family. I didn’t know how it would work out but I did know that I wanted to give it a try. Anthony has made some horrible mistakes both before he resigned from Congress and after but I do very strongly believe that that is between us, and our marriage.”

They are still married.

(Ms. Abedin heads to a meeting at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi on June 9, 2011.)


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Maria Shriver's husband, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, admitted in 2011 to fathering a child with housekeeper Mildred Baena in the 1990s. He also later admitted he had been repeatedly unfaithful.

In a written statement shortly after, Ms. Shriver said: “This is a painful and heartbreaking time. As a mother, my concern is for the children. I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal.”

The couple separated a week before Mr. Schwarzenegger publicly admitted to the affair and child.

(Ms. Shriver speaks at the Women's Conference in Long Beach, California on October 27, 2009.)


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Jenny Sanford's husband, then-South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, disappeared for six days in 2009 – during which time an aide famously said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. Mr. Sanford then admitted he had been in Argentina with mistress María Belén Chapur.

Ms. Sanford and her children moved out of the governor’s mansion in August. She published a memoir in 2010 on the effect the affair had on her life, writing: “I shiver when I think that while I was cleaning up after a delicious family meal … he was e-mailing his ‘soul mate’ with visions of her tan lines.”

Ms. Sanford filed for divorce in 2009. Mr. Sanford became engaged to Ms. Chapur in 2012.

(Ms. Sanford at Random House Books in New York City in 2010 for the publication of her new book.)

Michael Falco/The Globe and Mail

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Elizabeth Edwards' husband John Edwards, then a North Carolina Senator and presidential candidate, admitted in 2008 to a 2006 extramarital affair with filmmaker and campaign worker Rielle Hunter. At the time, he denied fathering her child, but eventually acknowledged he was the girl’s father in 2012.

Ms. Edwards, who was battling breast cancer when her husband made his admission, initially stood by him. In a written statement, she said: “The fact that it is a mistake that many others have made before him did not make it any easier for me to hear when he told me what he had done.”

After it became clear that Mr. Edwards had lied about the affair’s timeline, Ms. Edwards legally separated from her husband in early 2010.

She died in December 2010.

(Ms. Edwards is interviewed on the NBC Today television program in New York on May 11, 2009.)

Richard Drew/The Canadian Press

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Silda Wall Spitzer's husband Eliot Spitzer, then governor of New York, resigned in 2008 after media reports laid bare the details of his tryst with a pricey prostitute. He is now running to be comptroller of New York.

An ashen Ms. Wall Spitzer stood silently by during a press conference in which her husband apologized in 2008. She has not publicly appeared with her husband during his current campaign.

The couple is still married, but are now living separately.

(Ms. Wall Spitzer listens as Mr. Spitzer announces his resignation at his office in New York on March 12, 2008.)


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Hillary Clinton's husband Bill Clinton, former president of the United States, admitted to sexual relationships with intern Monica Lewinsky in the late 1990s and actress Gennifer Flowers in the 1980s.

“I’m not sitting here like some little woman standing by my man, like Tammy Wynette. I’m sitting here because I love him, and I respect him, and I honour what he’s been through and what we’ve been through together. And, you know, if that’s not enough for people, then heck, don’t vote for him,” Ms. Clinton told 60 Minutes in 1992.

The couple is still married.

(U.S. Secretary of State Ms. Clinton waits to be introduced before delivering remarks on internet freedom at the Newseum in Washington on January 21, 2010.)


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