The 7 Highest Paid Political Mistresses (+ Should You Become One?)

John Edwards & Rielle Hunter

The John Edwards trial is wrapping up this week, so we thought we’d take a look at one of the more salacious part of being a mistress – the payout.

Legal Disclaimer: Everything in this article is alleged (Should be read as: please don’t sue us).

And since we here at The Penny Hoarder don’t pass judgement on how people make extra money (that’s also alleged), I thought’d we share some tips on how to become a political mistress should you decide to throw your caution and morality to the wind.

Without further ado, the 7 highest paid political mistresses…

1.    Monica Lewinsky (Bill Clinton) – at least $1.5 Million

Lesson #1: So long as your activities fit within the definition of sexual relations, you can earn big bucks stimulating a president’s package.

Bill Clinton & Monica LewinskyFrom 1995 to 1997, Monica Lewinsky worked as an unpaid intern for President Bill Clinton. Unfortunately, her service to the President also involved lipstick, cigars and stained blue dresses. The details still leave me and my fellow Americans nauseated over 15 years later.

Unlike most political mistresses, Monica never did extract any money from the first wallet. However, the affair catapulted Lewinsky to celebrity status.

She raked in $1 million in Jenny Craig endorsements and $500,000 for a book advance.


2.    Rielle Hunter (John Edwards) – $1 Million

Lesson #2: The sleazier the adulterer, the more money you can make.

Yes, John Edwards’ wife had terminal cancer while he engaged in a year and a half long extramarital affair. Yes, John Edwards fathered a love-child that he initially disavowed. Based on rule #1, it seems fitting that Rielle Hunter take the crown as best paid political mistress.

Rielle Hunter was a freelance videographer for the John Edwards’ campaign. Can you see where this is going? Politician plus subordinate female staffer plus camera equals…I’ll let you do the math. Surprisingly, it is one video you can’t find on the internet.

Thanks to the nature of political sex scandals, it’s hard to arrive at an exact payout figure, but estimates in the news have Hunter receiving over a million in payments for living expenses!

3.    Carrie Fulton Phillips (Warren Harding)- $540,000 in today’s dollars

Warren Harding & Carrie Fulton Phillips Lesson #3: Political parties tend to have more money to extort.

President Harding was more than living up to the innuendo derived from his name. He carried on a 15 year affair with Carrie Fulton Phillips.

When the Republican National Committee feared a scandal in the middle of the 1920 elections, they paid Phillips $50,000 and ushered her out to Asia for a long vacation. $50,000 may not seem like much, but in today’s dollars it’s nearly $540,000.

Not only is Carrie Fulton Phillips #3, she also held the record for highest paid mistress for more than 80 years. If you want a big payout, political parties are the group to extort.

4.    Ashley Dupre (Elliot Spitzer) – $1,720/hour

Elliot Spitzer & Ashley DupreLesson #4: Earn a better hourly rate by becoming a “professional.”

Not only did high-class prostitute Ashley Dupre end the presidential political aspirations of NY Governor Elliot Spitzer – by hourly standards, she was likely the best paid mistress of all.

In 2008, Feds caught client number nine, more commonly known as Elliot Spitzer, paying prostitute Ashley Dupre $4,300 for her services to the state of NY. That works out to an impressive $1,720 per hour.

If Ashley had spent 40 hours/week for 18 months (18 months was the duration of the Edwards/Hunter affair) “working” for Spitzer, she’d have pulled in over $5.3 million dollars.

5.    Stephen Gobie (Barney Frank) – $80 for Fun, a Shrink, a Job and a Place to Run a Prostitution Ring

Barney Frank & Stephen GobieLesson #5: Even guys can be mistresses, thanks to politics.

This is definitely the type of affair that is hard to put a price tag on. We do know that former congressman Barney Frank met up with Stephen Gobie in 1985 and paid $80 for service(s). Over the next two years, Frank shelled out several thousands to pay income and expenses for Gobie.

Gobie was hired as a driver and an aid. Frank paid for Stephen to see a court-ordered shrink. He also let Gobie run a prostitution ring out of the congressional apartment.

6.    Cynthia Hampton (John Ensign)– about $30,000 for the entire Hampton Family

John Ensign & Cynthia HamptonLesson #6: As a mistress, you are entitled to spread payments and favors to the whole family.

2008 was a very good year for politicians and their mistresses. While Rielle Hunter and Ashley Dupre were busy working on their own political ambitions, Cynthia Hampton was improving her family’s income.

Throughout the beginning of 2008, Cynthia Hampton and her immediate family received a number of large payouts from Ensign. Cynthia received double her normal paycheck for three months. Her son earned a $5,400 payout. Cynthia’s husband banked nearly $20,000.

All-in-all, the Hampton family made over $30,000 in just a few months.


7.    Ginger White (Herman Cain) – various living expenses for 13 years

Herman Cain & Ginger WhiteLesson #7: Sometimes, it’s about how long the affair can last.

Last fall, Herman Cain was rapidly ascending the ranks of the Republican primary field. Discovery of his mistress, Ginger White, would send Cain home limping.

For 13 years, Herman Cain flew Mistress Ginger White out to hotels while he was out speaking or on business. In return, Cain admits to paying various living expenses according to news reports.


Seriously, is Being a Mistress Worth It?

I’d venture a guess and say that most of the women above lead less happy lives today. Exposure of their affairs has ruined many careers and reputations. While some have enjoyed celebrity status, that celebrity has a price. In 2005, Monica Lewinsky even moved to the UK to escape her notoriety.

One thing is clear though, if your going to become a mistress, politics is an industry worth focusing your efforts. Let’s face it. Politicians and paramours are more common than peanut butter and jelly. Most importantly, political offices are filled with millionaires. Millionaires who have access to trust funds, cushy jobs, taxpayer money, donor money and organizations looking to protect a legislative meal ticket.

Sure, these are also powerful people who control the CIA, FBI, DHS and every other three letter acronym ever dreamed. However, successful mistresses have not only lived to tell the tale, they’ve also made some significant gains in their net worth in the process. “Success” can be a bitter pill though.

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